In a funny way, you can totally understand why President Open Borders Obama decided in the end not to make the trip down to the border on his trip to Texas this week, to view for himself the failure of his immigration policy and the devastating results of his handiwork for Texas and the rest of the border states.
What could he have said at the border that would have cleaned up the very mess he created? One big reason he didn't make the trip — even though both Republicans and Democrats were urging him to do so — is that he didn't want the American people to realize he fundamentally doesn't have any concern about what's going on. He has no problem with all these people coming into our country illegally, a fact you can easily divine from the policies he has pursued and the way he wants to spend the billions of dollars he's asking for from Congress now to "fix" the problem.
The president didn't want to get caught out the way House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was when she made her own ill-advised trip to the border in Brownsville, Texas late last month. Unbelievably, Ms. Pelosi stood there on the U.S. side of the border and described Brownsville as a "community with a border running through it," adding that we are all Americans — North, South and Central Americans. Her basic message: Borders don't mean anything, and anyone anywhere in the Western Hemisphere is basically welcome to come to the United States, regardless of what our laws say.
The president could have made his own trip to the border and said the same thing, but that would only have gotten him into more trouble than he was already in.
What we have to do now is convince this administration that it is far past time to assert our sovereign control of our own borders.
The National Guard needs to be put shoulder to shoulder on the 1,400 miles of border from Brownsville to California. We've got to turn people away before they ever get to our borders, and we've got to finally start standing up for our rights. You don't want to shut down commerce, but you can maintain the legal crossings and shut down the rest of the border, with the National Guard, the Border Patrol, drones, technology and whatever other weapons we have at hand to do the job right.
The administration gives the game away in the $3.7 billion spending bill the president is asking Congress to pass. Not one dollar of that bill is targeted for securing the border. The entire package is designed to come up with new ways for these people to stay in our country illegally. The president talks about "processing" the flood of people more quickly, but never says if he means processing to return them to their home countries more quickly or processing them so they can stay in the United States.
A president serious about this crisis would dispatch all the nation's immigration judges and lawyers down to the border, tell them to set up some tables and start processing these people immediately. Put on hold the cases they've been dealing with for years and get them down where they are desperately needed. Some well-timed presidential pressure on Mexico to stop these people long before they reach the U.S. is also in order, as well as an immediate moratorium on the "catch-and-release" approach to illegal immigrants that has helped cause this whole crisis.
Instead, the president's spending request is just another political ploy to put the onus for solving the problem back on Republicans in Congress. The House in particular is going to get lots of pressure from the president — and the news media — to give him what he wants, but I sincerely hope they don't buckle under the pressure. Administration officials already have plenty of money to address the real crisis; they just need to change what they're doing and focus on the real problem of border security.
The president's argument that his hands are tied because of a 2008 law is only another smoke screen to hide the fact that this White House favors an open border policy. If the law needs to be tweaked, the president could have just asked for that, and skipped the request for billions of dollars in new spending.
No one should be surprised that the president ducked a trip to the border, and no one should be surprised how this particular crisis is playing out. This is what happens when you have tyranny sitting in the White House, what happens when one branch of government tries to gather all the power to itself in direct violation of the Constitution. The president has compiled a consistent record of ignoring or overriding laws he doesn't like. Why should our immigration laws be any different?
• Tom DeLay, a former congressman from Texas and House majority leader from 2003 to 2005, writes a weekly column for The Washington Times and www.washingtontimes.com.