President Obama pledged during the campaign, and after taking office, that he would work on immigration reform during his first year. Well, a year has come and gone and he has nothing to show for any accomplishment on immigration and specifically border security. Over 1,000 illegal immigrants flood across our southern border with Mexico every day.
When President Bush tried to advance comprehensive immigration reform in his second term in office, he was soundly rebuffed because the American people wanted our borders secured first and foremost before any broad reforms were tackled.
Now, in light of the escalating violence we have seen on our southern border including, kidnapping, robbery and murder, it is imperative that our government take swift and permanent action to immediately secure our nation’s borders.
If the president wanted an issue where he can get true and meaningful bipartisan support for an important national interest then he is wise to advance an all-out effort to secure our borders.
The United States should immediately seek to beef up our border security with personnel and advanced technologies that cross government disciplines. It means utilizing the Border Patrol, U.S. Customs, other Homeland assets, the FBI, CIA, Justice Department, and even the Department of Defense, all in a coordinated and defined mission.
If we can send troops and deploy unmanned Predator Drones to secure the borders of foreign lands, then we can surely deploy them to help secure our own.
Although governors have the power to deploy National Guard they do so at their own states cost and expense. Securing our nations borders are NOT the responsibility of the governor of a state, it is the obligation of our president and commander-in-chief.
All the president need do is sign a presidential order authorizing the deployment of troops to aid civilian and law enforcement agencies in the mission of border security.
For the past year, governors from New Mexico, California, Arizona and Texas have requested military to assist with border security, however, the Calvary never showed up. As a result of non-action, violence has escalated and more and more illegal immigrants cross into our country with impunity.
We need a military-style precision operation to effectively secure our borders. It is not about “militarizing” our borders, which our president finds offensive. It is about keeping America safe.
The president took an oath to “preserve, protect and defend” the mation. He better start preserving, protecting and defending our borders from those who seek to do us harm by using all the assets available to do so.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University. A frequent Fox Forum contributor he is president of Kent Strategies LLC.
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Former deputy assistant to President George W. Bush