The New York Times editorial for the paper’s February 26 edition (see below) made several telling points about enforcement measures targeting undocumented immigrants:
- the policy was absurdly expensive under President Obama;
- it will get dramatically more expensive if President Trump is allowed to follow through with his plans;
- the undocumented population has actually declined since 2008, so there would be no justification for these measures even if this population really was a problem.
But why did the Times wait until now to point the policy’s drawbacks out to a wide national audience? The enforcement machinery has been growing for more than three decades, and the facts in the Times editorial have been obvious for years. The paper itself has had some excellent reporting on the policy’s economic costs, but in general the Times followed most of the mass media in looking the other way while we poured billions into programs that were as useless as they were inhumane. In 2000 the editorial board still backed the easily disproved claim that legalization of the current undocumented population would “beget more illegal immigration,” and as recently as 2013 reporter Julia Preston cited concerns that a “new wave of illegal crossings that might be spurred by a legalization program.”
We should thank the Times’ editors for finally getting a more realistic perspective out into the national consciousness. But we need to remember: we might not be dealing with the Trump phenomenon now if the Times and the other mainstream media had seriously challenged anti-immigrant propaganda in the past.—TPOI editor.
The Immigration Facts Donald Trump Doesn’t Like
By the Editorial Board, New York Times
February 25, 2017
Let’s be clear: The moral case against President Trump’s plan to uproot and expel millions of unauthorized immigrants is open-and-shut. But what about the economic cost? This is where deeply shameful collides with truly stupid.
The Migration Policy Institute reported in 2013 that the federal government spends more each year on immigration enforcement — through Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol — than on all other federal law enforcement agencies combined.[…]
Read the full editorial:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/25/opinion/the-costs-of-mr-trumps-dragnet.html