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Time To Focus On Threats, Not Launching Political Amnesty Fight

Posted By Matt Mayer On December 31, 2009 @ 10:13 am In Security | Comments Disabled

As if the Obama Administration and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano didn’t have enough tough issues to handle with the total failure of the post-9/11 system to keep a terrorist with a bomb off our airplanes, the LA Times reports [1] that the Obama Administration is more committed than ever to push for amnesty in 2010. That is madness.

Let’s take a step back and consider where things stand.

First, the economy remains on very fragile ground with millions of Americans out of work, the next pack of home foreclosures to hit, and deficits as far as the eye can see. Add on top of this the half a trillion dollars in new health care taxes, and trillions more in cap and trade energy taxes, and things could get much, much, worse.

Let’s not forget the battle still to be waged over moving all of the terrorists from Gitmo to Illinois, as well as the delivery of some terrorists to Yemen. With reports out that the Christmas Day terrorist had help from at least two terrorists formally held at Gitmo, the Obama Administration will face a growing fight from the Congress and the American people on the issue.

Finally, there are still two wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. The announced surge in Afghanistan will pose serious challenges for President Obama and his national security team. We pray his long-delayed action is wildly successful.

Of course, there are other pressing items not noted above, but I think you get the point. There are more than enough items in play that injecting one of the most divisive political issues into the arena is sheer madness.

As we have previously noted, Obama has taken steps [2] backward [3] on interior immigration enforcement. And while their have been decreases in illegal border crossing, the driving force behind the crossings remain too closely connected to the weak economy to know if our efforts on the border have been sufficient enough to declare victory [4] And, our visa policies remain defective [5], including the failure to put in place a program for low-level temporary workers.

Then there is the whole question of what to do with the 11.3 million illegal immigrants already in America. The Obama Administration and its political supporters want an amnesty provision. The American public is strongly against amnesty, especially when the economy is so weak and millions of Americans would then face legal competition of these newly-minted citizens.

The bottom line is that Secretary Napolitano clearly has a lot more work to do to make sure the system actually does work the next time an al Qaeda terrorist tries to attack us. Having spent time in the Secretary’s Office in 2005-2006 during the frenzy of Dubai Port World, Hurricane Katrina, and other crises of the month, the last things Secretary Napolitano and her team can handle right now is a battle over comprehensive immigration reform.

If my experience remains indicative of how things are going over at DHS right now, Secretary Napolitano and her team are spending almost every waking moment dealing with the ramifications and questions surrounding the Christmas Day attack. They should get used to it as the Congress sets hearings, the media find out more on what didn’t work, and the demand for accountability increases. These types of events are physically and emotionally draining as already overworked appointees and their civil servant staffers work even more.

President Obama should ratchet back his agenda for 2010 and put immigration on the back burner. His team has more important things to focus on like stopping terrorists.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/12/31/time-to-focus-on-threats-not-launching-political-amnesty-fight/

URLs in this post:

[1] LA Times reports: http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-na-immigration30-2009dec30,0,4277224.story

[2] steps: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HomelandSecurity/wm2543.cfm

[3] backward: http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed092809b.cfm

[4] the crossings remain too closely connected to the weak economy to know if our efforts on the border have been sufficient enough to declare victory: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Immigration/bg2285.cfm

[5] our visa policies remain defective: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Immigration/bg2241.cfm

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