Tough talkers want to ’secure the border.’ That means a draft and higher taxes

UPDATE: The White House says Kyl isn’t telling the truth, according to Politico:

But in a statement to POLITICO, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer denied Kyl’s account of the conversation, saying “the president didn’t say that and Senator Kyl knows it.”

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) claims that President Obama is “holding the border hostage” until the Senate passes comprehensive immigration reform.

“The problem is, he said, if we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform,” Kyl said, as the crowd in the room gasped loudly. “In other words, they’re holding it hostage.”

Though Obama has pledged to send an influx of National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border, Kyl said the president made clear that border security is just a political tool in the broader goal of passing an immigration package through Congress.

Kyl said he was “not so sure” the president’s concern about GOP support was legitimate, but that regardless the administration has an “obligation” to secure the border.

Kyl claims that a conversation took place in the White House between just the two of them, so there is no record that the president ever said any such thing. Given the rightwing’s record of distortions, I’m betting Obama didn’t say that.

But beyond Kyl’s nonsense claims about Obama, it’s worth examining the larger fixation with controlling the border. The Arizona Republic’s Dennis Wagner has an excellent piece pointing out that “controlling the border” is darn near impossible. It’s worth reading the entire piece:

Amid a growing national angst about illegal immigration, Americans keep hearing a chorus: Secure the border first. Then talk about immigration reform.

The idea appeals to public sentiment, and it seems like a simple demand.

But what do pundits and politicians mean?

Is a border secure only when no one crosses illegally and when no contraband slips through?

If some permeability is acceptable, what is the tolerable amount?

Political leaders mostly dodge those questions, and for good reason: Anyone with a minimal knowledge or understanding about the nearly 2,000-mile swath of land between Mexico and the United States realizes that requiring a secure border establishes an impossible standard.

One reason: There is no way to conclude success because authorities have no idea how many undocumented immigrants are getting through. Authorities can count only the number of unauthorized intruders captured. Such unavoidable uncertainty prevents any absolute assurances that no one is sneaking over, making declarations of victory impossible. . .
No matter how many federal troops and agents are on patrol, no matter how many sensors, cameras and fences are employed, many will try to sneak across the border, and some will succeed.

Each time that happens, opponents of immigration reform will be able to declare that the line is not defended, that America is not safe.

They appeal to patriotism, asking why the world’s most powerful nation cannot protect its sovereign boundaries.

They appeal to fear, suggesting that terrorists potentially could mix in with the daily swarm of Hispanics heading north for opportunity.

Public passion is so high, said the Transborder Project’s Barry, that no one does a cost-benefit analysis of border enforce- ment.

“Everybody is jumping on the border-security bandwagon, including moderate Democrats,” Barry said. “It’s not driven by anything real on the grid, not by violence or invasions of illegal immigrants . . . not based on any real assessment of threats to the nation.”

The rhetoric is magnified by fears that Mexico’s explosive cartel violence may bleed over the international line. In fact, FBI and Arizona records show crime is dramatically down statewide and along the border. Murders in Arizona decreased by one-fifth last year; aggravated assaults dropped nearly 9 percent.

Those numbers provide little consolation to southern Arizona residents weary of undocumented immigrants and armed drug couriers traipsing across their properties. Still, the statistics contradict claims of a cri- sis.

“I hear politicians on TV saying the border has gotten worse,” said Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. “Well, the fact of the matter is, the border has never been more secure.”

197 comments Add your comment

master Sergeant

June 21st, 2010
11:56 am

NO DRAFT, and NO MORE TAXES !!

scrappy

June 21st, 2010
12:02 pm

But, it is so much easier to just yell ’secure the boarders’ than it is to actually offer a plan to accomplish that feat.

A "Voice"

June 21st, 2010
12:04 pm

CT writes:
Kyl claims that a conversation took place in the White House between just the two of them, so there is no record that the president ever said any such thing. Given the rightwing’s record of distortions, I’m betting Obama didn’t say that.

In response, I would offer based on Obama’s record of distortions (lies) . . he probably did say it!

JKL2

June 21st, 2010
12:18 pm

All the military services are overstrength. A draft isn’t need.

Look at the White House and you don’t need a crystal ball to figure out what is going to happen with taxes. No reason necesary…

John K

June 21st, 2010
12:20 pm

Socialized borders?

Steve

June 21st, 2010
12:25 pm

Kyl claims that a conversation took place in the White House between just the two of them, so there is no record that the president ever said any such thing. Given the Rahm Emanuel’s history of saying “Never let a crisis go to waste” , I’m betting Obama did say that.

Shawny

June 21st, 2010
12:25 pm

“Given the rightwing’s record of distortions, I’m betting Obama didn’t say that.”

Just discredited yourself there.

Kyl is right. No one wants to build the double walled fence I want. They just don’t have the guts. It is sad.

Yes, the left wants reform (amnesty). Kyl knows it. We all know it.

Having guards roam around won’t fix it. Build a double wall where climbing the first only gets you stuck between the two.

getalife

June 21st, 2010
12:26 pm

Herman Munster’s state is on fire and the President is using w’s policy on the border.

Corporate led by the chamber of commerce want amnesty for the labor so cons need to fight them.

Good luck with that cons.

pat

June 21st, 2010
12:26 pm

What? Where is the requirement for draft and taxes? Is this documented somewhere other than from your rear-end?
Border security is national security. Ask the Mexicans how they deal with fence jumpers on their southern border. Shoot first, that’s how.

GL

June 21st, 2010
12:28 pm

As someone who has worked border issues for nearly 50 years, I find your comments to be ill-conceived and foolish. Obama is playing a border card to grow the ranks of liberal voters who are attracted by welfare and give-away programs. An effective strategy for control of both the southern and the northern borders is achievable without a draft or a increase in taxes.

Mrs. W.

June 21st, 2010
12:29 pm

For this I will pay higher taxes because I believe the end result would be an actual savings for this country.
Please enlighten us CT.. How do you think this situation should be resolved? Do we let everyone in or is there a criteria we should follow? If there is a criteria won’t we still be “discriminating” against the ones who do not fit the criteria? I have nothing but questions. This country is already over crowded and you seem to want to just throw the doors open.

Oh, and yes. Obama most surely will use this situation to his advantage – or he will try to. Seems like lately some of his party has jumped ship.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

June 21st, 2010
12:35 pm

ctucker is against higher taxes? That’s a news flash. Then a draft? Right, since we have more troops than we need. Is scare tactics all you have left, ct?

Obama promised 1200 troops 3 weeks ago. Where are they?

casual observer

June 21st, 2010
12:36 pm

The adminitrations answer to everything. Talk, talk, talk , talk, talk followed directly by more talk and then if that is not enough refering to friends that have never had a real job. But , do have a Nobel prize given by a liberal wacko group that has never accomplished anything. Man the future really looks bright!

Granny Godzilla

June 21st, 2010
12:38 pm

How about that Bush border fence fiasco?

My suggestion, since the GOP really isn’t doing anything productive at the moment, why don’t they take the leadership role on immigration and submit a bill to congress?

Let’s see them….put up or shut up.

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 21st, 2010
12:44 pm

If I’m asked to guess who’s lying–Senator Kyle or the Idiot Messiah–there really isn’t much question. I’ll go with the guy who isn’t into spreading stolen wealth around, nationalizing whole industries, and acting without any constitutional authority to shake down companies doing business and providing jobs in the U.S.

Big D

June 21st, 2010
12:45 pm

Ct, this Messiah agenda butt kissing has reached biblical proportions. Any IDIOT knows you have to start somewhere and common sense dictates control of the BORDER IS ground zero. Just for one day forget that you are Black and a Liberal Democrat and try to look at things logically, without “feelings” and prejudices. I know this will be tough, but you are on the road to becoming a joke. This is one of many faults I found I had with the previous administration…yes we have the ability to say our side is and was WRONG .I suggest you learn to do the same before you see your career go further south.

Soames

June 21st, 2010
12:45 pm

I’m not sure where you are getting the notion that a “draft” would be required but I’d be happy with a tax increase if it went towards the purpose of securing our borders. Of course, if we brought our troops home to defend our own border, you wouldn’t be throwing around the “d-word”. Also, if social services being spent on illegals was eliminated, that would probably pay for it.

Controlling the border is possible if we commit to it. This is a National Defense issue that needs to be addressed.

Union

June 21st, 2010
12:46 pm

granny.. why should they submit anything.. the dems will stop it.. say it is too harsh.. after all.. the dems dont want to alienate their voting base. (no pun intended)

Scout

June 21st, 2010
12:49 pm

Cynthia:

1) Do away with the Department of Education ………. you will have all the money you need.

2) A draft is fine as long as women are also drafted …….. otherwise NO !

Union

June 21st, 2010
12:50 pm

soames.. has a good point. do away with the billions a year spent on social services for illegals.. and you could build one big fence

Granny Godzilla

June 21st, 2010
12:50 pm

Union

Why should they submit anything?

Well, first it’s what they get paid for.

If the plan is reasonable to the American people why and how could the Dem’s stop it?

Sounds more like they are afraid to govern but have the courage to whine.

Granny Godzilla

June 21st, 2010
12:51 pm

Union

what if the new “big fence” works as badly as the old fence?

Kamchak

June 21st, 2010
12:54 pm

No one wants to build the double walled fence I want. They just don’t have the guts. It is sad.

The Great Wall of China was an ineffective deterrent and you’re on about fences?

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

June 21st, 2010
12:54 pm

Give anyone in America without proper documentation 6 mths to voluntarily be deported. If you turn yourself in you go to the front of the line to properly enter this country. To enter the country, you must have a job sponsor. Tax all monies being sent to Mexico @ 90%. If caught after the 60 days, 2 years at hard labor building the dang fence. Problem solved.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

June 21st, 2010
12:56 pm

Granny Godzilla,

Would you follow Obama off a cliff?

Peadawg

June 21st, 2010
12:58 pm

“comprehensive immigration reform”

Just call it amnesty. That’s what y’all really want, right Cynthia? Just admit it.

Granny Godzilla

June 21st, 2010
1:01 pm

Bob @ 12:56

Heavens no.

Would you follow Rush Limbaugh into a parking lot drug deal?

Would you follow Michelle Malkin and dress like a cheerleader?

Would you follow Glen Beck into a drug and alcohol addled state?

Would you follow the RNC to a lesbian bondage club?

Would you follow Dick Cheney to a hunting club?

Would you follow Sean Hannity into fleecing folks by setting up a questionable charity?

Golly I hope not!

Union

June 21st, 2010
1:01 pm

granny.. nice sidestep.. just keep wasting the money.. all that aside.. forget the fence.. how many people do you think we could put to work if we had an extra 35 billion a year.. thats a lot of people on the border..

Scout

June 21st, 2010
1:03 pm

Cynthia:

Now I am getting advertising phone messages left on my home phone totally in Spanish.

That should be illegal !!

Gator Joe

June 21st, 2010
1:04 pm

Cynthia,
Republicans, indeed Conservatives nowadays, are adept at calling attention to problems. They are indept when comes to the problem-solving part, as demonstrated by their last administration with regard to immigration. Equally bad is their inability to offer constructive ideas. In this case the problem is three-fold, what to do with undocumented immigrants already here, effective border security, and where the required, additional funding and manpower will come from.
Returning undocumented immigrants, would be costly, both in terms of the removal process and in terms of the loss of their labor. Securing the border, as you correctly point out, will require considerable increases in both civilian law enforcement and military personnel. It will be interesting to see how many Republicans will stand up for increasing revenue (taxes) for the purposes of addressing these problems. More unlikely, will be a flood of new police, border patrol and military recruits from the ranks of concerned Republicans.

Peadawg

June 21st, 2010
1:04 pm

“I’m betting Obama didn’t say that.”

:roll: Like someone said last week. If Obama farted, we could count on Cynthia to right a column about how good it smells.

Granny Godzilla

June 21st, 2010
1:05 pm

Union

No side step….straight forward.

Unless of course you don’t understand the problems with the Bush fence and YOU are sidestepping the fact you are one of the LIV’s who get the
headline from Fox, but neglect to get the rest of the story.

ctucker

June 21st, 2010
1:05 pm

Peadawg, Is that the most thoughtful dissent you could muster?

Peadawg

June 21st, 2010
1:06 pm

We could also count on Cynthia to write how the Republicans are wrong for saying it smelt bad.

ctucker

June 21st, 2010
1:06 pm

Gator Joe, I can remember when Republicans like Saxby Chambliss attacked the old INS for conducting raids to round up illegal immigrants. Seems the business community needed the labor.

Peadawg

June 21st, 2010
1:07 pm

“Is that the most thoughtful dissent you could muster?”

I don’t want to get banned again…which would happen if I told you what I really thought of you.

ctucker

June 21st, 2010
1:07 pm

Scout, I thought your math was better than that.

ctucker

June 21st, 2010
1:08 pm

Soames, It would take a draft to get enough person-power to guard a 2,000-mile long border.

ctucker

June 21st, 2010
1:09 pm

Big D, Did you read the Arizona Republic piece. The writer is neither black nor liberal.

Scout

June 21st, 2010
1:10 pm

Cynthia:

P.S. re: saving money for border enforcement.

Last I checked there were about 15 Cabinet level Departments in the U.S. government and Lord only knows how many other sub-cabinet level departments and czars. A lot of that stuff needs to go …………….

Dave R.

June 21st, 2010
1:11 pm

“If some permeability is acceptable, what is the tolerable amount?”

Less is the tolerable amount, Cynthia.

And no draft is needed. End this idiotic wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and you’ll have plenty back home to mind our borders.

Scout

June 21st, 2010
1:11 pm

Cynthia:

You never got back to me about the rape suspect the other day ……………

PixiePundit

June 21st, 2010
1:13 pm

Way to fearmonger yet again, CT.

Why would taxes be raised? Get the illegals out and off food stamps, medicaid, social security, welfare and education…How many millions or billions of tax dollars would be saved?

Securing the border would need a draft. We have State Militias, the National Guard, and 4 branches of the military available…and more people enlisting every day.

“Given the rightwing’s record of distortions, I’m betting Obama didn’t say that.”

Were you high when you wrote that? Seriously? Your Savior Obama has twisted and lied about every single issue he’s spoken about to suit his own agenda. Pot, meet kettle.

jconservative

June 21st, 2010
1:13 pm

Obama makes the 44th straight US president who has failed, or did not try, to secure the US borders. That is 221 straight years of no secure borders. It was not a big deal in 1810. It was not a big deal in 1910.
And, apparently, despite all the talk, it is not a big deal in 2010. If it was a Big Deal then the Republicans & Democrats would get together and pass a bill and Obama would sign it.

We could have secured the border with the passage of the Kennedy-McCain bill. But it failed to pass. Why? Politics.

stands for decibels

June 21st, 2010
1:15 pm

Get the illegals out and off food stamps, medicaid, social security, welfare and education…How many millions or billions of tax dollars would be saved?

Zero, because our business community would never allow their source of cheap, non-union labor to go away.

PixiePundit

June 21st, 2010
1:17 pm

Then they should be made to pay the penalties for hiring illegals, stands.

PixiePundit

June 21st, 2010
1:18 pm

Correction: Securing the borders would *not* need a draft.

Moonbat

June 21st, 2010
1:19 pm

“Beauty is only a light switch away.” Author Unknown

Dave R.

June 21st, 2010
1:23 pm

“We could have secured the border with the passage of the Kennedy-McCain bill. But it failed to pass. Why? Politics.”

No, amnesty was the reason it failed to pass.

Aquagirl

June 21st, 2010
1:23 pm

Why is it when we need cheap manpower everyone wants to use the military? While it’s fashionable to refer to the “Mexican Invasion” it’s not an actual invasion of uniformed, armed soldiers. There are children and women who are unarmed. Sending our troops to perform Border Patrol duties is an insult, and not what the military is designed to do.

Show a little respect to the troops, besides slapping a yellow ribbon on your SUV.