The Washington Times - May 11, 2011, 10:59AM

Rep. Ben Quayle on Wednesday said it was “absurd” for President Obama to assert that the U.S.-Mexico border is secure.

“There has been some progress … and a lot of it has to do with fencing, with increased border patrol agents. [But] the Tucson area is still in disarray,” Mr. Quayle, Arizona Republican, said during an interview on The Washington Times-affiliated “America’s Morning News.”

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“Our constituents down in southern Arizona, our ranchers down there, continually see illegal trafficking, human trafficking, drug smuggling through their property,” he said.

Mr. Obama, in a speech in El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday, said his administration had met its commitments to secure the border, and he urged Republicans to start working with Democrats on a new immigration reform effort. GOP leaders have argued that reform cannot move forward while the border remains insecure.

“It was also absurd for the president to state that the border fence was nearly complete because that’s actually untrue,” Mr. Quayle, a first-term congressman, said.

He said most Republicans are adamantly opposed to offering amnesty and a path to citizenship for those who entered the country illegally.

“I don’t think the Republicans in the House will stand for any sort of broad amnesty for those who have crossed into our country illegally,” he said.

Amnesy “sets the wrong example for those who are waiting in line and doing the right thing and trying to go through the process legally,” Mr. Quayle said. “We should be encouraging people to come here and immigrate to this country legally. We’re a country of immigrants.”