As part of his argument against the Senate “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) claimed Friday that “virtually no one is being deported” from the United States.
“We’re at a condition today where nobody is being deported,” Sessions said on the Senate floor, and later added that “The federal government has reached a point now where virtually no one is being deported except those being convicted of serious crimes.”
In reality, deportation is actually at a record high. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reportedly removed 409,849 individuals from the country in 2012.
For perspective, that number roughly equals one tenth of the population in Senator Sessions’ home state. This, he argues, is “virtually nothing.”
A spokesman for Sessions later confirmed to The Huffington Post that the senator disputes the ICE’s reported numbers, which he believes have been manipulated to make the border appear more secure than it actually is.
Yet Sessions does not dispute that there actually is a number. For his statement to be correct, it would have to be completely nonexistent.
Truther conspiracy theories aside, Sessions actually has a fairly extensive history of accused racial insensitivity. Past charges include referring to the NAACP as an “un-American” group that “forced civil rights down the throats of people,” and saying that he thought members of the Ku Klux Klan “were okay until I learned they smoked pot.”