Mr. Obama speaks of embracing immigrants but has deported nearly two million of them. He and Ms. Napolitano, who left office last week, always said they were focused on catching dangerous criminals, but they cast a wide net that has fallen hard on day laborers, carwash employees, farm workers and others who pose no threat. A wiser nation would have long ago reset the dials on this system. But instead it is set to expel and repel. The economy depends on the labor of millions of people who want to work legally and aspire to become full Americans. Instead they become fugitives and deportees. They languish in detention centers. They die in the Arizona borderlands. They work until they are caught and disposed of. Anti-immigrant forces call this “attrition,” the slow expulsion of 11 million people through the steady accumulation of arrests.

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