Kevin Drum thoughtfully critiques my Deportation Index.  But first, he makes my numbers look pretty:


His critique begins with some some data I didn’t know about.

The next step is to calculate this as a percentage of the number of illegal immigrants in the country each year. Here it is:

His punchline:

This is approximate, since the total population of illegal immigrants is
a little fuzzy before 2000. But it’s close enough. Obama still has a
higher removal rate and a lower index rate than any other president, but
the winner for the title of Deporter-in-Chief is…Ronald Reagan. Every
president since then has been successively more tolerant of a large
undocumented population.

It’s a thought-provoking point.  For the typical immigrant, justified fear of deportation peaked under Reagan, then almost continuously declined.  But when we’re playing Lord Acton (“Suffer no man and no cause to escape the undying penalty which history
has the power to inflict on wrong”), does it make sense to adjust for the population of potential victims?  Or should we just count the victims?  I honestly don’t know.