Is Obama Keeping His Promise to Reprioritize Deportations?

President Barack Obama meets with members of Congress for a roundtable discussion about immigration reform.<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/3683215583/">Pete Souza</a>/Flickr

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So here’s an interesting wrinkle in the record deportation numbers the Obama administration announced Tuesday. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement stats show that the administration had 164,245 criminal removals through July 31st. The total number of criminal removals for fiscal year 2011 was 216,698, which means that ICE had 52,353 criminal removals in August and September. That means that nearly a quarter of the total criminal removals for 2011 happened in the last two months.

Why does that matter? If the numbers are correct, then the numbers show that the Obama administration was serious when it announced in August that it would focus immigration enforcement resources on unauthorized immigrants it believes pose a threat to public safety. Again, the numbers are still new, and who exactly fits in the category of criminal removals bears more scrutiny. But if accurate, it suggests that, despite the record near 400,000 removals the administration racked up for 2011, Obama’s declared shift towards a more discerning deportation policy was genuine.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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