Why the ‘border security’ excuse is such a fraud

Border Fence DonationsThe GOP line on comprehensive immigration reform has long been that border security and enforcement must come first. In his re-election announcement this week, Sen. Johnny Isakson repeated that litany in criticizing President Obama’s intention to accomplish what he can through executive action:

The American people have spoken out loud and clear. They want security first. They don’t want amnesty. And they don’t want open borders. And I think it would be a tragic mistake for the president to make. And it would really divide Washington. And divide America.”

Set aside for the moment the argument about Obama’s executive action: On the merits of the case, Iskason is flat-out and demonstrably wrong on every point that he attempts to make. For example, he claims that “the American people have spoken out loud and clear” against what he calls amnesty, yet poll after poll after poll document the fact that the American people support a path to legalization, and by a significant majority.

Here’s how a new poll from the Wall Street Journal/NBC put the question:

pathwayContrary to Isakson’s claim, 74 percent favor a pathway to citizenship as long as it includes certain requirements. As it happens, those very requirements — back taxes, fines, background check — were included in S. 744, the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate in 2013 that the House refuses to even vote upon. In addition to the steps listed in the poll question, the Senate bill requires that applicants for legal status have jobs that pay above the poverty level, and that they prove that they are taking English lessons and lessons in American history or civics.

Isakson voted against that bill.

Let’s also address his rhetoric about “open borders.” Here is what Isakson and most of his fellow Republicans in the Senate voted AGAINST when they voted against S. 744; here is what House Republicans refuse to vote on at all:

— S. 744 would literally double the size of the Border Patrol, from the current 19,200 to 38,400.

— It would finance the construction of more than 700 miles of additional fencing along the southwest border.

— Adding up all the projects detailed specifically in the bill, it would finance another 85 border observation towers, 488 fixed 24-hour video surveillance systems, 232 mobile video surveillance systems, 4,595 ground and infrared sensors, and 820 handheld infrared and night-vision systems, plus thousands of other border-enforcement tools such as radiation sensors, license-plate readers, etc..

— It would also purchase almost 50 helicopters, 30 boats, four drones and six VADER ground-radar systems “to detect and follow people traveling on foot, as well as moving land vehicles” and “for persistent reconnaissance, surveillance, tracking, and targeting of evasive vehicles and people moving on foot in cluttered environments.” Two such systems are currently deployed in Afghanistan to detect guerrillas planting improvised explosive devices.

— To the consternation of liberals, it would give the secretary of Homeland Security the right to waive any federal law, including the Endangered Species Act and other environmental laws, that might interfere with fence construction.

— It would allocate $750 million to upgrade the E-verify system. Once the upgrade was completed, employers would be mandated to use the upgraded system to verify that a person is legally eligible for work.

— It would hire additional judges, attorneys and other personnel to process deportations much more quickly.

— It would mandate “fraud-resistant, tamper-resistant, wear-resistant, and identity-theft resistant Social Security cards.”

— It would require Homeland Security to identify, track and remove at least 90 percent of visitors who overstay their visas by more than 180 days.

— And in most cases, illegal immigrants could not become lawful permanent residents and begin the process toward citizenship until the doubling of the Border Patrol has been completed, the E-Verify system is fully functional and mandatory, the technology listed above has been implemented and is certified operational, and an electronic system is in place so we know whether those on visas have outstayed their legal welcome. In short, enforcement first.

All in all, the bill commits almost $50 billion in new spending, plus revenue from immigration-related fees and fines, for additional border security over the next decade. Given that the total annual budget for the Border Patrol is $3.5 billion — an amount that has more than tripled since 2000 — that’s an extraordinary amount of money to throw at the problem. Republicans supposedly obsessed about border security could have all that and probably more within a week or less if they were willing to compromise, but they cannot bring themselves to do so.

In fact, there’s a very real question of whether so much money can be spent efficiently in such a relatively short amount of time, but to be frank, those drafting the Senate bill weren’t really looking at efficiency. They wanted to err on the side of excess, so that nobody looking at the bill could reasonably claim that it wasn’t taking border control seriously.

But as we’ve seen, that excess has done nothing to stop the critics from mindless rhetoric about “open borders,” etc. It’s an excuse for inaction, not the reason for inaction. And they will cling to that excuse no matter what.

 

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1157 comments
PudHead
PudHead

Funny how all countries except us know how to protect their borders…..hmmmm

PudHead
PudHead

Yep Jay you and your liberal anarchist are so right, we don’t need and border security. No wall, no deportations, we all really want to drag our economy into the dirt.

Yet we are willing to send our troops to war to protect other people’s borders…

One you loser liberals please tell me why our federal government does not want to do one of its PRIMARY jobs and protect OUR borders, then we can help others with theirs….

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

All I can say is, now that this path has been opened as wide as it is, there is huge opportunity for the next GOP president to do a number of actions (Kyle has some good example). Of course when that happens the Democrats will be just as supportive of using EO. Karma, its a wonderful thing...

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

I am only now beginning to appreciate the bind into which the President has forced the republican party.  Their options now seem to be very limited.

What they can't do:

   Impeach - the voters would destroy them in the next election cycle

     Sue - There's no grounds

     Pass a Republican Immigration Bill - the Tea party won't let them

What they CAN do:

     Craft a bipartisan immigration bill - yeah, right

     Craft a "cancel Obama's actions" bill, or a "border security only" bill - it will be difficult to do this and not be seen as      "the bad guys" vs. Obama's "good/nice" guy.

     Whine and rail to the base, promise to do something, and fail to follow through - this seems the most likely course.

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@Nick_Danger yup, too bad  he didn't do this in say January . . . but they were apparently worried about Democrats losing seats in an election year. LOL.

Paul42
Paul42

This was farther down than many would scroll, so I'm reposting it as I think it illustrates how the right sees Pres Obama's EOs on immigration as different from the EOs on immigration from Presidents Reagan and Bush.

Paul42 Are any executive orders legal?
Captain Obvious;  Yes.  Any more stupid questions? Paul42:  So why is this situation different from other EOs wherein Republicans have stated any action he would take would be illegal?Captain Obvious:  Because their actions fixed parts of laws recently passed that were flawed. In short, Congress didn't do their due diligence in predicting what would happen when implemented.

Obama's executive actions IGNORE existing law and shape it to what he wants.

         Paul 42:  That's the standard line being promulgated and I think it's seriously lacking because:
the executive took action to create/amend/fill in legislation that wasn't in the original law.

In short, he (Reagan/Bush, added)  created new law, based on what he thought it should be.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Don't know about the mooslim things but other than that, dead on.

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

@Paul42 Great analysis, but you forgot that Obama is a mooslim socialist, heck-bent on destroying the country...

Paul42
Paul42

@Philo_Farnsworth

Why, thank you, Philo!  Good to see you understand how the convoluted explanation of how Reagan's and Bush's actions were 'different' are bogus!

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

Following Obama's message on immigration...


Dow in record territory (again) this am.


Thank you for cleaning up the crap you inherited, Obama!

Paul42
Paul42

(Waiting as he searches Google...)

Paul42
Paul42

@SimpleTruths

You do?  Okay.  Care to explain it, or would you rather be simple and respond with something along the lines of 'do your own research"?

SimpleTruths
SimpleTruths

@Paul42 @SimpleTruths Correlation does not imply causation is a phrase in science and statistics that emphasizes that a correlation between two variables does not necessarily imply that one causes the other.

Paul42
Paul42

@SimpleTruths

Yep, right out of Google hits.


Repeating something does not demonstrate understanding it.

The salient point here, though, is that if one is going to blame Obama for falling stocks, inadequate employment numbers, etc. then one should also credit him when the reverse occurs.

But, consistency has never been a strong suit for many.

SimpleTruths
SimpleTruths

@Paul42 @SimpleTruths Well, prove that the stock market is higher this morning because of the President's speech last night.  Prove that is the cause.

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

@Paul42 @SimpleTruths To quote a couple lines from 'A Fish Called Wanda' 


'Otto: Apes don't read philosophy.

Wanda: Yes, they do Otto, they just don't understand it. Now let me correct you on a couple of things here. Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not 'every man for himself,' and the London Underground is not a political movement.'


Paul42
Paul42

@SimpleTruths


That question well illustrates you have no concept of the stat principles you're citing.

SimpleTruths
SimpleTruths

The President gave a speech.


The sun still rose today.

Libs and Cons are still fighting here.


Not much changed.

skydog12
skydog12

I guess they will let cons in Phillips Arena Saturday night?


Why would they WANT to go?


*****************************


The God that I believe in doesn’t believe in bombing, and the Allah that I respect for Muslims doesn’t believe in terrorizing innocent people.


Politics is another topic Wonder doesn’t shy away from. And for the most part, Wonder thinks the world of social relations, geo-politics and governance should revolve around love and understanding. Speaking of (what some interpret as) the extreme xenophobia of the American Tea Party, Wonder said:

No Tea Party — I don’t care. You want to be a supremacist? Then be the supreme of getting people together.

He regularly speaks out against America’s wars and his sentiments might best be summed up by the lyrics of his hit song, “Higher Ground,” where he sings:

Soldiers keep on warrin’…/Powers keep on lyin’/While your people keep on dyin’.7

But despite his high-minded, transcendental political stances, Wonder is a Democrat at the end of the day. His financial political donations have all been to Democrats or their support organizations8 and he’s endorsed various Democratic candidates including Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, and his 2012 campaign. For example, in 2008, Wonder played the Democratic National Convention9 and in 2012, Wonder played an Obama benefit concert, with tickets starting at $44 a piece.

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

It's just a good thing there are no racists in the GOP because then it could really get nasty.

Paul42
Paul42

@Numbers_R_Us

I'm all out of Bosch's screen cleaner and I'm in desperate need of some right now - 

CommonSenseisntCommon
CommonSenseisntCommon

Amendment XIVSection 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Never did quite figure this out did ya?

WoodstockMike
WoodstockMike

Don't liberals always poke fun at the crazy religious right??


Here's Obama from last night...


“Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger—we were strangers once, too,” Obama added, quoting Exodus. “My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants We were strangers once, too.”

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

@WoodstockMike "Don't liberals always poke fun at the crazy religious right??"  No.  However, I have observed many Democrats making fun of some from the religious right for their blatant abuse of scripture.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@WoodstockMike "Don't liberals always poke fun at the crazy religious right??"


Not always.


At any rate, the President would be exemplifying the religious *left* in the case you cited.  Feel free to ask for help if you can't tell your left from your right.


JoeBobJoe
JoeBobJoe

How low will odumba go.  Quoting scripture to justify granting amnesty.  Jimmy Carter thanks you,  for now you can be noted as the worst president.

WoodstockMike
WoodstockMike

This president is going down as one of the worst leaders in world history.  It's astonishing even any liberal shows support.  I tell ya, these Democrat politicians are running and hiding from Obama...

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@WoodstockMike he's been going down as one of the worst for 6 years . . . yet he still got reelected. imagine.


and the democrats who ran from him last election . . .how'd that work out for them?

Philosopher1280
Philosopher1280

@WoodstockMike Yeah, yeah, yeah-now there will be millions fewer fruit-picking, house cleaning, yard mowing jobs for all those White Americans clamoring for them.