With hopes for amnesty fading there is no good reason for the Obama administration to continue pandering to conservatives with promises of a border control policy that will finally, once and for all, secure our southwest boundary with Mexico. Instead, we are going to go back to what the president’s party has wanted all along, legalization with the most feeble of nods to border control.
No-deportation policy makes border control impossible.
For all the fear mongering over Ukraine, we don’t seem very concerned about the sustained effort by our government to hand over the United States to our south of the border neighbor. Government figures should be enough to prove that illegal immigrants coming from Mexico and South America are a cost, not an economic boost (see: Save Our Nation’s Future: Deport Unskilled Illegals), but we keep hearing that legalization is vital to the economy.
During a recent White House press conference the administration gave the impression that border control policy is central to immigration enforcement:
What remains the case — because we have obviously priorities when it comes to enforcement; they are border security and they are public safety. And on the public safety end, that means making sure that we are using the resources we have, when it comes to enforcement, on ensuring that those with criminal records, convictions, are made a priority when it comes to detainment and deportation.1
In truth, the no-deportation policy is one of the things that make border enforcement impossible. How could we come up with a more powerful lure to come to America than promising illegals we will pay them at least minimum wage, educate their kids, and stop them from being deported until we pass a legalization bill?
The growth in the Hispanic population, legal and illegal, isn’t lost on members of Congress. Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez used Latinos as a threat as part of his immigration reform campaign:
The truth is, we’re growing everywhere. One-quarter of the children in America are Latino. 500,000 Latinos turn 18 and become eligible to vote every year. More than 50 million Latinos live in America. Most of us are citizens. 50 million is a lot of people to keep track of.
Especially if you want to offend each and every one of us.2
The law only requires us to offend Latinos who are here illegally, but our government is not even doing that. Could we keep them out if we wanted to?
New report: what is it with Homeland Security and border control technology?
Homeland Security’s endorsement of the Obama administration’s immigration agenda aside, if we are serious about using technology to enforce U.S. border control policy we might want to consider handing the job to another agency. The financial losses from SBInet (see: SBInet: Homeland Security’s Lesson in Denial) must not have been enough to raise a red flag, because we are venturing down the same road again with the TECS system:
“According to CBP, it [TECS] is one of the largest, most important law enforcement systems currently in use, and is the primary system available to CBP officers and agents from other departments for use in determining the admissibility of persons wishing to enter the country.”3
A new GAO report delivered the bad news about efforts to upgrade TECS “obsolete technology”:4
In conclusion, after spending nearly a quarter billion dollars and over 4 years on its two TECS Mod programs, it remains unclear when DHS will deliver them and at what cost.”5
If technology is a problem we could just build the border fence lawmakers keep talking about. Unfortunately, there is now a move to separate legalization and citizenship from border enforcement.
Why don’t Democrats care about border control policy?
Democrats unhappy about immigration reform proposals that include “border security triggers”6 have a plan that separates border control policy from legalization. Last week’s press release from Texas Congressman Filemon Vela opposed border control strategies as part of immigration reform and made it clear that citizenship comes first:
H.R. 3163, a bill introduced by Congressman Raúl Grijalva and myself, provides a full pathway to citizenship without border security triggers. Tying a pathway to citizenship to border security metrics sets immigration reform legislation up to fail.7
Vela emphasized the importance of Mexico addressing its socioeconomic problems. The U.S. is already lending a helping hand, or at least helping out those who are here because of our failures at the Southwest border. It is delusional to think that providing a path to citizenship without effective border control will result in anything but a greater illegal immigrant problem, but enticing as many to come here as possible seems to have been the goal all along.