President Barack Obama wants to alter the U.S. immigration system so that more people can be admitted as citizens, a highly contentious topic for many Americans that set Twitter ablaze when the president essentially said unless you’re a Native American, you’re an immigrant.
While failing to move immigration legislation in his first term, the president did attempt to strengthen the southern border. According to Border Patrol officials, arrests made are also a good proxy for how many people jumped the fence without being apprehended.
Last year, arrests were up 9 percent after years of decline, which can be seen as good news, or bad, if it also means more people entered the country illegally, The Washington Times noted.
Glenn Spencer, head of American Border Patrol -- which is a private, self-appointed watchdog group, not to be confused with the U.S. Border Patrol -- said the the U.S. Border Patrol catches only about 30 percent of illegal entrants. This means, if true, that nearly 800,000 illegal immigrants crossed the American border without being apprehended in 2012.
“In fiscal year 2005 the Border Patrol made 1,1717,396 arrests along the southwest border; it made 1,071,972 arrests in 2006; 858,638 arrests in 2007; 705,005 arrests in 2008; 540,865 in 2009; 447,731 in 2010; and 327,577 in 2011,” The Washington Times said.
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In 2012, the number was 356,873.
But Obama’s camp is taking the recent increase of arrests as a good thing:
“We’ve seen in Fiscal Year 2012 apprehensions totaled nearly 365,000 nationwide; that’s a 50 percent decrease from 2008,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
"Unless you're one of the first Americans, Native Americans, you came from somewhere else; somebody brought you,” Obama said during his immigration speech Tuesday.
This sentence sent many on Twitter into a fluster.
“Well even Native Americans technically came from somewhere else, but it was 16,000 years,” @BuzzFeedAndrew said.
“Referring to the US as a ‘nation of immigrants’ doesn't discount slavery or Native Americans. Our immigration history is defining,” @JustinDJacobson tweeted.
“Also, ‘Native Americans’ aren't a single group. One group of ‘Native Americans’ displaced another, which displaced another. #History,” @sunnyright pointed out.
“Native Americans came from Siberia. Squirrels and mammoths were mad about it,” @NathanWurtzel joked.
“Native Americans A political term. No one knows who first Americans were. No written history,” @TheUSReport stated.
“Needless to say, those of us w/some education know that even 'Native Americans' are immigrants, having come over land bridge from Asia,” @markwonderful wrote.
“I don't know why Americans want immigration control, everyone here, besides Native Americans, doesn't belong here in the first place,” @_FoulOne_ said, agreeing with the president’s statement.