Well, of course he does. If we tightened the border THEN reformed immigration, millions more “undocumented aliens” would not flood across the border to take advantage of the reform, A.K.A. amnesty
President Barack Obama is set to reject the key compromise at the heart of a bipartisan deal on immigration reform announced by eight Senators yesterday. The president, who will deliver an address later today in Las Vegas, NV outlining his own immigration ideas, is reported to oppose linking a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants, a Democrat demand, to stronger law enforcement and better border security, a Republican demand.
The president will apparently argue that the administration has met reasonable goals on enforcing current immigration legislation, and that additional security will merely create new obstacles to legalizing the roughly 12 million illegal immigrants thought to be living in the United States. The federal government accelerated deportations in the first years of the Obama presidency, and sent new personnel to patrol the southwestern border.
However, starting last year, the Obama administration declined to enforce existing law regarding the so-called “Dreamers”–immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children. The election-year move drew praise from Hispanic groups but preempted congressional legislation, and brought criticism from proponents of immigration reform, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who objected to the president’s clear circumvention of Congress.
The essence of the deal struck by Rubio with Senate colleagues in the “Gang of Eight” or “immigration eight” is that a path to citizenship would be contingent upon meeting law enforcement criteria. Republican critics of the Senate deal–including some who are otherwise supportive of immigration reform–argued that the deal would cause “instant legalization” of illegal immigrants, while the border security provisions would take time.
Just as an aside, I oppose the Gang of Eight deal for one basic reason. We cannot trust the same people who have refused to enforce laws to suddenly enforce these new laws. Tighten the border FIRST, then we can talk about a plan.