President Obama came to Texas earlier this month to attend three fundraising events – you know, the trip when he refused to visit the Texas/Mexico border to see the crisis first-hand. It was during that visit when he first said he needed $2 billion to deal with the border crisis.
When the president returned to Washington, he and his advisers upped the amount needed for the border “emergency” to $3.7 billion, plus another $600 million to fight wildfires out west, bringing the total request to a whopping $4.3 billion.
I normally try to keep purely political topics out of the blog, but this one is over the top! You may recall that early in President Obama’s first term, his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel made the following comment: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things you could not do before.”
Apparently, that thinking is exactly what prevailed in the White House after the president’s trip to Texas earlier this month. The $2 billion Obama said he needed while fundraising in Texas ballooned into $3.7 billion. But it gets even worse.
Keep in mind that this request for $3.7 billion is additional “emergency funding” above and beyond the FY2014 and FY2015 federal budgets. Emergencies do happen now and then, right? And the unprecedented border crisis certainly qualifies as an emergency.
But here’s the kicker: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) “scored” the president’s $3.7 billion emergency funding request and found that only $25 million of the $3.7 billion would be spent this year. The rest of it would not be spent until 2015 to 2020, according to the CBO. So the request is misleading and greatly oversized.
What little spending is earmarked for 2014 would take place in the Department of Health and Human Services. Obama’s plan would give the Department of Homeland Security $1.1 billion, but none of that money would be used until FY 2015, according to the CBO.
There was little in the president’s $3.7 billion request to strengthen our borders, speed up deportation or to change immigration laws for non-contiguous countries (more on this below).
This shows that President Obama does NOT consider the 60,000 illegal immigrants who have crossed our borders since last October to be a crisis.
In fact, much of the $3.7 billion would be spent to build more detention centers to hold these people who have come here illegally from non-contiguous countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, etc.
Current immigration laws require that illegal aliens from Mexico and Canada (contiguous countries) must be deported back home within 48 hours. However, illegal immigrants from non-contiguous countries are detained and afforded a hearing before a judge to determine if they can remain in the US.
Many of these illegal aliens are also afforded a government-provided lawyer to represent them. Some of the $3.7 billion Obama wants would be used to provide more attorneys for this purpose. And you know what that means: Most of them will be granted amnesty.
If we don’t change the non-contiguous immigration law that is responsible for this surge of illegals, then we’re just throwing money at the problem but doing nothing to fix it. It will almost certainly get even worse.
But let’s be clear – President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and others want these illegal immigrants to stay in the US with a path to citizenship (amnesty). They know that most of these people will be reliable Democrat voters once they attain the right to vote.
I know the president says he wants them deported, but I do not believe that. Remember, “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”
And serious it is: 60,000 people in FY2014 and another estimated 150,000 in FY2015. If we continue to let them stay here, the numbers will only grow. As you can read in the link below, the Border Patrol says the numbers could as much as double the estimates quoted above.
Finally, I’m not saying that the government shouldn’t spend more money to stop the huge influx of illegals into the country. But it certainly should NOT pass an additional $3.7 billion allegedly earmarked for the border, especially when it is so back-loaded.
Furthermore, if Congress chooses to increase spending to deal with the surge in illegal immigrants, there is no reason why lawmakers could not do so within the current Budget Control Act cap. Congress has already increased the cap by $9.2 billion from its original FY2015 level and could allocate some of that spending increase toward the administration’s border efforts.
Unfortunately, we don’t hear much talk of that.
What do you think? Post your comment.