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Tag: President Obama

CNN Opinion: Improving Border Security Means Passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform

By Todd Rosenblum
CNN Opinion

America’s immigration debate has become red hot because President Obama’s critics not only believe that he lacks the authority to act without the consent of Congress, but also that he must not change internal enforcement priorities before first “securing the border.”

The truth is, the single most important thing Congress can do to meaningfully improve our border security is pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Too often, border security is viewed as preventing the illegal entry of people and goods across state lines. However, border security also is about ensuring the safe, efficient flow of commerce and increasing international trade. Comprehensive reform will do both, while our current approach serves neither objective.

I say this as someone who has made countless trips to the U.S.-Mexico border. I’ve seen firsthand how our current approach to policing the border is based on muddled objectives and unmeasurable benchmarks that mask failure.

Our failure to secure the border is not for a lack of trying. Congress has passed at least four laws since 1986 authorizing increases in Border Patrol personnel. In 1980, there were 2,268 Border Patrol agents at the southwest border; under President Obama, that number grew to an all-time high of 21,730. There was 14 miles of fencing on the border in 1990; under this administration, we’ve erected nearly 651 miles of new fencing and dramatically increased our mobile surveillance capabilities.

Yet there is scant evidence that we can spend our way out of this problem.

Republicans Mull Alternatives to Shutting Off Funding to Homeland Security

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The GOP is considering alternative ways to disrupt President Obama’s immigration than cutting off funding to the Homeland Security Department at a time when the nation is on high alert for terrorists, Politico reports.

Republicans are exploring several options, including suing to overturn the president’s executive decision to prevent millions of undocumented immigrants from being deported. Another option is approving a short-term budget for DHS while considering other options.

“Either way, Republican leaders hope to reach a deal that would allow Homeland Security funding to continue past Feb. 27, without making it appear to their right flank that they are caving to the White House,” Pollitico wrote.

Still, some Republicans aren’t balking and want to take a hard line against the president.

“How Republicans resolve the fight will help answer a lingering question for their new congressional majority: Will they use their new power to go toe-to-toe with the White House or pick and choose their political battles even if that risks riling up their right flank?” Politico added.

Other Stories of Interest

How U.S. Came to Blame North Korea for Cyber-Attack of Sony

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

President Obama and the FBI blamed North Korea for the cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November based on information that was collected when the NSA hacked into the country’s computer systems in 2010, the New York Times reports.

The NSA eventually was able to penetrate directly into North Korea’s system and use malware to monitor the internal workings of computers and networks of many of North Korean hackers, most of whom are commanded by the country’s main intelligence service.

The evidence gathered in the hack convinced President Obama that North Korea was behind the attack.

It was the first time the U.S. ever accused another country of striking American targets with a cyberattack.

 

Homeland Security Chief Condemns Republicans for Defunding Immigration Plans

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson sharply criticized Republican efforts to defund President Obama’s new immigration plan, saying an agency that protects the country from terrorists “cannot become a political volleyball,” the Washington Post reports.

The criticism follows last week’s decision by House Republicans to approve DHS’ fiscal year 2015 budget, which removes funding for two of the president’s most controversial immigration policies.

The vote was 236-191.

“Recent world events — the terrorist attacks in Paris, Ottawa, Sydney, and elsewhere, along with the public calls by terrorist organizations for attacks on Western objectives — call for increased vigilance in homeland security,’’ Johnson said. “In these times, the budget of the Department of Homeland Security cannot become a political volleyball.’’

Republicans Face Uphill Battle in Halting President’s Immigration Plan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Republican plan to effectively wipe out President Obama’s new immigration initiatives doesn’t appear to have enough votes, Reuters reports

While the House appears to have the votes to defund the president’s controversial plans, the Senate would need at six Democrats and every Republican to support the GOP plan.

That’s not going to happen, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told Reuters.

Whatever the case, the president has pledged to veto any measure that would disrupt his immigration plans.

Republicans said that would be reckless.

“I know there’s a lot of consensus on our side that the last thing we need to do is to do something to jeopardize the security of our own citizens,” said Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee.

Ex-Secret Service Agent Calls President Obama ‘Petulant Child’ in Paris Explanation

Daniel Bongino

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Former Secret Service Agent Daniel Bongino bashed President Obama for blaming the Secret Service on his decision to bail out on the anti-terrorism rally in Paris, the Daily Caller reports

Bongino, who has become an outspoken conservative, said the president was “acting like a petulant child” for not just admitting he didn’t want to go.

Bongino said the president went to Mandela’s funeral where many more dangers were present.

“If the president wants to go he goes,” Bongino said. “The Secret Service doesn’t tell him he can’t go. That’s only in movies.”

How Would Government Shutdown Affect Homeland Security, Employees?

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com  

A political battle between President Obama and Republicans over immigration has many observers worried about a Homeland Security shutdown at the beginning of March.

What would that look like?

The National Journal explains:

It’s likely that the majority of DHS employees would still go to work. And the main agency tasked with overseeing the program in question, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is funded through fees rather than appropriations legislation.

It’s not clear that GOP leaders will have much leverage. Aside from the potential political fallout if the department runs out of cash, it turns out that a DHS “shutdown” might be one in name only, and Obama’s executive order might well proceed as planned.

During the October 2013 shutdown, about 85% of DHS workers continued to work, according to a Congressional Research Service report.

A shutdown usually doesn’t affect employees whose salaries come from multiyear appropriations or whose jobs are to save lives, the National Journal wrote.

Adviser: President Obama Would Block 2015 Homeland Security Spending if Amnesty Order Cut

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

President Obama said he won’t hesitate to block 2015 funding for Homeland Security if Republicans try to tinker with his executive amnesty along the border, The Huffington Post reports.

Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer said the president would “absolutely not” sign a 2015 spending bill if there are limits on the amnesty spending.

Pfeiffer said the president would veto the spending cuts.

Whether Republicans plan to curb the amnesty spending is another question after top GOP congressional leaders went silent in early December.

”I think the Republicans know they have little to no leverage,” he said. “Are they going to shut down the Department of Homeland Security to undo our executive action? I don’t think they are going to do that.”

“There is an array of little things they can do. … I mean it is possible that insanity will prevail upon the House Republican caucus as it did last October during the [2013] shutdown,” he said.

Other Stories of Interest