Among late-night TV hosts, there aren’t many bigger fans of President Obama than Samantha Bee; that’s one of the few things she and Republicans would agree on. So it’s a bit surprising that Bee dedicated part of her second-to-last Full Frontal episode of Barack Obama’s presidency to pointing out one of the most inconsistent and cruel policies he has enacted.
On Wednesday night’s show, Bee called out President Obama’s deportation policies, specifically toward nonviolent criminals.
“I’m getting nostalgic,” she told a former immigration judge who had just informed her that Obama has deported millions of people since becoming president. “This is the last time I’ll be able to criticize Obama on my show. It’s also the first time.”
Obama has set deportation records; according to ABC News, his administration has deported around 2.5 million people from 2009 to 2015, while President George W. Bush’s administration deported just over 2 million people in his two terms. (The statistics for 2016 aren’t available yet.)
Bee pointed out that Obama ran on a platform where he said he wanted to deport “gangbangers,” violent criminals, and people hurting their community. But she explained that in practice, that aim has morphed into deporting people with criminal records.
Bee introduced a woman named Lundy, a taxpaying legal permanent resident with an American husband and child (and cute puppies!), who was caught with ecstasy after a party during her college years. Though she served time in prison and reenrolled in college, Lundy is now being deported because of Obama’s policy to deport criminal aliens.
“Are stories like Lundy’s an anomaly, or are they very common?” she asked former immigration judge Bruce Einhorn.
“Very common,” he replied. “The term ‘criminal alien’ doesn’t just cover the violent or drug-trafficking types. That includes minor offenses like possession of controlled substances.”
Bee spent the rest of the segment asking Obama for a presidential pardon for Lundy, but also pointing out how his policy might get worse under a Trump presidency.
“Trump’s considering deporting more than just the convicted,” she explains, before showing segments of the Trump administration promising to broaden the already seemingly broad definition of criminal to include the accused and suspected. “Pre-crime! What could go wrong?”