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Thursday, September 4, 2014

THE IMMIGRATION REFORM BLAME GAME: Lying To America Won't Fix The Problem

Op-Ed:  Immigration Blame Game
9/4/2014
Scott Anthony

In the never-ending cycle of Immigration "ping-pong", the game being played between the President of the United States and Congress, Americans are being placed at risk.  Our borders are pretty much fair game for anyone to attempt to cross, be it via Mexico to the South or Canada to the North.  Prior to the 113th Congress Summer Recess, on August 1st, President Obama had some fairly scathing remarks for the Republicans trying to pass a workable Bill on Immigration Reform:

"Let’s just take a recent example:  Immigration.  We all agree that there’s a problem that needs to be solved in a portion of our southern border.  And we even agree on most of the solutions.  But instead of working together -- instead of focusing on the 80 percent where there is agreement between Democrats and Republicans, between the administration and Congress -- House Republicans, as we speak, are trying to pass the most extreme and unworkable versions of a bill that they already know is going nowhere, that can't pass the Senate and that if it were to pass the Senate I would veto.  They know it. "

Further, President Obama made it clear that while he feels his Administration has put forth their best effort to get comprehensive Immigration Reform passed, on August 1, 2014, he went on record lamenting Republicans in both the House and Senate for not being able to work together to pass the much needed legislation that would both free up Federal Dollars to fund programs and resources to tackle the open borders and increased influx of illegal immigrants:

"And so we have a bipartisan bill, Wendell, bipartisan agreement supported by everybody from labor to the evangelical community to law enforcement.  So the argument isn’t between me and the House Republicans.  It’s between the House Republicans and Senate Republicans, and House Republicans and the business community, and House Republicans and the evangelical community.  I’m just one of the people they seem to disagree with on this issue.


So that’s on the comprehensive bill.  So now we have a short-term crisis with respect to the Rio Grande Valley.  They say we need more resources, we need tougher border security in this area where these unaccompanied children are showing up.  We agree.  So we put forward a supplemental to give us the additional resources and funding to do exactly what they say we should be doing, and they can’t pass the bill.  They can’t even pass their own version of the bill.  So that’s not a disagreement between me and the House Republicans; that’s a disagreement between the House Republicans and the House Republicans. "
Mr. Obama was even asked if he should go at it alone, by way of Executive Order, to quell the issues that stem from a border that is too easy to cross, and too expensive to fix.  President Obama stated:
"Well, I’m going to have to act alone because we don’t have enough resources.  We’ve already been very clear -- we’ve run out of money.  And we are going to have to reallocate resources in order to just make sure that some of the basic functions that have to take place down there -- whether it’s making sure that these children are properly housed, or making sure we’ve got enough immigration judges to process their cases  -- that those things get done.  We’re going to have to reallocate some resources.
But the broader point.. is that if, in fact, House Republicans are concerned about me acting independently of Congress -- despite the fact that I’ve taken fewer executive actions than my Republican predecessor or my Democratic predecessor before that, or the Republican predecessor before that -- then the easiest way to solve it is passing legislation. Get things done."
Let me be clear;  I am not a loyalist to Republicans.  Nor am I a loyalist to Democrats.  In actuality, I personally don't care what Party passes a particular Bill.  What I do care about, is that action is taken when there is a serious crisis happening in the United States.  Preferably, it would be best if the States that are directly affected had the resources or autonomy to tackle the issues alone, without Federal Government oversight or appropriations.  However, in the world we live in, the Federal Government simply has too much reach;  much of the lands upon which illegal immigrants pass through is controlled by the Department of the Interior.  Even if it isn't "Federal Land" there remains the issue of who has jurisdictional rights to control the problem;  is it a Department of Homeland Security issue, or is it a Texas Rangers issue for example.   Its safe to say, there are simply too many Federal Agencies that have a stake or at the very least, jurisdiction over illegal border crossings, so the argument isn't even worth discussing at the moment.
However, one should take notice when the President, by way of his words, on record, states that certain elected officials are not working on the problem of Immigration and Border Security.  In this case, House and Senate Republicans.  Like a broken record, we hear the same mantra over and over again;  " I have tried, but the Republicans won't work with us."  How many times have we heard a statement like this?  And not just on Immigration, but nearly every major issue this Administration has tried to pass, adjust, amend or throw out.  There's no doubt that when a President and Congress of opposing parties clash, little gets accomplished.  But when President Obama campaigned, he was on a platform of Hope and Change.  Have we really received that Hope, or that Change?
More disturbing, is when opposition gets so bad, that the President stoops to the level of a schoolyard fight; as if he is being bullied and picked on by the older kids on the playground.  It's coming down to a "he said / she said" petty war of words, and little is getting done.  But don't lie to the American public Mr. President, because in the long-run, that is a tactic that is beneath the level of your Office.
As President, you do NOT have to like a Bill.  You also do NOT have to pass it.  That is well within the scope of your authority.  You can veto a bill and there is no shame in that.  No one is saying that being a Democratic President with a Republican controlled House is easy, and maybe it's simply taken too large a toll on you; mentally and physically.  It's understandable.  But please do not lie and tell the American public that Congress, or rather, House Republicans will not provide you with a Bill that will provide funds and an interim solution to our Border and Immigration Crisis.
House Republicans, in less than three days, were able to draft, put the bill before the Appropriations Committee and get a vote to pass H.R. 5230, which would provide the necessary funds and personnel to accomplish the immediate crisis.  To play the "blame-game" right before Congressional Recess, forcing your hand into Executive Order territory is petty.  As President, you do have influence.  The only thing stopping a comprehensive Bill on Immigration was in actuality, Democratic Senators leaving for the summer, and your ultimate threat of a Veto.  And while on August 1st, you stated that House Republicans couldn't even pass their own version of the Bill, the truth of the matter is, they did.
September is here... school is back in session.  Can we get back to business, roll up our sleeves, stop the petty finger-pointing, and fix the issue of Immigration and Border Security once and for all? 
House of Representatives Bill (H.R. 5230):  Secure the Southwest Border Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2014 

Related article: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsmax-Tv/Ted-Poe-Immigration-Bill-House-Senate/2014/08/28/id/591411/