Proof That Illegal Immigration Was Worse Under Ronald Reagan Than It Is Under President Obama

reagan-obamaAccording to Fox News, and pretty much any conservative you run across, President Obama has refused to enforce our immigration laws which has led to a record number of illegal immigrants rushing to our borders.

Of course that statement sounds troubling – and it would be – except the facts simply don’t support it.

Currently, President Obama is on pace to deport more illegal immigrants than any president in United States history.  I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me, how is he “soft on illegal immigration” while simultaneously deporting more undocumented immigrants than any other president before him?

That brings us to the notion that Obama’s policies have led to a record number of illegal immigrants flooding our borders.

Another right-wing talking point that’s completely untrue.

In fact, on average, we’re seeing over 600,000 fewer attempts per year by illegal immigrants trying to cross our border under President Obama than we saw under Ronald Reagan.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, during Reagan’s eight years we saw an average of 1,056,500 illegal immigrants try to cross our border every year.  Under President Obama, that number is down to 417,000.

And I know some Republicans will say, “Well, it’s because Obama isn’t enforcing our laws.  Reagan did.  That’s why Reagan caught more.”  That’s nonsense.  You could only use that argument if Obama’s deportation numbers were low as well.  But being that he’s on pace to deport more undocumented immigrants than any other president, it’s preposterous to claim that he’s not enforcing the law at the border yet somehow managing to deport more that are already here than any other president.

In fact, during Politifact’s investigation they concluded:

The apprehension figures, even allowing for changes in tactics, show an average of over a million attempts by people to cross the border during the Reagan years. For Obama, the average is about 417,000.

If we count the size of the undocumented population, the best estimates are that it rose 200,000 per year under Reagan. The highest estimate for Obama is 120,000 per year.

So even in per year growth illegal immigration numbers under Reagan were almost twice what they currently are under President Obama.

And while Republicans constantly try to stir up fear about Obama’s attempt to give immigrants a path to citizenship, they always fail to mention the fact that in 1986 Ronald Reagan signed an immigration bill which included amnesty.

Oh, and for the record, the 1,615,844 million illegal immigrants that tried to cross our border in 1986 (the same year he signed his amnesty law) marked the highest number during Reagan’s eight years.

Tell me again, whose policies encouraged illegal immigration?

I guess to summarize all of this:

  • President Obama is on pace to deport more illegal immigrants than any other president in history.
  • The rate of our year to year growth of our illegal immigrant population is lower under President Obama than Reagan.
  • The number of illegal immigrants trying to cross our border is drastically down from Reagan’s eight years.
  • Reagan signed an immigration law which included amnesty the same year he saw the most illegal immigrants try to come into the United States during his entire presidency.

So the next time a Republican goes off on a rant about the president who was soft on immigration and whose policies encouraged more illegal immigrants to flood our borders, remind them that they should really be talking about their “conservative icon” Ronald Reagan, not President Obama.


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • adcbeast

    Let’s do what Reagan did then .. AMNESTY !!!

  • Josh

    Best bit is, when you do point out the record number of deportations under Obama, they counter that it’s because they count people caught at the border and sent right back…then in the next breath will tell you there is no enforcement at the border. D’oh!

    • giankeys luvs shemale porn

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    • strayaway

      That’s right. The President himself confirmed statistical manipulation:

      “The statistics are actually a little deceptive because what we’ve been doing is, with the stronger border enforcement, we’ve been apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation, even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours, sent back — that’s counted as a deportation.” -President Barack Obama 2011

      This is the President who executive ordered only deporting criminals later revised to really bad criminals, executive ordered that ‘dreamers’ could stay thus encouraging an invasion of mostly teenagers referred to as ‘children’, has reduced the number of deportations of settled illegal aliens and of even criminals, has promoted another Reagan like amnesty, has taken border patrol agents away from guarding the border to babysit, do paperwork, and act as coyotes, says nothing about the Mexican government officially facilitating the entrance of illegal aliens to the US border, and in the last couple of days has floated the idea of designating Honduran minors as refugees and even flying them here so they don’t have to make a dangerous trip through Mexico to invade the US. Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world. What could go wrong with that?

      • Josh

        Lolz, I said it, and you said what I said you’d say.

      • strayaway

        I even quoted the President saying making your point.

      • iowasteve

        Well, I would just have to ask then, the President is only guilty of one thing – not two. Either he isn’t guarding the border properly or he is not deporting people. So, if you are all correct that he isn’t guarding the border, then you’re wrong that he is not deporting people because he’s catching them at the border and sending them right back. Or vice a versa. Now, which is it? Also, if they are being caught and sent back – then, to me that is deporting isn’t it? You GOP people always want your cake and to eat it too. Can’t happen though. There are too many of us who are wise to your ways. And although we don’t ever agree with Fox News, many of us watch it just so we know what conservatives will be claiming the next day to everyone and can be prepared for it.

      • Charles Vincent

        “Either he isn’t guarding the border properly or he is not deporting people.”
        This is a false assumption. He could be doing both. Just saying.

      • strayaway

        Both. I am correct that he isn’t guarding the border very well. How can he be if our border patrol is shepherding illegal minors all over the Country, doing paperwork on them, etc. instead of maintaining a vigil on the border?

      • iowasteve

        The problem is that he is following LAW! What part of this doesn’t make sense to you. He is being sued by your idiot GOP in the House for not following law – in fact as stupid as it sounds, the law THEY didn’t want him to follow in the first place. And now you are mad at him for following a law that YOUR President signed into law from a bill that I’m sure YOUR GOP wrote in the first place. Once again, no matter what it is that happens – if Obama is involved – he will be wronged for doing it. Even if it is something the GOP actually was in favor of getting done in the first place. This is not about borders, laws, conviction, or anything else – except, it’s about torpedoing Obama every step of the way. Which, your GOP promised to do on the very day he was elected President. For a do nothing Congress, the House has done one thing they promised to do – even though it was not a promise to the American people, it was still a promise made and they have succeeded with it. That was to attempt to stop Obama in everything he does regardless of how good it might be.

      • strayaway

        You made the faulty assumption that I voted for Bush. If you support reversing Bush’s law, then I am with you. You do support reversing Bush’s law that you are blaming all this on don’t you?

      • iowasteve

        I assumed you were a republican, not so much that you voted for Bush. The point here is that it would be Congress’s job to reverse the law, so why is everyone against the President for following it? The republican house will NEVER do that – as leaving things they way they are it is easier to make Obama look bad – at least to other republicans. To the left, he is doing his job – to the right, he needs to violate the law and not enforce it, but actually break it. And that’s basically what they right wants so they have more push against him.

      • strayaway

        I already sent my Democratic and Republican representatives in Congress a note about a week and a half ago, to provide for those kid’s immediate medical needs and otherwise treat them humanely, reunite them with their relatives, find out if their relatives are legal, if not sent them all back as a family, and requested they reverse Bush’s law. None wrote back but I tried. How about you? I never thought I’d see the day when an elected President of the US was working together with La Raza, Benedict Arnold Gutierrez, the Mexican government, and drug dealers’ coyotes against his own Country.

      • iowasteve

        I commend you for your efforts – you got the same result I would have expected. Now, about the elected President – what proof do you have of the accusations you presented at the end of your rant?

      • strayaway

        Cecelia Munoz was LaRaza’s top lobbyist before becoming Obama’s director of the White House Domestic Policy Council designing and promoting the President’s amnesty plan. Obama gave LaRaza’s “affiliate of the year” the Youth Policy Institute $30M. Gutierrez just told a LaRaza conference that La Raza conference that the President promised “generous and broad” support to “stop the deportation of “our people” each and every day.” To the congresional Hispanic Conference Gutierrez said,”This is the Barack Obama I have been waiting for and that Latino and immigrant voters helped put in office,” said Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Mex).

        Meanwhile, another leader of “our people”, the President of Mexico, signed an agreement with the President of Guatamala allowing 72 hour legal passes for Central Americans to transit through Mexico to illegally invade the US. This is a hostile act of aggression to violate US laws yet our President’s only response is to further open the border by diverting Border Patrol agents with paperwork, day care, and delivering these children to addresses all over the US. The drug dealer coyotes deliver them to to the border. Obama has them delivered the rest of the way. It’s teamwork and the players include LaRaza, Benedict Arnold Gutierrez, Mexico’s government, profiting drug cartels providing coyotes, and President Obama. US workers, unions, taxpayers, and it’s middle class are on the other team. While I’ve never trusted Obama’s loyalties, I’m very surprised that there is not more concern about perils to the US presented by reducing border security.

      • iowasteve

        Quotes without cites are useless. I want to get proof besides you saying it is so. Where did this information come from? And what state is Mex? This is in reference to (D-Mex). We have no representatives from Mexico. Not sure where you get this information, but that one point alone sheds some doubt on this. Please provide proof if you want someone who doesn’t believe everything they hear as proof to believe you.

      • strayaway

        I had to look all that stuff up for you. I’m pretty sure you are as capable. This website is not very link friendly. Gutierrez is the Congressman best representing his people (he used the term “our people”) in Mexico. He resides in Illinois. Here he is in a video just for the flavor: Google: ” I think we can get 3 or 4, maybe even 5 million people amnesty via Executive Action “. We=Team Obama

      • iowasteve

        I’m not finding anything unless you are talking about conservative blogs and Fox news. I don’t count those as reliable sources. And when was the last time you heard a democrat say something you believed? Why should I believe something a republican says just because he said it. Also how can a link be complicated to cut and paste into a post? How about just the website then? I’ll find it on there – if the website is worthy of looking at in the first place. How about a link or proof that Obama said that himself? Just because a congressman says Obama did, doesn’t exactly prove he did.

      • strayaway

        I went through the work of finding links for you but my post was rejected presumably because of my links so I will try again just mentioning the sights and you will have to google the quotes and add the mentioned website.

        Your purity might be impugned by having to go to the National Review but there is a video there of an enthusiastic Benedict Arnold Gutierrez.

        I often believe things said by Chris Hedges, Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader, Bernie Sanders, Naomi Wolf, and have valued certain things Senators Udall and Pryor have done.

        The Obama quote about “this is the Obama”… can be found at losangelesimmigrationlawattorney.

        The Gutierrez quote about “our people” is at msnbc.

      • adcbeast

        strayaway .. You mean the same way the Bush admin did?

        “How can he be if our border patrol is shepherding illegal minors all over the Country, doing paperwork on them

      • strayaway

        Bush tried to push through amnesty too. Bush was also lax about protecting our border. I don’t however remember him overriding laws with executive orders to purposely keep any illegal aliens here nor do I remember Bush diverting the Border Patrol to deliver minor to their illegal alien parents. Obama take the cake.

      • adcbeast

        Strayaway .. Bush caused the massive influx of women and children over the US border ..

      • strayaway

        Bush was real bad too. I already said as much. The US Chamber of Commerce is a Republican leaning organization that promotes the freedom to export jobs and bring in cheap labor. Illegal immigration isn’t just a blue/red issue. Eisenhower deported 2.1M illegal aliens and Truman deported 3.4M illegal aliens. As bad as Bush was, he wasn’t responsible for the massive influx of illegal aliens before his administration nor 6.6 years after his administration.

      • adcbeast

        The only people that should be denied entry are criminals … deporting people means the system is flawed …

      • strayaway

        The system is flawed: the border is porous, the President makes up his own laws to replace those of Congress, he otherwise picks and chooses which laws to execute, taxpayers are stuck with the bills, US workers keep losing jobs and cannot demand more pay when competing with third world labor, and cheating employers who profit from this arrangement you support are not punished. Yes, we agree. The system is flawed. We disagree about whether anyone who wants to sneak in or overstay their visas should be allowed to stay here.

      • adcbeast

        Stray DOOOSH .. You have proven your mental condition is worse than first thought … SEEK HELP NOW ..

      • Guest

        The laws are different for unaccompanied minors from countries that do not share a border with the US.

      • adcbeast

        Strayaway … The Bush admin kept stats the same way as the Obama admin

        “The statistics are actually a little deceptive because what we’ve been doing is, with the stronger border enforcement, we’ve been apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation, even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours, sent back — that’s counted as a deportation.”

      • strayaway

        You’re wrong. Read 4/1/14 LA Times article “High deportation figures are misleading”. Bush hasn’t been president for 6.6 years. Get over it or resurrect Truman who said “the buck stops here” and proved it by deporting 3.4 illegal aliens to open up jobs for returning servicemen.

      • adcbeast

        Stray DOOOOSH ….. I work for the US Senate .. I don’t need the media

        They did the counting the exact same way when Bush was president ..

      • strayaway

        I rate the press a higher than the Senate. I’ll listen to multiple reporters before I’ll believe partisans. It was the Senate that turned its back on US workers and passed an amnesty bill. Disgusting.

  • Dave

    Problem is, Allen, that the ones I’ve talked to who are screaming the loudest about Obama’s immigration policy in Texas sort of consider Reagan to have been to the left on a variety of subjects (including debt), so using the Reagan stats means nothing to them.

    • giankeys luvs shemale porn

      correct,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, annoy a republican with facts and they spin away and ask FOX “news” for a BENGHAZI T shirt

  • Truth Seeker

    I just want to point out there is a vast difference in the meanings of the words attempts and apprehensions. The article says there were more attempts to cross on average during the Reagan years. If you actually take the time to fact check it by reading the article they linked as evidence that is the number of apprehensions, you know those that were STOPPED by law enforcement. That in no way what so ever tells the story of how many people ATTEMPTED to cross the border.

    • xxsimmonsxx

      If they succeed in crossing its not an “attempt”. It is only an “attempt” if they fail. Apprehension falls under the definition of “attempt”.

  • terribletwos

    Reagan was a corporate tool. They wanted cheap labor and he gave it to them.

  • Corey

    What a crock of bull$hit…

  • Jerry Graybosch

    To what jobs do these people aspire that they are afraid of losing them to illegals?

  • Sean Oggy Ogburn

    I don’t see any “proof”, just word of mouth. And if you actually read Reagan’s immigration reform, it didn’t grant amnesty.. In point, those that were legalized (amnesty?)
    legalized illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously with the penalty of a fine, back taxes due, and admission of guilt; candidates were required to prove that they were not guilty of crimes, that they were in the country before January 1, 1982, and that they possessed minimal knowledge about U.S. history, government, and the English language.

    None of which can be said about obama’s amnesty.. Though we apparently got stuff like this because of his amnesty… http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/20/suspect-top-model-killing-approved-obamy-amnesty/

  • Robb55

    BULLSHIT! Bush was bad but they weren’t flooding across the border the way they are now. This POS is importing them into this country. I have a friend who lives in Donna Texas, right across the border, he says you can sit and watch hundreds a day walking across and nobody stopping them.