Still lax on immigration

Still lax on immigration

May 31st, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

It is no secret that President Barack Obama supports so-called "comprehensive immigration reform."

What he and others who express a desire for that particular reform generally mean is creating amnesty or a "path to citizenship" for potentially millions of people who are in the United States illegally.

That is an unwise policy for numerous reasons, among them:

-- At a time of 9 percent unemployment, millions of U.S. citizens and legal immigrants desperately need the jobs that illegal aliens are currently filling.

-- llegal aliens consume costly educational and other benefits funded by American taxpayers. That only adds to our massive national debt.

-- As a simple matter of justice, it is wrong to allow illegal aliens to "cut in line" in front of others who are trying to go through the legal immigration process to come to the United States.

But as the president tries to persuade Congress to give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens already in the United States, he is also trying to give the impression that he has "gotten tough" on new illegal aliens crossing our nation's border from Mexico.

The Washington Post examined a number of statements by the Obama administration trying to claim credit for border control efforts, and it found them misleading at best.

President George W. Bush began a major buildup of border security in 2006, declaring his intention to double the number of agents. Obama and his staff have recently boasted about the higher number of agents on the border as proof of Obama's intention to fight illegal immigration.

But what they did not point out was that the growth in the number of agents was achieved almost entirely before Obama even took office - and that in his 2011 budget, Obama actually proposed cutting the number of border agents. At one point early in the Obama administration, the Border Patrol posted a notice on its website saying it was no longer hiring.

Under strong pressure by Republicans in Congress, Obama later reversed course. But still his administration has added only a tiny number of agents to the Border Patrol.

That slight increase pales by comparison with the explosive and unjustified growth of other parts of the federal work force. In just the first 10 months of the Obama administration, the federal government grew by 25,000 employees, according to USA Today. Thousands of those workers were hired at agencies that were handing out money from the wasteful $862 billion "stimulus." Was that huge misuse of taxpayer dollars somehow more important than protecting our borders?

Obama is trying to convince the American people that he has really strengthened border security, and he is using that claim as an attempted justification for providing amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. But his actions contradict his words.

Unfortunately, if Congress goes along with Obama's plan, many people unjustly will be given amnesty, and our border will not be as secure as it should be.