Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's New Day on CNN, Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte disputed anchor Chris Cuomo's assertion that "there have been more deportations under the Obama administration than ever," as the Virginia Republican charged that the administration has inflated its deportation numbers by counting illegals caught at the border, in contrast with the Bush administration which did not count those numbers as deportations. Rep. Goodlatte began his criticism of the Obama record:
The number of deportations from the interior of our country has gone way down under the Obama administration, and that's got to change. There's got to be leadership from the top saying we're going to take seriously the fact that there are these people on the street. They've gone up by 70,000 in the last few years.
Jumping in to defend President Obama, Cuomo related:
The administration says that there have been more deportations under the Obama administration than ever.
Goodlatte challenged President Obama's numbers:
That's not true. First of all, they're counting people that they apprehend at the border and send back immediately. The Bush administration didn't even count those numbers. So about two-thirds of their total number are simply people that come across. They don't go through a deportation process. They're simply sent back. They now count them as a deportation. And if you look at the numbers for the interior of the country, they're down more than 70 percent during the Obama administration. And the number of criminal aliens are up 28 percent.
Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the Wednesday, July 22, New Day on CNN:
JIM STEINLE, FATHER OF HOMICIDE VICTIM KATE STEINLE: Unfortunately, due to disjointed laws and basic confidence on many levels, the U.S. has suffered a self-inflicted wound in the murder of our daughter by the hand of a person that should have never been on the streets of this country.
CHRIS CUOMO; That was Jim Steinle testifying before a Senate committee about his daughter Kate who, of course, was killed on a San Francisco pier earlier this month. Her alleged killer an undocumented immigrant with multiple felonies and had been deported five times. He had been deported five times, was released by local authorities despite a federal request to keep him. Steinle will speak again at a House hearing tomorrow. We expect the same message. The question is: What will it mean? Let's bring in Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte. He's chairman of the judiciary committee which will hear Steinle's testimony. Thank you for joining us. What do you want to see happen?
REP. BOB GOODLATTE (R-VA): Well, I want to see the 276 or so sanctuary cities that have actually taken a public policy to not cooperate with the immigration service to enforce our laws, back away from those policies and encourage their police departments and sheriff's departments to cooperate with the federal government and make sure that we get these criminal aliens -- there are now 350,000 of them that are either under orders of deportation or in a deportation hearing process where they've been released back into the community, and they commit thousands of crimes every year. The sanctuary cities released 8,000 last year, and already they've committed nearly 1,900 new crimes. The federal government, you know, they need the cooperation of the sanctuary cities. But we also mostly need the enforcement of the law by the Obama administration. They released 30,000 criminal aliens last year back onto our streets. It's a very serious problem.
CUOMO: Okay, so let's talk a little bit about why. Okay, you have this problem. I think Jim Steinle said it very well there. There's a lot of problems on a lot of levels. In doing my research, you understand the issue of how sanctuary cities came to be and why very clearly. And it wasn't simply to give a free pass to illegal aliens. The system is broken and you guys down in D.C. have failed to fix it at the federal level. Your committee passed a bill, passed a proposition that would fix the problems with ICE and their communications to localities, and it has gone nowhere for months. So address that part of the problem.
GOODLATTE: Well, we definitely want that bill and several others. Five enforcement bills passed out of the Judiciary Committee and the Homeland Security Committee, we want all of those bills brought to the floor of the House. Were going to bring one bill that addresses part of this problem.
CUOMO: Why hasn't it happened?
GOODLATTE: Well, because there is not consensus here on what to do, but we're pushing hard, and I believe that those bills will come to the floor. But it's also important to stress that if the current laws were enforced, a lot of this problem would be resolved and they're not being enforced. The number of deportations from the interior of our country has gone way down under the Obama administration, and that's got to change. There's got to be leadership from the top saying we're going to take seriously the fact that there are these people on the street. They've gone up by 70,000 in the last few years.
CUOMO: The administration says that there have been more deportations under the Obama administration than ever.
GOODLATTE: That's not true. First of all, they're counting people that they apprehend at the border and send back immediately. The Bush administration didn't even count those numbers. So about two-thirds of their total number are simply people that come across. They don't go through a deportation process. They're simply sent back. They now count them as a deportation. And if you look at the numbers for the interior of the country, they're down more than 70 percent during the Obama administration. And the number of criminal aliens are up 28 percent.
CUOMO: Okay, so let's take your numbers. And I'm not interrupting because I disagree with you. I'm interrupting because I agree with your premise, but I want to get to the process. Sanctuary cities are only a problem to the extent that they are symptomatic of a failure of the system. You know the history of them. I know a lot of people are spreading misinformation and even the phrase sanctuary city, as you know, has a good faith based logic of being misleading. But it hasn't been fixed. Your committee keeps coming up with proposals that should be salable, should be debated, and they don't get debated. Why blame the localities and not look at your brothers and sisters in Congress and say we have failed?
GOODLATTE: Well, first of all, one of the fixes is to cut off funds to cities that are not cooperating with ICE, and that's exactly what happened here-
CUOMO: But it's why they don't cooperate. It's why they don't cooperate. You know that a circuit court has found that the way that ICE asks for people to be held over in localities often doesn't meet Fourth Amendment standards. You know often ICE waits too long and municipalities got sued, and that was the big reason they started passing these local laws.
GOODLATTE: Sure, but if ICE didn't wait too long because the Obama administration said we're going to deal with this -- we have 34,000 beds to hold people for deportation purposes and we're not using all of those beds. If the administration were enforcing the law, we would have less of this problem. And this individual Mr. Sanchez said that he went to San Francisco because he knew it was a sanctuary city where he would be less likely to be picked up. It is not in the interests of local governments to take this posture. And they should cooperate with the federal government and they should make sure that when they have someone who is a criminal illegal alien, that they call somebody and say help us get this person out of our community, not just release them back out on the street.
So, yes. we have bills in the Congress that we want to move forward on -- I'm very anxious to do that -- but also it's important to note that the Obama administration and these cities need to do everything that they can do right now under the law and much of the problem would solved by that. Not all of it, but much of it.
CUOMO: But you know it all emanates from the federal level, and that's where you guys control, and that's the set of fixes we need. Your committee has done it's job. It just hasn't been followed through in Congress, and that's why we're pushing for the progress.
GOODLATTE: We thank you for that, and we want to see those bills go to the floor of the House.
CUOMO: Congressman Goodlatte, stay on it. Please come back and let us know about the progress or lack thereof. Appreciate it.
GOODLATTE: Thanks, Chris.