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By David A. Clarke Jr.
Blame Washington's intelligence failure, not lack of police
Topic - Pew Hispanic Center
There's a growing sense of optimism that Congress may actually get something done on immigration this year, now that House Speaker John A. Boehner has stated clearly that he will push forward a series of bills to fix our dysfunctional immigration system before this session is over.
The U.S. illegal immigrant population has begun to tick back up with the improving economy, rising to 11.7 million last year, according to the latest estimates Monday from the Pew Hispanic Center.
"The triumph of hope over experience." Samuel Johnson, 18th-century essayist on second marriages.
The pace at which illegal immigrants are deported from the District under a federal initiative is far lower than in surrounding jurisdictions in Virginia and Maryland, even though illegal immigrants make up similar proportions of their populations.
Illegal immigrants are being deported from Washington, D.C., at a lower rate than most states and other big cities under a federal program designed to remove illegal immigrants who have committed violent crimes.
The muted public reaction to President Obama's immigration decision of last week — and Mitt Romney's carefully modulated response to the surprise order — could signal an unexpected shift in what has been one of the country's thorniest political issues.
Democrats on Tuesday begin their new push for an immigration bill, hamstrung by the image of legalizing millions of illegal immigrant workers at a time when the unemployment rate stands at 10 percent -- more than twice what it was the last time Congress tried to act.
The federal government last week said that after years of increases, the illegal-immigrant population in the U.S. dropped for the first time, between 2007 and 2008 - about the time that both a recession and tougher immigration enforcement began.
Immigration ties politicians in knots.
Illegal immigration appears to have fallen last year, marking the first drop in years and coinciding with Congress' failure to pass a legalization bill and the Bush administration's stepped-up raids and enforcement.