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Section A: General News


Editorial:Obama’s man-caused disaster




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Guest Editorial
July 23, 2014 | 2,710 views | 9 comments

By Rich Lowry

As a defender of the nation’s borders, President Barack Obama is a hell of a pool player. Obama’s recent game in a Denver bar with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper was bright and cheery, as one would expect of a president who didn’t have any depressing visits to frightened ranchers, overwhelmed border agents, or desperate migrants on his future itinerary.

The first rule in a crisis for any executive is put on his windbreaker and boots and get out on the ground. President George W. Bush didn’t do it soon enough after Hurricane Katrina and, politically, could never make up for it, no matter how many times he visited New Orleans. Obama’s bizarre resistance to visiting the border on his fund-raising swing out West fueled talk of the influx as Obama’s “Katrina moment.”

The Katrina analogy is over the top because the border influx isn’t a deadly catastrophe swallowing an American city. It also is too generous because Bush didn’t do anything to bring on Hurricane Katrina, whereas Obama’s policies are responsible for the influx of immigrants. It is, in the argot of his administration, a “man-caused disaster.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, the number of immigrants younger than 18 who were deported or turned away from ports of entry declined from 8,143 in 2008 to 1,669 last year. There were 95 minors deported from the entire interior of the country last year. At the same time, the number of unaccompanied alien children arriving from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras exploded from less than 4,000 several years ago to 40,000 since last October.

The White House brushes off criticism that Obama is avoiding the border as mere “optics,” in contrast to its highly substantive focus. But it is still not taking the crisis seriously. The nearly $4 billion the president is requesting is not fundamentally about enforcement that will reverse and end the tide, but about managing the influx.

A devastating critique by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) notes that about half of the money goes to the Department of Health and Human Services “for acquisition, construction, improvement, repair, operation, and maintenance of real property and facilities.” The enforcement portion of the request, according to CIS, “is not truly geared toward removal,” but instead to “recouping costs for temporary detention and subsequent transporting of aliens.”

The administration’s reaction to the crisis is just another in a long series of acts of bad faith on immigration. It is asking Congress for more money for its priorities at the same time the president is promising, in effect, to suspend yet more immigration laws in response to the failure of “comprehensive immigration reform.”

Republicans in Congress should crumple up the president’s border request in a ball and start over, with an emphasis on holding migrants near the border and working through their cases quickly to address the short-term crisis, and provisions for interior enforcement to address illegal immigration more broadly.

Of course, even if such a bill were to pass and to be signed into law, that’d be no guarantee that the president of the United States would enforce it. That speaks to an entirely different man-caused disaster.

Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
July 28, 2014 3:51pm
 
How does a incompetent person get elected to the highest office in the nation and then get elected again after demonstrating his abilities and policies for four years ? It can't be the voters ... More ›

 
Bob Pritts  
St Hedwig, TX  
July 28, 2014 2:10pm
 
Correction, My last post should have read 'INcompetent'! Probably should have been in all caps.

 
Bob Pritts  
St Hedwig, TX  
July 28, 2014 1:59pm
 
New Guy, Maybe they are all going to Martha's Vineyard with our empty suit, imcompetent president to eat ice cream and play golf for a month or so.

 
New Guy  
Wilson County  
July 28, 2014 8:53am
 
So, how is the Congress dealing with the border problem? Going on their summer break, glass house?

 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
July 23, 2014 5:36pm
 
Rich Lowry is a good addition!

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
July 23, 2014 12:39pm
 
Yep, good luck on moving a wagon with broken wheels. Wheel one..... Chamber of Commerce. Wheel two..... Churches Wheel three... La Raza Wheel four ... Democrat and Republican Party Wheel Supplier... US Department of ... More ›

 
Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
July 23, 2014 12:09pm
 
I suppose that anyone capable of logical thinking will certainly know that the immigration policies of many previous administrations have allowed breaches of the immigration law. That is history. What a thinker who loves the ... More ›

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
July 23, 2014 10:41am
 
When you finally decide to repair a bucket full of holes, assign that task to the one who made the last hole. All the rest who started the leaks and neglected their their duty over the years now have clean ... More ›

 
Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
July 23, 2014 10:10am
 
The guts required to crumple up a request from Obama seems to be beyond the Republicans, most of them anyway, and certainly beyond their leadership. Until the Republican party can rid themselves of current leadership and appoint ... More ›

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