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GOP lawmaker warns total border security is impossible goal
5 years ago

By Mike Lillis

A House Republican negotiating a comprehensive immigration reform deal warned Friday that full border security is impossible.

Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) said the Southern border is simply too wild for law enforcers to plug all the gaps in the fight against illegal immigration.

“Anybody that thinks you can totally secure the Southern border has never been to the Southern border,” Carter said. “I've been down there all my life, and I'm telling you, you can have a 40-foot wall and put machine guns on it, and you can't secure the Southern border.
There's too much wild country.

“North of Del Rio to the Big Bend is as wild and rugged a country as there is in the United States,” he added, “and it's all owned by private individuals.”

Carter's comments are a rebuke to conservatives in both chambers demanding that the border be essentially airtight before other provisions of immigration reform – notably the legalization of those living in the country illegally – kick in. 

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) had offered an amendment to the upper chamber's immigration bill that would have required 100 percent border surveillance and a 90 percent apprehension rate of illegal entrants along the Southern border before granting permanent legal status to millions of immigrants already living in the country.

The package that passed the Senate on Thursday includes those measures as goals, but does not require the Department of Homeland Security to meet them before granting residency benefits.

“The difference between my amendment and their bill is that their bill promises the sun and the moon when it comes to border security but it has no trigger mechanism,” Cornyn warned before his amendment was voted down.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) had floated an even tougher proposal, which would have required 100 percent surveillance and a 95 percent apprehension rate before the residency benefits kicked in.

Carter said the comprehensive reform bill he's been working on with six other House lawmakers — four Democrats and two Republicans — includes “certain triggers” that “have to be met” before the other provisions take effect.

“Border security triggers the rest of the bill,” Carter said.

He declined, however, to provide any details.

“Certain triggers have to be met is all I'm going to say,” he said. “You'll see. We're almost there.”

Carter said the House bill will offer five-year work visas, and when those expire “you can get another one if you want one” — a contrast, he noted, to the Senate bill.

“Their work permit guarantees that there will be a green card,” he said. “Ours is different,” offering the possibility of green cards “after 10 years.”

He was also quick to contrast the House and Senate bills as they address citizenship. The Senate bill carves out special rules for those already living in the United States, he said, whereas the House bill deals with “everyone who is in the immigration process.”|

“Our bill creates no new pathway to citizenship,” he said.

That distinction is meant to appease conservatives who say any special treatment afforded those in the country illegally would represent “amnesty” for lawbreakers.

Thursday’s passage of the Senate bill has provided a good deal of momentum to comprehensive immigration reform as it heads over to the House. But Carter was quick to rule out the possibility that GOP leaders might bring that bill to the House floor.

“They've just left too many gaps there, too many things that people are upset about,” he said of the Senate version.

“I think there's a real will in the majority of the [Republican] Conference — but not everybody — to try to get something done, but it's got to have some certain parameters that are very important to it, and I don't think the Senate bill meets [them].”

House negotiators have finished writing a preliminary draft of their immigration bill, but it has yet to be released. While the Democrats have signed off on it, the Republicans have not.


5 years ago

Carter said he's still reviewing the language — “There are things in the bill that I don't know what they mean because I'm not an immigration lawyer,” he said — but remains hopeful the group can release the package early next month.

“We expect ... to be finished after this July [Fourth] break,” he said. “Our staffs [are] going to work on it over July break.” 

Borders, what borders?
5 years ago

OK, then we accept defacto open borders and whoever comes in will be given amnesty sometime in the future and we'll keep in place the policy of them bringing in more relatives and this is "solving" the immigration problem? Of course this doesn't address the issues of requiring every employer to use E-verify, enhanced internal enforcement that results in deportations, or a visa tracking system. What is being said, in effect, is the government cannot (or will not) secure our borders period! If that's the case, what is the purpose of passing more legislation since there will be no effective change in the current situation except the politicians and their special interest supporters get more "citizens" and there is a lot of pork and other very bad items in the bill. It appears that there will be no really rational discussion of immigration policy for the country in our current circumstance. There are a whole host of issues including taking a look at the granting of asylum, need for/limits on/control of guest workers, reasons for accepting legal immigrants, and an overall policy of what the US immigration policy needs to be in today's environment. What is also ignored with this assessment is the drug smuggling. terrorism threat, and criminal immigrant flow that we've been experiencing. It's time to take a rational and not emotional approach to this issue. Again, if we can't control the border then what's the hurry in doing anything now?????? Especially another huge piece of legislation that was put together at the last minute and passed in haste that effectively doesn't solve any problems!

This post was modified from its original form on 29 Jun, 11:36

This post was modified from its original form on 29 Jun, 11:37
5 years ago

How you go to extremes, John.  That is not what it is saying, it is saying that that is not going to be the complete solution.  There are miles and miles of area where they won't be able to put up a fence or patrol as they should.  Further, what about the storm drains, the tunneling, etc.? A fence is not going to solve the issue and we have to realize this.  So does that mean we are going to put men on patrolling the entire border, as that is what it will take and realizing that it is very easy to watch undetected for a patrol to pass and then slip across.  I am not sure what the solution is to securing the borders, John.  I agree something has to be done, but as this man has stated, people have absolutely no clue as to what it is going to require. 

The time it is going to take to figure it out and implement something look at how many more will be crossing the border and here.  So, what works?  If they have incentive to come in and get a work visa we then know where they are and who they are.  If more come, fine, do the same.  Anyone caught without the visa is immediately deported.  

That way they are paying taxes, social security and the other taxes to work here.  That at least brings in some revenue instead of it leaving the country.  Then you can impose more regulations; some level of English has to be learned for communication, etc.  

John, I am not saying that I don't agree that the borders need to be secured, but people have no clue what that will mean, both in the money it is going to take,   A lot of the land is private property so the government is going to have to purchase at least a right of way, the terrain is such that it is going to be a huge challenge, etc.  This will not be accomplished in a year, probably not even 5 years.  So look at what will be taking place during that time, John.  How many more will cross the borders and be on our back financially?  

Would it not make sense to get them paying taxes, at least.  Would this not then discourage a lot of them from coming if it is true that they are here for freebees?  I don't happen to believe that all the illegals are here for that reason; I can't speak for Central and South Americans coming across the border, etc, but I can say that the Mexicans are here to work and make money.

Shoot, maybe the answer is to annex Mexico into the U.S. whether people like it or not and then tighten the southern border of Mexico as that is a lot less of a land mass to deal .  Then put gun boats on the Rio Grande, etc.  LOL  I do think that we are going to have the cooperation of the Mexican government and that doesn't seem to be happening with Obama as President.

5 years ago

Linda: What you need to understand is the Demagogue Party and the RINOs DO NOT WANT TO STOP ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM COMING IN AND WANT MORE AND MORE "IMMIGRANTS" in the country for different reasons. The Dems and their allies for voters, give away program beneficiaries, to help their union buddies get more members, and to keep their special interest groups like La Raza happy. The RINOs to provide cheap labor for some of their business supporters and to feel good about themselves with a side hope that maybe those new "immigrants" might throw a few votes their way at least to keep them in a sufficiently minority status that they can feel part of the Beltway establishment. It isn't only the border but other things not being done deliberately by the administration like letting illegals go that were already caught, telling ICE to lay off collecting more illegals internally in the country, no movement on a visa tracking system, making sure state and local governments are afraid to find illegals, allowing illegals to scam the system with phony documentation/tax refunds/child credits, and giving lip service to employer verification requirements unless the employer is one of their political enemies. None of those items have anything to do with closing the Mexican border. Even that begs the issue of crime, drug running, and national security problems with an open border as well. I am tired of excuses from the GOP and some alleged "conservatives" in not doing their duty as elected officials. We can save our contribution money and political efforts if all we are doing is electing Demagogue Party types running with an "R" behind their name. Again, WHY IS THIS NOW A "CRISIS" THAT REQUIRES IMMEDIATE AND STUPID ACTION???? It's the same problem we've had since we were scammed in the 80s and it is the same "solution"! If we still have an open border after the current "solution" goes into effect and it takes "time" to correct the border problem "if we even can" according to the congressman, then why are we doing this since it will encourage more to come in in hopes of another "solution" like this farce and the one Reagan got snookered into going along with? The GOP leadership and the party elite are playing us for fools if we buy this! BTW, most won't be paying any more taxes than now since most aren't earning that much and will legally be able to draw benefits especially SS and Medicare since they will have contributed to the programs. Also, English is the "official language" now but we have all kinds of government info in a host of languages for even those who have passed the citizenship test so that is a crock as well. Then there is the little issue as well of "if they are in the shadows and we can't find them to deport them" how are we going to find those that don't want to be found to pay taxes/learn English/etc??? Schumer et al have lied to us for years and the likes of the "gang of eight" GOP members have either been all over the place on issues in the past like McManic and his little offspring Graham or have lied like Rubio if you look at his past positions on immigration before being elected. You're buying the con job!

5 years ago

John, you could not be more wrong.  I am not buying into any con job.  And there is not anything more that either of us need to say.  You have your opinion and the right to it; I don't agree completely with you.  I have the right to my opinion and you don't agree with me.  

Please, let's just leave it there and move on and leave this subject alone.  We need to agree to disagree, please.

5 years ago

Linda: I noticed that you declare my arguments as "wrong" without answering any of the questions I posed, providing substantial counter arguments, or addressing why this needs to be done now and in haste with a mega bill filled with the usual excesses of the recent mega bills coming from the Senate. You may not want to continue the discussion which is fine but I fail to see any justification for this move at all especially since it is the same old line and the same old non "solution" to a problem the open borders crowd, who are supporting this move, have created. All this article does is affirm that border security will never be done if those supporting open borders are in charge and we will continue to have "millions living in the shadows" that "deserve a path to citizenship" (for breaking the law). The first thing that needs to be done is for the Legislative Branch to state a comprehensive immigration policy as to the scope and objectives of immigration in today's environment. Actually the administration should do that but they won't since their "policy" is open borders for those who will "transform" the US into a Third World socialist state. Just listening to Chuckie Schumer push the line that he is doing this to "make the GOP viable" going forward should be enough to show this whole thing is a total farce!

5 years ago

John, if you had read what I said, it is that you are wrong that I have not bought into any con and I haven't.  I have looked at this from the facts that I know and then compared them to what has been said and is being said and done.  

I am not completely happy with any of the solutions, but I do know that I also have offered some suggestions in the past.  I still have not seen any solutions being offered by you, John and therefore, let's please drop this subject.  I have other issues of concern that I would prefer to address and I am sure that you have to see by now that you are not changing my mind nor I yours and, once more, let's agree to disagree on this and move on.  

5 years ago

I have the feeling that when it comes right down to it, not much will be done about the border and the influx of illegals will continue to be massive with the added incentive of amnesty (assuming that they even want to become American citizens).  The only thing that has slowed it down has been a bad US economy.  See...something positive said about Obama.  :-/   The Mexican gov't has absolutely no intention of helping us secure the border.  In fact, they are encouraging their citizens to enter illegally & go so far as to provide them information on how to do it.

Even with the ability of keeping every illegal out being down right impossible, sincere strong efforts should be made & I don't get a warm, fuzzy feeling from the gang of 8 no matter what they're claiming. There is no border security in the bill.

5 years ago

"How many more will cross the borders and be on our back financially?" 

Don't you think amnesty is going to negatively affect our economy as well?  As far as being on our back financially, we can try stopping all the freebies given to illegals with the exception of life & death emergencies.  Agreed, no easy solutions, but something has to be done to increase security on the border, not promises that somewhere down the road it will supposedly be done.  Amnesty without first making major efforts to control the border will only encourage even more to come into the country.  Then there's the problem of drug cartels & terrorists. 

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