- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Critics say President Obama went too far with his executive action granting amnesty to more than 4 million illegal immigrants — but behind the scenes, the president said he’s pushed back against those who believe the U.S. should have an open border with Mexico.

At a town-hall meeting in Nashville on Tuesday, Mr. Obama defended the idea of a strong U.S-Mexico border and said he’s had heated debates with activists who want that border to disappear.

“There have been times, honestly, I’ve had arguments with immigration rights activists who say, effectively, ‘There shouldn’t be any rules. These are good people. Why should we have any enforcement like this?’ My response is, ‘In the eyes of God, everybody is equal … I don’t make any claims my child is superior to anybody else’s child. But I’m the president of the United States, and nation states have borders,’” the president said. “If we had no system of enforcing our borders and our laws, I promise you, everybody would try to come here.”

Mr. Obama added that it would be fundamentally unfair to erase the nation’s southern border.

“Sometimes it’s just an accident that one person lives in a country that has a border with the U.S. and another person — in Somalia, it’s a lot harder to get here,” he said.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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