To President Barack Obama, securing the border is a laughing matter -- and a lying matter.
OBAMA’S AMERICA: Open & Undefended Borders!
“What we're seeing is our Congress and national leadership dismantling our laws by not enforcing them. Lawlessness becomes the norm, just like Third World corruption. Illegal aliens now have more rights and privileges than Americans. If you are an illegal alien, you can drive a car without a driver's license or insurance. You may obtain medical care without paying. You may work without paying taxes. Your children enjoy free education at the expense of taxpaying Americans.”
Jeffrey: Where Obama's Border Lies
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
By Terence P. Jeffrey 
To President Barack Obama, securing the border is a laughing matter -- and a lying matter.
When Obama spoke in El Paso, Texas, yesterday, he claimed that (1) the federal government has now "basically" completed the border fence that security minded Republicans wanted built and (2) El Paso and other border communities are "among the safest in the nation."
"They wanted a fence. Well, the fence ... is now basically complete," said Obama. "Maybe they'll need a moat," he added. "Maybe they want alligators in the moat."
"El Paso and other cities and towns along this border are consistently among the safest in the nation," said Obama.
What are the facts?
In 2006, Congress passed -- and President George W. Bush signed -- the Secure Fence Act, sponsored by House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y.
King explained it on the House floor. "It provides over 700 miles of two-layered reinforced fencing," he said. "It also mandates that the Department of Homeland Security achieve and maintain operational control over the entire border through a virtual fence, deploying cameras, ground sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles, integrated surveillance technology."
The original law left little to interpretation by the homeland security secretary. It said "'operational control' means the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States."
It defined the type of fence to be built: The "secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for least 2 layers of reinforced fencing, the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors."
So, did the secretary seek to gain operational control of the entire border? Did the secretary build over 700 miles of two-layered reinforced fencing?
The answers are: No and no.
As noted in this column last week, Richard Stana, director of homeland security issues for the Government Accountability Office, informed the Senate Homeland Security Committee in March that there are only 129 miles of the 1,954-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border where the Border Patrol can prevent or stop an illegal entry from taking place at the border itself. There are another 744 miles where it can stop an illegal entry at "distances of up to 100 miles or more away from the immediate border."
That leaves at least 1,081 miles of border where Homeland Security has anything but "operational control."
In written testimony presented to the committee on May 4, 2010, Stana said Homeland Security had built 646 miles of border fence (of 652 miles it intended to build) as of April 2010. This generally was not the "2 layers of reinforced fencing" described in the Secure Border Act. Three hundred forty-seven miles was what the GAO described as "pedestrian" fencing, and 299 miles was "vehicle" fencing.
"Pedestrian fencing is designed to prevent people on foot from crossing the border and vehicle fencing consists of physical barriers meant to stop the entry of vehicles," Stana testified.
This March, Stana told the committee that Homeland Security had increased the total length of border fence to 649 miles -- an increase of 3 miles in a year.
Given that Stana also said there were only 129 miles of border where the Border Patrol could prevent or stop an illegal entry at the border, that means there must be at least 520 miles of fencing erected by Homeland Security that does not stop or prevent people from crossing the border.
How did Homeland Security get away with not building the type of double-fencing expressly mandated in the Secure Fence Act?
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, slipped language into the 614-page omnibus spending bill enacted at the end of 2007. This language essentially repealed the Secure Fence Act. It said: "Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), nothing in this paragraph shall require the Secretary of Homeland Security to install fencing, physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors in a particular location along an international border of the United States, if the Secretary determines that the use or placement of such resources is not the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain operational control over the international border at such location."
Are border cities like El Paso truly rated among the safest in the nation? President Obama did not say whose rating he was using. But they are not the safest, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
The latest annual statistical report of the Executive Office for the United States Attorneys -- which was published in 2010 and covers fiscal 2009 -- made a special point of highlighting violence on the border.
"Violence along the border of the United States and Mexico has increased dramatically during recent years," the report said. "The violence associated with Mexican drug trafficking organizations pose(s) a serious problem for law enforcement."
"Illegal immigration provides the initial foothold with which criminal elements, including organized crime syndicates, use to engage in a myriad of illicit activities ranging from immigration document fraud and migrant smuggling to human trafficking," said the report. "Federal prosecution of border crime is a critical part of our Nation's defense and federal jurisdiction over these offenses is exclusive."
As noted in this column last year, the report pointed out that when measured by the number of criminal defendants charged during fiscal 2009, the five most-crime-ridden U.S. judicial districts were all on the Mexican border. These included: Southern Texas, Western Texas, Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico.
According to Obama's Justice Department, there were more then two-and-a-half-times as many criminals (8,435) charged in federal court in Western Texas, where El Paso is, than in the combined districts of Southern New York (1,959), which includes Manhattan and the Bronx, and the Eastern New York (1,377), which includes Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island.
HOW MUCH DOES ALL THAT “CHEAP” MEXICAN LABOR REALLY COST???
IN MEX INFESTED LOS ANGELES, WELFARE TO ILLEGALS COSTS $600 MILLION PER YEAR, AND IS GOING UP YEARLY!
OBAMA IS DETERMINED TO HAND THE ILLEGALS AMNESTY IF THEY PROMISE TO VOTE FOR HIM AGAIN!
ON THE GROWING POWER OF “LA RAZA” FASCISM FOR MEX SUPREMACY
James Jay Carafano: The administration's secure-the-border trap
By: James Carafano
August 22, 2010
When the public clamors for action to curb illegal immigration, politicians push the "easy button." They mobilize the National Guard and send them to the border.
It's a time-honored tradition, though not always efficacious.
For example, in 1916, Poncho Villa launched a series of cross-border raids into the U.S. In response, we sent a few thousand troops under the command of Blackjack Pershing to hunt down the bandits.
It cost U.S. taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. Pershing never captured Villa. And, on several occasions, the Army got its butt kicked. On June 21, 1916, the Mexican Army almost completely wiped out a detachment of the 10th U.S. Cavalry at Carrizal.
Most U.S. troops were withdrawn by 1917. They returned to the border in the 1920s. Ultimately, border violence subsided, not so much due to the U.S. troop presence, but because the revolutionary ardor wracking Mexico had finally run its course.
Recently, President Obama ordered the National Guard back to the border. And Congress rushed to pass another border bill before sprinting off for summer recess. This frenzy of activity reflects a desire to be seen as "doing something" more than a calculated, serious response to our border security problems.
For several years, Republicans have chanted a "secure the border first" mantra. It allowed them to look tough on the illegal immigration issue while dodging the issue of "comprehensive" reform. It's a bad strategy. It suggests that, if the Obama administration overcomes the "border first" problem, it will be clear sailing for a push for amnesty.
The administration knows an opportunity when it sees one. Hence we saw Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano trot out the "border has never been more secure" argument in congressional testimony earlier this year. However, as violence on the Mexican side of the border continues to escalate, the administration's "secure border" argument isn't gaining traction -- even among congressional Democrats.
So now the White House is on a different tack: Throwing money at the problem. Far too many Republicans as well as Democrats are comfortable with that approach -- even when it promises to accomplish little. But, in the end, unfocused spending on the border may give the administration an excuse to push through a massive amnesty.
At some point, after shoveling huge sums of money into low-value border security gambits, pro-amnesty politicians will throw up their hands. "We tried," they'll say, "but we just can't secure the border without amnesty."
Whether progress is made on the border or not, the real problem is that any strategy for reducing illegal immigration that includes amnesty is bound to fail. Granting a general amnesty will just encourage another wave of illegal border crossing. That is exactly what happened when the 1986 amnesty bill was passed. And that is exactly what will happen if Washington does it again.
But waiting until we get the border right before doing anything else to reform immigration policy makes no sense either.
Securing the border requires solving larger problems. It means working with Mexico to bust the cartels, enforcing our immigration and workplace laws, creating effective temporary-worker programs, and rejecting amnesty once and for all. And, of course, it requires better and more cost-effective border security.
Washington can't solve the problem of illegal immigration without tackling all aspects of the problem. Simply pounding the table and chanting "border first" is not just inadequate; it puts us on the short road to a general amnesty.
Examiner Columnist James Jay Carafano is a senior research fellow for national security at the Heritage Foundation.