Tag Archives: border security

Border Patrol: shutdown collateral damage

Talk about an unintended consequence.

Donald Trump said he would shut down the government over construction of The Wall along our southern border to increase border security.

So, part of the government shuts down. The U.S. Border Patrol continues to do its job, which is to secure the border. Except that the shutdown is depriving these valuable officers of their pay. It’s putting enormous stress on those officers.

Thus, it is — let’s see — oh, endangering national security. A stressed-out Border Patrol officer cannot do his or her job as well as someone who isn’t suffering from the pressure caused by a shutdown that deprives them of income.

How’s that security enhancement goal working out, Mr. President?

I’ve got the answer: Not worth a damn!

Border security? Agreed, Mr. President . . . but how?

Donald J. Trump fired off this Twitter message today.

It reads: ... Border is eventually going to be militarized and defended or the United States, as we have known it, is going to cease to exist…And Americans will not go gentle into that good night. Patrick Buchanan.  The great people of our Country demand proper Border Security NOW!

If you can get past the mangled syntax from the man who knows “the best words,” then more power to you. Someone will have to explain why the name “Patrick Buchanan” appears in the middle of this message.

I actually agree with the last part of the president’s tweet. The “great people of our Country” do demand secure borders.

In that context I consider myself a “great” person. So, thank you, Mr. President.

Where we differ is how you obtain “proper Border Security.” The Wall isn’t necessary. We have technology. We have Border Patrol agents. There are drones. Electronic surveillance. Cameras.

C’mon, Mr. President. Use what we have. Pay for more of it. No more money for The Wall. End the government shutdown! Put those American public servants back to work and pay those who have been working for free! This is nonsense.

Now it’s the Freedom Caucus resisting emergency declaration

Donald Trump listens only to his political base. The rest of us can go straight to hell, in Trump’s world.

Get a load of this: The Freedom Caucus, the group of ultraconservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives, is now pushing back on the president’s desire to declare a national emergency so he can obtain money to build The Wall along our southern border. Such a declaration might empower the president take funds earmarked for other projects to pay for The Wall.

No can do, Mr. President. Many of us believe that’s illegal.

The Freedom Caucus speaks out and, guess what, Trump pulls the emergency declaration off the table, at least for the time being.

At issue is government shutdown. It’s about to set a record for longevity. Hundreds of thousands of government workers have been furloughed or are working without pay. They’re mad as hell. They’re griping to their members of Congress. Many of them are starting to hear their constituents’ complaints.

Trump has declared a “crisis” on our southern border. It’s a phony issue. The only crisis is occurring inside the White House and on Capitol Hill. I don’t mean to say we should throw open our borders and let everyone in — legally or illegally.

However, the national emergency won’t do a thing to stem whatever is occurring on the border. Illegal crossings have declined for decades. So have arrests. Trump, though, made a stupid campaign pledge to build The Wall; he said Mexico would pay for it, but now he is trying to foist the cost of The Wall on you and me while denying he ever said Mexico would write “a check.” Well, actually he did say such a thing.

In the meantime, about 800,000 federal employees have been kicked around like a battered football. They are suffering. They need to work. Trump, though, says he can “relate” to their troubles. The truth is he cannot relate at all; no rich kid who inherits millions from his father can “relate” to someone who’s actually must work for a living to feed his or her family and keep a roof over their heads. The president of the United States doesn’t demonstrate empathy for anyone — period!

There must not be a national emergency declaration. The president says the law is “100 percent behind” him. Actually, that’s a highly debatable point and you can bet every nickel in your piggy bank that Democrats are going to take any such declaration to court.

And, yes, the Freedom Caucus just might join them.

Pay attention, Mr. President. Your “base” is cracking.

National security suffers from shutdown

Donald Trump has dug in on The Wall. He wants it built and he wants you and me to pay for it, not Mexico — as he had pledged during his campaign for the presidency.

As a result, part of the federal government has shut down. Trump says the shutdown is needed to bolster — ostensibly — our national security. The Wall would protect us from those hordes of killers, rapists and sex traffickers seeking illegal entry into the United States of America.

Oh, but what about national security.

Airport security officers are working without pay. They’re calling in sick. The post-9/11 travel restrictions are suffering now because TSA agents aren’t showing up for work. Those who do are being put under undue stress while they wait for their next paycheck; they don’t know when that day will arrive.

And then we have our air traffic controllers. They are employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA cannot pay its air controllers, either.

Air traffic control is among the world’s most stressful of jobs even under the best of circumstances. As the head of the ATC union said this morning, those men and women have to be “100 percent 100 percent of the time.” Given the shuttering of the government, they aren’t functioning at 100 percent. They are worried about their mortgage payments, their kids’ tuition, their utility bills, grocery bills, car payments, credit cards payments. You name it, they’re stressing out.

Can these individuals spare a single moment away from their job of guiding airplanes, preventing jetliners full of travelers from crashing into each other? Of course not!

National security, Mr. President? You’ve got to be kidding — but you’re not.

Do you, dear reader, feel safer now? Me neither.

Houston police chief wants help to fight the real crisis

The “crisis” to which Donald Trump has referred is not on our southern border, says Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. “It’s on the streets of our cities,” he says.

Thus, he wants the president to redirect his attention away from the border to cities such as Houston, which are fighting home-grown criminals who seek to do harm to their communities and the people who live in them.

I stand with Houston’s top cop.

The president is stoking fear along our border by suggesting that hordes of illegal immigrants are pouring into the country to commit all manner of violent crimes against U.S. citizens. Acevedo says his city is strapped to the hilt while trying to battle criminals who already are here.

I’m pretty sure Trump would hear similar horror tales from police chiefs all across the nation. If the president wants to spend $5.7 billion to build The Wall, he ought to redirect that effort to providing federal assistance to local law enforcement authorities who aren’t ever going to turn away aid when it arrives.

Listen to the chief, Mr. POTUS.

Mexico wouldn’t ‘write a check’? Really, Mr. President?

Hold on, Mr. President. Many millions of your fellow Americans aren’t going to let you get away with this one.

You now say that your boast about making “Mexico pay for the wall” did not mean that the country would cut us a check to pay for its construction.

You “meant” to infer that Mexico would pay for it indirectly. Is that what you’re saying now, Mr. President.

I have listened — along with millions of other Americans — to all that campaign-rally bellowing and bluster about how you intended to force Mexico foot the bill for The Wall. At no time did I ever hear you say, or even hint, that you intended for the “payment” to come in some form other than a direct disbursement of money from the Mexican treasury to our own treasury.

Mexican President (at the time) Enrique Pena Nieto declared that Mexico wouldn’t pay for The Wall. He never said publicly that Mexico would refuse to pay even indirectly.

Many of us, Mr. President, have presumed that you meant what you said out loud, and very loudly, at all those campaign rallies. We also remember how you exhorted  your crowds of faithful followers to answer the question: Who’s going to pay for The Wall? They would shout, “Mexico!” You cheered ’em on!

I’ve got the link to the Daily Mail story here. You are trying to tell us what you meant to say, which I presume is not what you actually said.

That’s a non-starter, Mr. President.

You have broken faith with the suckers who voted for you.

Democrats taking Trump insults personally?

A part of me wishes congressional Democrats had stuck around Washington to knuckle down in search of a solution to the government shutdown instead of scurrying for the tall grass; Donald Trump managed to forgo his Florida getaway to stay in D.C., after all.

Another part of me thinks that Trump is handling this standoff poorly while he dishes out Twitter-fueled insults to his political foes.

He needles them to come to the White House, but uses that snarky tone — along with the demagogic rhetoric about favoring “open borders” — to make whatever point he wants to make.

How can Democrats not take this constant barrage personally? How can they put all that crap aside as if the president never said anything of a smart-alecky nature?

For instance, Trump fired off this tweet: I am in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come on over and make a deal on Border Security. From what I hear, they are spending so much time on Presidential Harassment that they have little time left for things like stopping crime and our military!

See what I mean? He has to say something about Democrats having “little time left for things like stopping crime and our military.” That’s the stuff of a demagogue.

He continues to play exclusively to his base, which cheers him on blindly. The rest of us? He couldn’t care less. This is the guy who said he’d be a “unifying” president, that he would seek to be everyone’s head of state, head of government and commander in chief. He is nothing of the sort!

The partial government shutdown now figures to hang around for a while. Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in a few days. Maybe something will change. Maybe they can persuade their GOP colleagues in the Senate to pass the word on to the president that his insistence on building The Wall is a non-starter.

If only they can get over the personal insults that emanate from the president’s Twitter account.

What is so wrong with a ‘pathway to citizenship’?

The 2018 midterm election might be setting an unofficial record for demagogic statements and rhetoric.

One of them goes something like this: Democrats want to grant immediate citizenship to illegal aliens. Hmm. Really?

Here is what I understand is the talking point that Democrats are pitching and it has next to nothing to do with what their Republican foes keep saying about them.

They say they want to grant a “pathway to citizenship” to those who entered the United States illegally. Does that equate in any fashion to granting immediate citizenship? Not to me.

One of the most-watched Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate, Texan Beto O’Rourke, has been vilified as someone who favors “open borders,” one who says we have “too much border security” and someone who favors allowing illegal immigrants to vote.

Yes. I actually heard that last thing stated on a Fox News interview O’Rourke conducted with talking head Sean Hannity.

What I believe is the truth is that O’Rourke and other progressive candidates want is to grant a reprieve from deportation for illegal immigrants. Then he has suggested a form of screening of those immigrants, seeking to determine the reasons they are here. He and others want to allow them the chance to apply for citizenship or to seek permanent resident status.

Why, I must wonder, is that such a bad thing? Why is it preferable in the minds of many others to just round ’em up, keep ’em restrained and then deport ’em without giving them a chance to build new lives in the Land of Opportunity?

The xenophobe in chief keeps implying that every illegal immigrant is here to do harm. Yep, grandma and grandpa, along with their small grandchildren, as well as married couples have sneaked into our country to commit terrible, heinous, despicable crimes against unsuspecting Americans. That’s how the demagoguery goes.

It is untrue. It is a lie fomented by those with ghastly motives.

Do I favor “open borders”? Do I favor an absence of border security? Do I want to grant anyone permission to enter this country without the proper documentation? Of course not. Neither do politicians seeking election to important public offices.

None of that will stop the demagogues from continuing their campaign of lies.

Which is it: shutdown or deal on budget?

On one day, the president of the United States declared there would be a government shutdown if Congress didn’t come to a decision on an immigration package that secured our borders.

That is that. No deal, no government. “I would love a shutdown” if there’s no deal to build a wall. “Without borders, we don’t have a country,” Donald Trump declared.

The next day, U.S. Senate Democratic and Republican leaders cobbled together a budget deal that funds the government for two years. It’s a bipartisan agreement. Oh, and it doesn’t have any money for the wall the president wants to build across our southern border.

No worries, said the president. He’ll sign it if it gets to his desk.

So, which is it? Does the president want the wall or does he want to fund the government and avoid a shutdown that could occur later this week?

Honestly, I prefer the second version of the president’s current view. I believe he should sign the bill if it clears the House of Representatives, which at the moment is going through a revolt among members of its most conservative members. They hate the bill because it spends too much money and, yes, doesn’t include money for the wall or other border security measures.

They call themselves “fiscal hawks.” They say the Republican Party no longer can claim to be the party of “fiscal responsibility.”

Here’s what I hope happens. The House agrees on the Senate bill, they send it to the White House, the president signs it and then all sides — Democrats and Republicans in Congress and the president — get to work immediately on resolving the issue of immigration.

A viable government needs to proceed without the imminent threat of shutting down.

I am one taxpaying American citizen who is damn tired of this Band-Aid policy of running the government.

Can we just agree to keep the entire federal government functioning and serving all Americans while our representatives do what they were elected to do?

It is called “governing.”

How about securing your border, sir?

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks during the Texas State Rifle Association convention on Saturday, February 23, 2013 in Mesquite, Texas. (Cooper Neill/The Dallas Morning News) / mug - mugshot - headshot - portrait / 05012013xALDIA

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is visiting with Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto to talk about a whole range of bilateral issues.

I’ve got a topic for them to talk about.

Border security on the Mexican side comes to mind.

I’m glad Gov. Abbott is venturing to Mexico City to talk about international relations with our neighbors. But you know, with all this talk about immigration and the “flood” of undocumented immigrants pouring into the country, I think Abbott ought to take this opportunity to ask his friends in Mexico what they’re doing to prevent the immigration situation from getting even worse.

Do you remember all those children who were coming to Texas and other border states from Central America? They were traveling through Mexico to get to the United States.

I don’t recall hearing a credible explanation from Mexico as to how and why those children were being allowed to travel all the way through that country into ours.

Perhaps the governor can ask President Nieto about that? Hey, dignitaries often have “frank” discussions when leaders meet. OK, Abbott isn’t a head of a nation-state, but he is the head of a leading U.S. state that borders Mexico.

He ought to quiz his pal in Mexico City about the bilateral responsibility that’s involved with securing our shared border. President Obama gets pounded by his critics for failing to secure our side of the border.

Perhaps, though, it would be good to ask the Mexican president what he’s doing to secure his country’s side of the border.