Arming the Border: Something You Apparently Won’t See Widely

Quietly, Obama sent up a proposal to dispatch 1,200 National Guardsmen to the border. A proposal to increase that number to 6,000 was defeated narrowly yesterday, along a near party-line vote, with some Democrats breaking ranks to support the provision.

Curiously, this news is running below the radar. The right’s neglect we can expect — it doesn’t fit their narrative, and Fox News, apparently, has bigger stories — but it’s not clear to me why we shouldn’t be happy about this, and trumpeting it as a victory for compromise, and a flat rebuttal of the notion that Democrats don’t care about border security. Taking border security into federal hands, where it belongs, takes the matter out of the states’ hands — and away from Arizona’s bizarre law — thus accomplishing an objectively important goal in a non-controversial, competent manner. This is bipartisanship for a good cause, a clear example of the President “standing up to his base,” and a reminder of why Obama’s political philosophy works, in most cases, a beneficial moderation in a polarized nation.

One comment

  1. The border will always be a sieve. It is not where we will stop illegal immigration. Of course, we should maintain full security wherever it is easy to cross – along highways and near population centers. But it’s already really hard to cross in the open desert, and yet people do cross there.

    Trying to make the actual physical crossing less appealing suffers steep diminishing returns. It seems to me that making something that is already incredibly difficult and dangerous significantly moreso is quite a daunting proposition, especially when the current state isn’t a sufficient deterrent. It also does absolutely nothing to address those who enter legally but have overstayed their welcome.

    Obviously there are some awfully enticing reasons to be an illegal immigrant in this country. Wouldn’t it be a better solution to address those institutional problems that in fact encourage illegal immigration, rather than trying frantically to marginally increase the deterrents?

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