August 14, 2010

$600 million emergency border funding an election year political palliative

Nancy Thorner

Yesterday, Friday, August 13, President Obama signed a bill to provide $600 million in emergency funding to help secure the U. S. Mexico border.

The House had already approved the measure, but the Senate was able to pass the bill by "unanimous consent" on Thursday, August 12 -- a parliamentary term for a voice vote that doesn't require the return of the entire Senate chamber -- a maneuver GOP leaders had agreed to! Only two senators were required to be present to accept the agreement.

According to an account in the Chicago Tribune ... 813,0,6950
on Friday, August 13, the $600 million border security border package "will pay for deploying an additional 1,000 Border Patrol agents along the Southwest border, hiring 250 new Customs and Border Protection Officers, and adding 250 Immigration and customs Enforcement personnel to target drug smuggling. The funding will also add two unmanned surveillance planes and boost the Justice Department's sources for investigating and prosecuting organized drug gangs."

To offset the $600 million border security border package so deficit spending doesn't result, the Senate will substantially hike visa fees for companies that hire foreign workers. These fees will go from $320 to as much as $2,750 each. ... 813.0.6950

But is this just a ploy by Congress to pretend that it is really serious in securing the Mexican border, hoping that its good faith effort will convince voters that Washington is capable of addressing tough border security in the wake of Arizona's much demonized illegal immigration law?

Or could it be an election year stunt to soften public opinion? For if the American people perceive that Congress is dealing seriously and adequately to secure the Mexican border, might they be more receptive to a broader politcal discussion on comprehensive immigration reform to provide a citizenship path for this nation's12 million illegal aliens?

Special agents responsible for enforcing our nation's immigration laws within the Department of Homeland Security think so. A scathing letter http://gatewaypundit/ ... on-ice-lea
titled, "VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN ICE DIRECTOR JOHN MORTON AND ODPP ASSISTANT DIRECTOR PHYLLIS COVEN," provides examples of how "ICE's mission is being skewed towards supporting an unflinching goal of amnesty by refusing to allow agents to do their job; allowing criminal aliens to roam free; depleting resources for key enforcement initiatives that preceded this administration; and misrepresenting facts and programs, demeaning the extent of the criminal alien problem and geared to support amnesty."

The letter was authorized by ICE Union President Chris Crane on June 11, 2010. All ICE union representatives signed on in an unanimous "Vote of No Confidence" in ICE leadership.

It is almost unheard of that a union dares to rebel against the federal government. Yet news of a "No Confidence" vote by border agents against their ICE leadership was difficult to find. It is obvious why the mainstream media wanted to keep the ICE 'No Confidence" letter hidden from the public.

The vision expressed by Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y) on Thursday, August 12, at the Senate bill signing should not ring true: "It's my hope that the bill we're passing today will break the deadlock that has existed in Congress and will clear the path for us to finally resume bipartisan negotiations in good faith on reforming our broken immigration system."

And what does "reforming our broken immigration system" mean to Senator Schumer? Nothing less than amnesty for all 12 million illegal immigrants in this nation!