Remember how President Obama’s early efforts to spin away the border disaster his policies created included frequent promises to begin shipping the “refugees” back to their countries of origin as quickly as possible? Never mind. That talking point is no longer operative, probably because it was put-up-or-shut-up time, and there’s no way Obama would short-circuit his deliberately created open-borders machine when it’s so close to achieving its objectives. Also, at this point the immigration wave is a done deal – a vast network of taxpayer-funded planes and buses is distributing the new “undocumented Americans” across the country, making deportation effectively impossible – so there’s no further need for pretenses of effective action.
And so, as Fox News and the Associated Press report, Obama suddenly wants to “hold off seeking legal changes to speed up the deportation process for illegal immigrant children, when he submits his request to Congress on Tuesday seeking billions in emergency funding to deal with the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.”
The administration insists it still plans to seek expanded authority to expedite deportations. But The Associated Press reported overnight that the request is moving on a separate track, amid objections from immigration advocates to the deportation proposal.
The blurry state of affairs reflects the political pressure the administration is facing from both sides of the debate.
From its left flank, advocacy groups oppose proposals to speed thousands of unaccompanied minors back home to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. But Republicans in Congress, and some Democrats, want the administration to get tough, and send a message that these illegal immigrants cannot get a free pass to stay in the U.S.
The AP reported that, according to unnamed Capitol Hill aides, the administration decided to submit the spending request apart from the policy changes.
What a surprise. They want billions to spend, but they’ll deal with all that yucky border security and deportation stuff later – you know, their actual duties to the taxpaying citizens of the United States.
But an administration official told Fox News they still intend to seek expanded authority to expedite removals.
“We already sent a letter to the Congressional Leadership last week on our desire for expanded authorities and we are still seeking those authorities and have made clear we will work with Congress to get those authorities,” the official said.
The developments underscore the delicate position the administration finds itself in as it risks alienating allies by pursuing changes to turn the immigrant kids around more quickly. More than 50,000 have arrived since October, in many cases fleeing violence at home, but also drawn by rumors that they can stay in the U.S.
Actually, the total number of people who have surged across the border during that time period is much larger – more like 300,000 delivered to American cities by the federal government just since April – but 50,000 of them are unaccompanied minors. None of these people will ever be deported, and they know it. That’s why they’re here. Wait until prospective “migrants” hear that Obama has abandoned even the pretense of holding expedited deportation hearings.
If you think the Obama Administration feels some sense of duty toward protecting the border and American citizenship, this is sheer lunacy – he’s doing exactly the opposite of what everyone knows is the only way to slow the flood of illegals. The accurate belief that they’ll receive “permiso” – permission to remain in the United States indefinitely, with the American Ruling Class dead set on creating a “pathway to citizenship” for them as quickly as possible – is what has drawn them here. Just last week, Obama’s hot talking point was that all of those folks were deluded to believe this, the victims of “misinformation” spread by their lousy governments and ambitious smuggling gangs. But now everyone in the southern hemisphere can pick up the paper and read how Obama wants to fast-track money to accommodate their needs, while putting “expedited deportation” on a slow track that leads right off a cliff.
Nothing except swift and effective deportations will make a lick of difference in this crisis. I wouldn’t even put too many chips on enhanced physical border security, which we’re not getting anyway – Obama’s idea of enhancing security is sending 150 more Border Patrol agents, but the inbound illegal aliens are voluntarily presenting themselves to Border Patrol agents, who immediately become their travel agents.
(Or their “relatives” swing by the shelter to pick them up. According to leaked documents from the Department of Homeland Security that we weren’t supposed to see, federal officials have noticed the same people returning to detention centers over and over again, to pick up fresh shipments of young “relatives.” Fewer than half of the children coming across the border end up in the custody of their actual parents. None of that fills you with confidence that the Administration will be able to stop hard-core bad guys who rent a couple of kids from coyote smugglers and stroll across the border, does it?)
Even if some sort of impenetrable wall were swiftly constructed, the result would be even worse refugee camps on the other side of it, a crisis the Left would swiftly declare to be America’s problem. And nobody, Left or Right, should be eager to create conditions that would produce such a humanitarian disaster. We’re talking about the lives of tens of thousands of people, of children. Refusing to swiftly correct the situation that lures them here is a crime against humanity.
The developments all come as Obama has declared comprehensive immigration legislation dead in Congress and announced plans to proceed on his own by executive action to make whatever fixes he can to the nation’s dysfunctional immigration system. That could put Obama in the seemingly contradictory position of shielding millions of people from deportation while at the same time trying to hurry deportations for the unaccompanied children.
That’s not “contradictory.” It’s the Cloward-Piven strategy of manufactured crisis. In such an attack on the system, it is essential to preserve the illusion that the system is trying, and failing, to cope with the crisis. That sets the stage for pronouncements that the system is fundamentally “dysfunctional” and must be scrapped, replaced by something more to the taste of activists. There’s no doubt which sort of activist has more sway in this debate… a debate in which one side is told, in increasingly shrill tones, that it cannot even use phrases like “illegal alien” to clearly describe what is happening.
The genuinely “dysfunctional” aspects of our immigration system are the last thing Obama and his fellow travelers have any intention of addressing. Legal immigrants who honorably follow the rules will continue to enjoy the same level of neglect this government shows current U.S. citizens who follow the rules and do everything right. Talk of “comprehensive immigration reform” is trickery designed to push amnesty deals. The only thing urgently in need of “comprehensive reform” is the part of the system that lets 300,000 aliens assume permanent residency in the United States in a matter of months, with the active assistance of taxpayer-financed government resources.
“Leadership” would have involved the President forthrightly alerting Americans to the problem as soon as government agencies detected it, and if he really did feel curiously bound by whatever laws he claims are obstructing deportation proceedings, he could have called for immediate action months ago… or taken it himself, with those executive orders he loves so much. It didn’t take 300,000 people crashing into the system to determine that the Obama Administration thinks the Bush Administration effectively offered to absorb the entire Central American population.
Instead, Obama spent months hiding the problem, followed by weeks of bamboozling us with talk about how all of these people would be deported any moment now, and they’re crazy to be lobbing their kids a thousand miles into Barack Obama’s deportation trampoline. And now we get fresh new spin about how his hands have been tied all along. They certainly weren’t tied when he wrote those Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive orders handing out amnesty, were they? And nobody in the Administration seems to lose any sleep over ignoring the decade-old legal requirement to build a larger and more effective border fence.
Of course, the Left being the Left, the only thing that has troubled liberals about any of this is Obama’s refusal to nip over to the border during his Texas fundraising swing, and get himself photographed at the refugee camps. Of course he’s not going to do that, and there’s no need to float any rumors about how he’s worried he’ll catch some illness from the people in the camps. The illness he’s worried about is the kind that spreads through viral images, with captions like “LOOK UPON MY WORKS, YE MIGHTY, AND DESPAIR.”
Because the Left is all about symbolism and imagery, they’re experiencing a childlike wave of confusion about the Lightworker’s refusal to visit the border and fix everything with a wave of his hand, creating the new meme that this is “Obama’s Katrina moment.” In this case, unlike the actual Katrina Moment, the President caused the disaster – he’s not just refusing to take control away from an incompetent Democrat mayor and governor in Louisiana during a natural disaster, or dropping “heckuva job” sound bites in favor of lackluster agency officials.
Thus, we have reporter Susan Page of USA Today appearing on an MSNBC roundtable show to describe Obama’s refusal to survey his border handiwork as “a Katrina moment,” although she evidently thinks the problem is that he hasn’t been able to work even more of his “comprehensive immigration reform” magic. After six long years, we also see the first glimmerings of a sustained media narrative about Obama’s ineptitude. From a transcript at the Washington Free Beacon:
???This is unacceptable to more than Republicans on immigration, the situation we have there,??? Page said. ???And boy, is that going to anger some of his core constituents who have wanted him to do more on immigration, not less.???
Carolyn Ryan of the New York Times argued that the ???national funk that we???re in??? is ???partly due to a sense that things aren???t working,??? and suggested the border crisis adds to questions about the Obama adminsitraiton???s competence.
???You can see that 30-second tv ad,??? Chuck Todd remarked. ???You start with the health care rollout. You go to the VA. You go to Syria. You go to Iraq. And you can go to the border. And you can draw a straight line.???
Rep Henry Cuellar (D-TX) said exactly the same thing in a Fox News interview: “I???m sure that President Bush thought the same thing, that he could just look at everything from up in the sky, and then he owned it after a long time, so I hope this doesn???t become the Katrina moment for President Obama, saying that he doesn???t need to come to the border. He should come down.”
Obama’s not “incompetent” on the border – he’s getting what he wanted, just a bit bigger and faster than he anticipated. I wonder if some of this “Katrina moment” rhetoric, in addition to betraying a childlike devotion to photo ops and the symbolic majesty of the imperial presidency, isn’t an effort to lower the bar and set the stage for celebration when Obama actually does do something. After stubbornly refusing to accept Texas Governor Rick Perry’s invitation to visit the border together, and taking a feeble stab at blowing him off with an airport handshake, Obama finally offered to meet with Perry in Dallas… which, I can’t help noticing, is rather a long haul from the Rio Grande. To confused Obama-worshipers who don’t understand why he resisted meeting with Perry for so long, it’s because even that is going to draw increased attention to the border crisis, and the President does not want that.
Oh, and His Majesty has finally consented to allow his courtiers in the media to visit a detention center full of children, but only if they drop all that fussy “First Amendment” stuff and promise “not to record anything, not to ask any questions during the tour, and not to talk to any of the staff members or children,” according to National Review. The top priorities for this White House are controlling political damage, and finding ways to turn the manufactured crisis to their advantage. Doing anything effect to slow or halt the flow of people coming across the border is written into the margins of their to-do list, sideways, in pencil. Some “leadership,” huh?
Update: In case you think it was a bit hyperbolic to refer to Border Patrol agents as de facto travel agents for incoming illegals, the Associated Press reports on “government buses that spend each night idling on a Texas roadside, awaiting the latest arrivals,” backed up by “a fleet of Border Patrol vans.”
Human-smuggling operations really appreciate this outstanding concierge service: “Migrants’ willingness to surrender to authorities has created a system in which smugglers need only to get their human cargo to the American side of the river, rather than guiding them to a populated area.” This makes the smugglers’ task ridiculously easy, as “it takes only a few seconds for a watercraft to dart across the river and deposit three or four people on to U.S. soil,” where they instantly merge with crows of people in busy recreational areas.
But sure, this will all stop because Obama cuts a PSA telling the people of Central America to stop sending their kids across the border, and maybe puts up a few billboards in Guatemala.