Pres. Obama definitely blinked today in the face-off between pro-enforcement and pro-amnesty Americans.
His announcement of sending 1,200 National Guard troops to the border and asking for an extra half-billion dollars for border security shows that he and his advisors are acknowledging that most Americans sided with Arizona Gov. Brewer and against the Obama Administration in regards to the new Arizona enforcement law.
HERE IS WHY OBAMA'S PROPOSAL DOESN'T WORK
"Twelve hundred National Guard! 1,200! I'm mean really, are you kidding me, 1,200?" is what Rosemary Jenks (NumbersUSA Director of Government Relations) kept yelling in the phone at me a few minutes ago.
"Are you saying that 1,200 is really a good-faith effort," I asked, not really sure what form of sarcasm I was going to get back.
Rosemary put things immediately into perspective: "Do you understand that we currently have 20,000 Border Patrol, and they aren't coming close to keeping the borders secure? What is a mere placement of 1,200 National Guard troops going to do, especially since they can only provide a support function?"
As somebody who is in regular contact with Border Patrol agents and other officials on the border, Rosemary agrees with those who say that under all other current conditions and policies, it would take thousands of National Guard troops to make a difference.
Nice try, Mr. President, but your attempt at a big announcement to take the heat off the incompetence of your Administration isn't nearly enough.
WHAT PRES. OBAMA REALLY NEEDS TO DO
If the President really wants to secure the borders and stop illegal workers, drug runners, slave caravans, international crime syndicates and terrorists from crossing our borders in large numbers, these are what he should do:
- Allow the 20,000 current Border Patrol agents to do their jobs the way the law prescribes. Stop managers from blocking the agents at every turn. And provide leadership that encourages aggressive performance of enforcement duties. This is the fourth Administration in a row that has insisted that the agents do their jobs in figurative handcuffs.
- Spend the border security and immigration enforcement money that already is in the budget for the things intended. Rosemary isn't sure that DHS needs another half billion dollars. What it needs is for DHS Chief Napolitano to stop diverting enforcement funds for other uses or ineffective uses. Spend the money on tough enforcement.
- Throw all of the Administration's legislative muscle into passing the SAVE Act, which not only would provide beefed up border and interior enforcement but would begin turning off the jobs magnet almost immediately. Without the promise of jobs in this country, the flow of illegal aliens across the border would dry up to a trickle of its current level and make it possible for the current Border Patrol to provide wonderful security for the country.
- Pass the amendment (SA 4177) to the Emergency Supplemental bill as proposed by Sen. DeMint (R-S.C.). It would require the Administration to finish the more than half of the 700 miles of reinforced fencing that the Administration has refused to build but which is required by previous law.
Rosemary stakes the claim that "there is no question that 20,000 Border Patrol agents could secure the border if we unhandcuffed them, told them to do their jobs and we implemented the SAVE Act. "
SYMBOLIC VICTORY FOR PRO-ENFORCEMENT AMERICANS
Nonetheless, it was quite a victory for most Americans today as Pres. Obama spent more time talking about enforcement against illegal immigration than his commitment to rewarding illegal immigration.
This was an especially tough swipe at DHS Chief Napolitano who has been bragging that her Border Patrol has the borders under control and that she is scaling back recruitment because she has plenty of agents already to do the job.
She, the President and the Attorney General have made very public stands against the new Arizona immigration law, but polls show most Americans strongly support that law.
You can be sure that the President's announcements today are a reflection that White House advisors know just how badly the immigration issue is hurting Obama and the chances for vulnerable Democrats to hold on to their seats this fall.
This has happened in part because of constant constituency protest against the open-borders rhetoric of the Administration. Now, Americans need to let federal leaders know that they will not be silenced by virtually empty public relations gestures.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA