Obama's Border Effort Is Not Enough

Today, I went to the Senate floor to discuss my amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill, which would provide resources desperately needed to secure the border, without adding to the deficit, because the costs are offset by unspent stimulus funds. Although 54 senators voted for the amendment, it failed to reach the 60-vote threshold to pass and was voted down by a group of 43 Democrats.

My colleagues keep repeating the White House talking points and congratulating themselves on all they’ve done for border security, but it’s not enough. Visit the border, Senators, and see for yourselves. Talk to law enforcement. It’s not enough. My amendment gives law enforcement the tools and technology they need to meet this threat.

Earlier this week, President Obama announced his proposal to provide up to 1,200 members of the National Guard across a 2,000 mile border, which only adds one guardsman for every 1.6 miles of border. Under the President’s plan, if illegal border crossings happen at the same rate as in recent years, there will be 450 illegal crossing for each new National Guardsman. On the Senate floor, I pointed out that President Obama’s proposal is an unacceptable short-term solution to a long-term problem.

On the other hand, the amendment I proposed to the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010 (H.R. 4899) would correct the misplaced priorities of the Obama Administration, dedicating robust funding for border security and ensuring the President commits the necessary resources to the Southwest border. The amendment would also provide resources for federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who work on the frontlines of the U.S.-Mexico border every day. More specifically, the amendment would fund six important priorities involving border security, which include border security and technology, state and local law enforcement, southwest border taskforces, border enforcement personnel, detention and removal activities, and ports of entry.

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