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Despite widespread wildfires and pressing border concerns, President Obama's visit to Texas yesterday largely revolved around his own 'grand vision' for comprehensive immigration reform.
Regardless of the fact that over 445,000 people illegally entered the US in 2010 by way of the country's southern border (thousands of miles of which remains open and unprotected) the President used the majority of his time in Texas to garner support for his revamped citizenship proposal (and of course his 2012 reelection campaign). And rather than address security gaps along the border, during his speech in El Paso the President instead chose to mockingly attack the GOP's concerns:
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. But even though we’ve answered these concerns, I suspect there will be those who will try to move the goal posts one more time. They’ll say we need to triple the border patrol. Or quadruple the border patrol. They’ll say we need a higher fence to support reform. Maybe they’ll say we need a moat. Or alligators in the moat. They’ll never be satisfied. And I understand that. That’s politics.
With Senate Democrats preparing to reintroduce the DREAM Act (which would give legal status to some illegal immigrants who came into the United States as children) on the heels of the President's remarks, here's a look at what a number of border state Republicans had to say about yesterday's speech, and the administration's continued preference for political games over securing the southern border:
In a statement expressing his frustration and disappointment with the President's political manipulation of issues like immigration and border security, Freshman Congressman Ben Quayle commented:
Much like his deficit speech last month, President Obama’s immigration speechmwas driven by politics and politics alone. Instead of real solutions and reforms, the President offered finger pointing and spin. He even claimed that the border fence between the United States and Mexico is ‘basically complete.’ That assertion couldn’t be further removed from reality.
@GovBrewer: I’m afraid Obama's announcement is more of the "promise something, do nothing, blame someone" spin we're accustomed to hearing from DC
Senator David Vitter offered his views via his congressional website, noting that:
If President Obama and Sen. Reid are serious about immigration reform, amnesty needs to be completely removed from the debate. Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly rejected amnesty in 2007 and the DREAM Act last year, and I’ll most certainly continue to oppose amnesty in any form, especially while our borders are not secure...There are literally online donation campaigns to raise money to complete the border fences because of the lack of action from the federal government. Americans shouldn’t have to pass the hat to pay for the border security this administration is refusing to provide.
Prior to the President's speech, Senator Jon Cornyn said of the administration's position on immigration:
It’s disappointing that the only time border security and immigration reform get President Obama’s attention is when he is campaigning. The bottom line is that nothing President Obama says, or where he says it, can change the fact that he failed to deliver on his promise to make immigration reform a priority during his first year in office.
Ahead of this morning's Homeland Security subcommittee hearing on border security, Congressman Michael McHaul stressed that:
The President is not giving the American people a complete picture of security on our border with Mexico...The data on spillover crime and violence is deceiving and underreported. While we have more resources, the border is more dangerous...Before we start talking about reforming our immigration policy we need to prioritize our national security and gain operational control of the border. Despite the President’s rhetoric that he has gone ‘above and beyond’ to secure the border, this mission is not accomplished. The President can start by extending the deployment of National Guardtroops beyond June 30 and increase their numbers and authority.