Obama Finally Visits U.S.-Mexico Border

Posted: May 10, 2011 4:22 PM
President Obama laid out his plan for amnesty comprehensive immigration reform today in El Paso, Texas, saying illegal immigrants make good democrat voters immigrants are the way to expand the middle class, make America more competitive on a global level and said immigration reform is an economic imperative, which it is considering illegal immigration costs Arizona and California over $12 billion per year.

The President did what was expected by lumping all immigrants together and failed to distinguish the difference between the two, in fact, Obama went out of his way to make sure Americans believed their was no difference as he referenced immigrants from different countries coming to America and seeing Lady Liberty.

It was a reminder of a simple idea, as old as America itself. E pluribus, unum. Out of many, one. We define ourselves as a nation of immigrants – a nation that welcomes those willing to embrace America’s precepts. That’s why millions of people, ancestors to most of us, braved hardship and great risk to come here – so they could be free to work and worship and live their lives in peace. The Asian immigrants who made their way to California’s Angel Island. The Germans and Scandinavians who settled across the Midwest. The waves of the Irish, Italian, Polish, Russian, and Jewish immigrants who leaned against the railing to catch that first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.

And I think of the naturalization ceremonies we’ve held at the White House for members of the military, which have been so inspiring. 

President Obama said the fence was now "basically complete." This declaration is completely false. The fence along the southern border in total equals 670 miles. The entire southern border is 2000 miles long, which is nowhere near, "basically complete." On top of a meager border fence, the February 2011, Government Accountability Office report shows "1120 southwest border miles have not yet achieved operational control." Also, according to Sheriffs working and living on the U.S.-Mexico border, Obama's assertion that his administration has done it's part to enforce the border is laughable.

Well, over the past two years we have answered those concerns.  Under Secretary Napolitano’s leadership, we have strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible.   They wanted more agents on the border. Well, we now have more boots on the ground on the southwest border than at any time in our history.  The Border Patrol has 20,000 agents – more than twice as many as there were in 2004, a build up that began under President Bush and that we have continued. 

They wanted a fence. Well, that fence is now basically complete. 

So, we have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement.

Obama took credit for confiscating 64 percent more weapons than ever before. Well, that's what happens when the federal government sends thousands of guns into Mexico in the first place through Operation Fast and Furious under the Obama Justice Department and ATF, of course it becomes easier to confiscate more guns when you put more into an area to begin with.

Obama also called again for the passing of the DREAM Act which failed in the Senate during the previous lame duck session. As a refresher, the DREAM Act if passed would allow children of illegal immigrants to gain citizenship if they go to college or join the military. Or as Obama put it, "Stop punishing children for their parents' mistakes."

Obama asked both sides to avoid playing politics with the issue in order to get to the next election, which was ironic considering the odds of completing immigration reform in the short time remaining during his first term are slim, making his speech today look solely like a political move.

That’s one reason it’s been so difficult to reform our broken immigration system.  When an issue is this complex and raises such strong feelings, it’s easier for politicians to defer the problem until after the next election.  And there’s always a next election. So we’ve seen a lot blame and politics and ugly rhetoric.  We’ve seen good faith efforts – from leaders of both parties – fall prey to the usual Washington games. 

On another note, Obama asked the audience if he needed to build a moat on the border to make republicans happy. There is already a moat on the border Mr. President, it's called the Rio Grande. This was the first visit by Obama to the U.S.-Mexico border despite being invited numerous times by local officials in border states to do so.