Richard: Thanks for the clarification on your estimate of criminal aliens deported. I agree that the 1.4 million number (for criminal aliens likely to be identified in jail checks) is too high, or at the least that it represents the same people booked multiple times; I was passing on ICE’s projection. The estimate of 100,000 of the worst criminals being removed would represent a decrease in criminal-alien deportations, though, which this administration would be crazy to permit given the political damage that would cause them. I also agree that the administration is likely to disappoint both of us, though you more than me, since I’m not on their side.
But I go back to my basic point about enforcement initiatives like this one: Why would anyone fall for the claim that the government is finally serious about enforcement (and thus can be trusted with an amnesty) until programs like the jail checks (and E-Verify and US-Visit, etc.) are actually up and running, institutionalized and functioning? Otherwise there is every reason to expect — to guarantee, really — that once the amnesty is in place, the promises of enforcement will be abandoned. I’ll stipulate that you sincerely support the most stringent enforcement measures after an amnesty, so that we don’t end up with 12 million more illegals a few years from now — but can you say with a straight face that Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Janet Napolitano, et al. do too? Really?