Hey look! The Democrats in Congress have slowly but surely recognized that the immigration and border security issue is not going away in this re-election year and they are perceived as on the wrong side of the popular opinion. So, being good politicians polling low in re-election bids, they are coming around to the importance of securing our borders. Most specifically, our southern border which has exploded with violence and human carnage despite the Obama administration's insistence that all that can possibly be done, is being done.
In direct contrast to the agenda of Team Obama, Senate Democrats presented legislation that would booster border security in the near future. Instead of demanding to do the entire immigration reform before securing the border, as Obama has expressed a desire to do, even Senate Democrats have seen the light. Now even the House leadership is considering making border security a priority in the emergency special session called by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
What does all of this mean? It means the Democrats are running scared. November is looking really grim for the Democratic majority in Congress and even the most vitriol of the Democratic leadership is making gestures to the need for securing the border before all else. Without a secure border, all else is meaningless. Republicans have been asking for measures to be taken to secure the border and now with the escalating violence and drug trafficking, the need is growing ever more.
The Senate took a vote Thursday and the easy passage surprised even the Democratic leadership. Republicans voted with Democrats to approve $176 million for 1,000 additional border patrol guards and $89 million for 500 more customs and immigration personnel. Also, $32 million will be allotted to deploy drones on the border. Last, $196 million will be given to the Justice Department to add U.S. marshals, FBI, DEA and ATF agents along the border.
Speaker Pelosi has called back the House to cut short the August recess. She wants a vote on a $26 billion bill to give to teachers and states for health care costs. Now word is the House may consider the Senate bill on border security, too, in its special session. One vocal critic of the Obama agenda on immigration reform, an Arizona Democrat, sponsored a $700 billion border security bill which passed in the House just before the recess break. She is urging House leaders to include a border security bill in the special session. Rep Ann Kirkpatrick said she wants the leaders to commit to "not ending this session without passing the border security bill."
President Obama has not visited the southern border during his presidency. He refused to meet with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer until the public sentiment was so strong that he could no longer avoid a meeting. She flew to Washington and visited the White House while there. Nothing was really accomplished other than the fact that now he can say he met with her. He has not taken her up on an invitation to visit the border with her to see the devastation and problems caused by lax border enforcement. Obama has not met with Texas Governor Perry, though he, too, has extended an invitation to tour the border with Mexico. Now that re-election is just around the corner for House members, Obama will now give the governor a few minutes at the airport as he comes to Austin to do some fundraising.
According to The Houston Chronicle Governor Perry has been granted a bit of time with President Obama as he lands in Austin for fundraising. Bill White, the Democrat hoping to have Governor Perry's job, is still keeping his distance from Obama. "We're spending way too much time on immigration and not enough time on border security. The reason I want to meet with the president Monday, I want to sit down with the president, matter of fact I'll stand up, and share with him how to secure the border," Perry said. "That's the issue that's important. If you don't secure the border, if you have a revolving door at the border, then the 14th Amendment issues or immigration issues are just that. They're an interesting debate for you guys to write about, but there's frankly no substance there for finding a solution to this issue." So, they will meet at the airport and Perry will get his chance to speak with the president.
Common sense tells us that both parties can come together to help those charged with border security. Common sense tells us that immigration reform can not happen until our border is secure. Common sense tells us that is the first step. It is time for a tone deaf administration to respond.