Today, in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, DHS Secretary Napolitano answered a query from Senator Grassley to the effect that this administration granted fewer deferred actions in the past year than the Bush administration did in its last year.  Deferred action:  that would be the legal amelioration of harsh results that is in the agency’s and administration’s discretion for many deserving cases.

Seems she was proud of this stinginess.  Just like the pride DHS takes in removing more people than did the Bush administration.

For a member of the cabinet of a President who has touted comprehensive immigration reform and spoken eloquently of the contributions of immigrants in American history and culture, these seem like strange accomplishments in which to take pride.

Does the administration think that tougher-than-thou will win over the hearts and minds of the “enforcement first” crowd to the importance of positive reform?  Surely they’ve learned otherwise by now.  That it will win the hearts and minds of the vast American middle?  Polls show that the middle is already there and supports the key elements of positive reform.  As a means to reform, none of this makes sense.

By the administration’s actions, and lack of action, many are concluding that expansive enforcement/little compassion are what this administration really thinks about immigration.  If that’s not the administration’s view, it is time for the administration to find the will and backbone to bring about change through means the law provides, and to generously and without embarrassment grant administrative relief to those who are deserving and eligible.  If it is their view that expanded enforcement and little compassion is the answer to America’s immigration questions, then come clean and just say so and we can all respond appropriately from there.  But this trying to placate the non-placate-able is no way to run an immigration policy.