Politicizing the death of a Virginia nun who was killed by an unauthorized immigrant in a drunk driving accident, Fox & Friends hosted Republican Corey Stewart who falsely claimed that Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration have underfunded Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In fact, data shows that funding for ICE has increased significantly since Democrats took control of Congress, and deportations of unauthorized immigrants who have committed crimes are at a record high under Obama.
Fox lets Stewart claim Democrats have “underfunded immigration enforcement”
Fox did not challenge Stewart's claim that Democrats underfund ICE for detentions, deportations. During the August 4 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Stewart, the Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, discussed the case of Carlos Martinelly Montano, the unauthorized immigrant involved in the car crash. Stewart falsely claimed that the Obama administration has a “policy to release illegal aliens that commit crimes back into the neighborhoods and not to deport them” and that “the only time they actually deport somebody from the United States is if they've committed a violent felony.” Stewart also falsely suggested that Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration have underfunded ICE because they don't want to “anger their left wing allies” :
STEWART: People need to understand the federal government is deliberately releasing criminal illegal aliens back into the neighborhoods rather than deporting them.
CARLSON: You say the word deliberately. Why do you believe it's deliberate?
STEWART: Because Congress for years has underfunded immigration enforcement to the extent that immigration enforcement doesn't even have the funds to deport an illegal alien who has committed a crime. The only time they actually deport somebody from the United States is if they've committed violent felony. If it's a D.U.I., if it's other crimes, it can be a whole list of crimes like in this case and they still won't deport this sleaze bag. It's disgusting.
CARLSON: Let me ask you this, Mr. Stewart. Here's a guy who has been arrested twice for drunk driving. I mean, I don't know what would happen to you and me if that had happened to us but it wouldn't be good; and number two, is it really funding or is it politics?
STEWART: Well, it's a little bit of both, you know, it's Congress, especially the Democrats in Congress and the president who do not want to anger their left wing allies, all these far left groups and so they don't provide enough funds to immigration and customs enforcement for detention center space for illegal aliens or to even deport them. So, they simply are letting them go right back into the neighborhoods.
In fact, spending for ICE, detention and removal, is up under Democrats
Funding for Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) has increased every year since Dems took over Congress. Contrary to Stewart's claims, since the Democrats took control over Congress in 2006, funding for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Detention and Removal Operations has increased every year, adjusting for inflation. According to ICE, DRO (also know as ERO) “is responsible for ensuring that every alien who has been ordered removed departs the United States through fair enforcement of the nation's immigration laws.”
Funding for DRO nearly doubled under Obama. Under the Obama Administration, in FY 2010, the enacted budget for DRO was $2.55 billion. Adjusted for inflation, that is nearly double what the Bush Administration spent and the Republican-led Congress approved for DRO in 2005: $1.2 billion.
ICE budgets larger under Obama than Bush. Budget data from the Department of Homeland Security compiled by America's Voice, which advocates for comprehensive immigration reform, show that the budget for Immigration and Customs Enforcement is higher under Obama than at any point during the Bush administration.
Deportations of unauthorized immigrants with criminal convictions are up under Obama
Wash. Post: “Obama administration is deporting record numbers of illegal immigrants.” The Washington Post reported on July 26 that “the Obama administration is deporting record numbers of illegal immigrants” and “The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration's 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007.”
WSJ: “A record number of criminal aliens have been deported so far this year.” The July 26 Washington Post article reported, “Nearly 50 percent of the people who have been deported from the United States this budget year have a criminal conviction, from driving without a license and DUI to major felonies, ICE's Morton said. That represents an increase of more than 36,000 over the same period in 2009, which showed a rise of 22,000 over 2008.” The Wall Street Journal also reported on August 2, “A record number of criminal aliens have been deported so far this year, reflecting a shift in emphasis by the Obama administration, according to an independent analysis released Monday.”
LA Times: Obama admin. “has outdone its predecessor on border enforcement spending and on deportations.” The Los Angeles Times reported on June 15 that Obama “agree[d] to dispatch 1,200 National Guard troops to the border and to seek an extra $500 million for border enforcement. That came after 18 months in which the Obama administration has outdone its predecessor on border enforcement spending and deportations of illegal immigrants, all in an effort to build support for a comprehensive immigration plan.”
Wash. Post: Nuns upset that “this tragedy has been politicized”
From an August 3 Washington Post article:
The religious order that was home to three nuns whose car was hit Sunday morning by an alleged drunk driver in Northern Virginia said it is upset at what it views as the politicization of the incident.
Sister Glenna Smith, a spokeswoman for the Benedictine Sisters, said Tuesday that “we are dismayed” by reports that the crash, which killed one woman and critically injured two others, is focusing attention on the man's status as an alleged illegal immigrant. Critics of federal immigration policy have seized on the crash.
Montano, who authorities say is an illegal immigrant from Bolivia, has a record of numerous motor vehicle violations in recent years, including two drunken-driving cases for which he served 20 days in jail, according to authorities and court records.
He was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after a drunken-driving arrest in 2008. Montano was released on his own recognizance pending a deportation hearing, which has yet to occur because of a backlog.
Corey A. Stewart (R-at Large), chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, said he hoped it would focus attention on the illegal immigration issue.
“This crime need not have happened, this nun need not have been killed, if federal authorities, who now have blood on their hands, had done their job in the first place and had this sleazebag deported,” Stewart said in an interview on WTOP (103.5 FM).
In a statement, the order said: “The Benedictine Sisters are dismayed and saddened that this tragedy has been politicized and become an apparent forum for the illegal immigration agenda. While grieving and dealing with the death and severe injuries of our sisters, we would like to re-focus attention on the consequences of drinking and driving and on Christ's command to forgive.”