I would have been happy for President Obama to bask in the glory of having been the president who got bin Laden a little longer-but not President Obama.
Speaking yesterday in Texas, the President said that no amount of security on the border between Mexico and the United States would satisfy the (by implication) Hispanic-hating Republicans
“Maybe they’ll need a moat,” he went on. “Maybe they’ll want alligators in the moat.”
You got that? Republicans want to feed your relatives to alligators, my dear Hispanic friends.
Of course, this is a despicable thing to imply, and one reason the borders are an issue is that they are porous and appear to have become more so during the last two years. The border is a serious issue and it deserves more than mockery from the president. Republicans have demanded border security before moving onto the issue of comprehensive immigration reform. This is reasonable.
Jake Tapper of ABC News sent the president’s speech to the fact checkers, and they found some instances in which he was less than candid. Some of his remarks were factually correct but strangely concocted-e.g., his claim that there are now 20,000 more Border Patrol now than in 2004:
It’s an unusual metric for the president to compare the number of Border Patrol agents now to the number there were four years before his presidency began, but what the president says is accurate.
The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 increased the number of Border Patrol agents by 2,000 annually from FY2006, when there were a total of 12,349 Border Patrol agents, to FY2010, when there were 20,511.
A more apt comparison might be to look at how many Border Patrol agents there were when President Obama took office and compare that to now.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, as of October 2008, there were 17,499 Border Patrol agents in total – including those at the Canadian border.
As of April 9, 2011, there were 20,745 Border Patrol agents nationwide – an increase of approximately 3,246 since President Obama took office.
And what about those agents on the US-Mexican border? Surely that’s what many in the audience thought the president was talking about as he stood on the border and talked about border agents – not those in Buffalo, NY.
As of October 2008, there were 15,442 Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border. There are currently 17,659 Border Patrol Agents between the more than 160 ports of entry on the Southwest border.
That’s an increase of 2,217 Border Patrol agents on the Southwest border in two years.
The administration has made it a goal to have 18,000 Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border by October 2011.
The office of Customs and Border Protection notes there are also 6,540 CBP officers at those ports of entry on the Southwest border.
How the president can claim his administration has secured the border is beyond me, but he should know based on the midterm elections that this kind of mockery isn’t effective. He seems like a man who going to drive the car into the moat and then not give us the keys to…or something like that.