Obama immigration budget: does a McCain: border security, then amnesty; fulfills promise to Mexican government; worried about *southbound* flows
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Remember how when John McCain used the cheap, misleading tactic of talking about how he wanted to "secure the border first" and then use that to push for amnesty, and Obama supporters lied and said he didn't support comprehensive immigration reform anymore? Well, now Barack Obama wants to secure the border first and then use that to push for amnesty. Somehow it's different this time.
From "Obama budget puts security first at the border/He'll ask Congress to help curb the flow of arms to Mexico before seeking any immigration reform" (by Anna Gorman and Peter Nicholas of the Los Angeles Times; link):
President Obama will ask Congress for $27 billion for border and transportation security in the next budget year, fulfilling a promise to the Mexican government to battle the southbound flow of illegal weapons and setting the stage for immigration reform by first addressing enforcement, administration officials said Tuesday.
While some of what he proposes might do something about the northbound flow, and there's no statement from Obama being as upfront as the LAT is, that's a good reminder of who and what are really important to the elites.
Rather than emphasizing fence construction, the budget concentrates on fighting drug smuggling, increasing funding for the Transportation Security Administration as well as:
...[doubling DHS] funding to nearly $47 million to combat southbound firearms and currency smuggling, and adds more than 100 Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers... Among the immigration enforcement priorities, the budget increases funding by 30% to nearly $200 million to enable the Department of Homeland Security to hire 80 new people to identify criminal immigrants in the jails and prisons for deportation... Obama also wants to spend $112 million, a 12% increase, to make E-Verify, an employment verification program, more reliable and to get more employers to use it.
The rest of the article consists of Gorman and Nicholas blueskying for the administration:
In devoting more money to security and enforcement, Obama may be creating some political space needed to revamp the immigration system. The president risks alienating many conservatives if he doesn't emphasize strong border and immigration enforcement before taking action on a reform package that would create a path to legalization for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants... "If the American people don't feel like you can secure the borders," Obama said during a prime-time news conference last week, "then it's hard to strike a deal that would get people out of the shadows and on a pathway to citizenship who are already here, because the attitude of the average American is going to be, 'Well, you're just going to have hundreds of thousands of more coming in each year.' " ...The emphasis on border security isn't a surprising first step by the administration, said Angela Kelley, vice president for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank. ..."It's a no-brainer that he is going to want to spend a lot of resources and build muscle at the border," she said... [But, the] second chapter better be looking to Congress and being in the driver's seat, both publicly and behind closed doors, driving a legislative package successfully."