Back in June Progressives complained that President Obama was moving too far to the right on immigration instead of taking advantage of the legislative majority enjoyed by Democrats. These complaints came after news that the administration was requesting an additional $600 million from Congress for border security. The funds were to be spent hiring approximately 1000 Border Patrol agents, acquiring two drones to fly security missions along the Southwest border, pay for an additional 160 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and extra Border Patrol canine teams–the very things the administration had been attacked by the right for failing to do.
So guess who just blocked those funds.
Senate Republicans voted to not include the border security emergency funds for the states. Prior to reaching the Senate the House had passed a bill that added a $100 million to the border security emergency funds.
Of the key votes against providing the extra funds for security were Arizona Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, both Republicans and both vocal critics of the federal government’s efforts to secure the border between Arizona and Mexico and have specifically urged the federal government to provide more help to states in the form of law enforcement resources.
Given the recent arrest of a Republican donor for human trafficking and the blatant racism posing as immigration policy coming from the right, this particular vote shows a stunning hubris, even by Republican standards. So far the Republican party line has been “we’ll work with the administration when we know they are serious about securing our borders.” If $600 million for law enforcement alone is not serious, then I invite the Republicans to offer up some examples of what are. Until then the GOP will continue to be the party of “NO!”, even on when the legislative efforts support its own platform.
photo courtesy of O.Cosma via Flickr