The Center for Immigration Studies
July 15, 2019
The Clinton Administration: When Deportations Were Considered Essential for Credible Immigration Policy
Editor’s note: This post is an excerpt from a forthcoming Center for Immigration Studies book on the failure of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.]
Just before the 1996 presidential election, the Clinton White House held a press briefing to boast about record numbers of deportations of illegal immigrants. The principal spokesperson for the administration was Doris Meissner, Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. “I am proud once again to announce that the Clinton administration’s determination to remove criminal aliens and other deportable aliens from the United States has produced record results,” said Meissner.
Meissner, a Clinton appointee, said 67,094 illegal immigrants – criminal and non-criminal – had been deported in the 1995 fiscal year. In a dutiful tribute to Clinton that echoed statements from the White House and the Justice Department, she contrasted his performance to that of his predecessors. “For too many years, under-enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws undermined their credibility,” she said. “But this administration’s unprecedented expansion of and support for strong but fair enforcement of immigration laws…is restoring that credibility.”…read the rest here.