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Horowitz: Conservatives Should Oppose House Border Bill

Horowitz: Conservatives Should Oppose House Border Bill

Conservatives have long argued that our porous southern border and lax interior enforcement represents our most imminent fiscal and national security threat.  Our open border is an emergency.  But this emergency has been going on for quite some time and therefore the solution is not an instant supplemental funding package – because that won’t solve the emergency.  There is, however, an imminent need to stop Obama’s lawlessness with existing funding for the related departments and agencies.

The fundamental problem with the approach we are seeing from the House Republicans is that they are treating Obama like the firefighter instead of the arsonist.  President Obama has requested $3.7 billion to deal with this so-called humanitarian crisis as if it is a natural disaster.  He likely requested such a high number because he knew it would be negotiated down.  Unfortunately, Republicans have bought into his messaging hook, line and sinker, haggling over the cost of the bill instead of debating the entire premise of the bill.

House Republicans plan to grant Obama $659 million over the next two months to deal with the crisis and change a few statutes in a 2008 anti-trafficking law.  But again, the problem with the funding bill is not the price-tag, it’s the premise that Obama needs any additional appropriations to uphold the laws he’s willfully violated.  Moreover, $659 million in spending from now until September 30, the end of the fiscal year, is $10.5 million per day.

Here are the clear problems with the bill:

  • No Mention of DACA: The glaring omission from the GOP bill is a provision defunding and blocking any administrative amnesty before this administration receives one penny in new funding.  Obama is openly promising to grant another massive illegal amnesty, yet Republicans are giving him the green light by refusing to use their best leverage to end the lawlessness.

  • Trafficking Law a Red Herring: Oddly enough, some Republicans who are desperate to just pass something seem to think that they can find the perfect sweet spot – craft a consequential bill that would actually stop the open borders, yet force Obama to sign it.  The sad reality is that this president would never willingly sign a new bill that actually inhibits his agenda; nor would he ever follow such a law, especially after receiving the new funding.  The two are inversely related.

    The House bill proposes changes to the 2008 trafficking law that treats unaccompanied minors from Central America differently than those from Mexico.  However, even under current law, the President has the authority to deport all those who have not been “severely trafficked,” and the latitude to deport anyone under extraordinary circumstances.  Tweaking the statute will not force Obama to enforce a law he chooses to ignore, especially when he is openly threatening full-scale amnesty.

So what is the recourse for conservatives?

As we’ve noted on numerous occasions, the only leverage against a president who refuses to enforce the laws is the power of the purse.  House Republicans must work through existing appropriations to push border security initiatives, while promising no new funding until Obama repeals his amnesty and starts executing current laws.  Granting Obama more funding – whatever amount – without demanding a change in behavior will accomplish nothing and only absolve him from any responsibility in setting our borders ablaze.

It is Obama and the advocates who need to answer for the effects of open borders, not those of us who have always advocated for border security.

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