Obama Walks Fine Line on US-Mexico Border Security

(May 25) -- Obama administration officials leaked the news today that the president would soon send 1,200 National Guard troops to beef up security at the U.S.-Mexico border, seemingly acknowledging the increasingly desperate calls by Arizona lawmakers -- including his former presidential rival, U.S. Sen. John McCain.

President Barack Obama is also seeking $500 million from Congress to "enhance technology at the border, share information and support with state, local and tribal law enforcement," among other operations, notes the Arizona Daily Star.

The Washington Post's David Weigel calls it an enormous "political win" for McCain, who introduced his own amendment to a separate war spending bill earlier today. The amendment calls for an additional 6,000 troops to be sent to the border as incidents of violence continue to escalate, spurred by Mexico's internal narco war and the international drug trade.
The president's decision comes just about a month after the signing of Arizona's controversial immigration law, which makes it a crime for adults not to carry proof of legal immigration status at all times. McCain and a number of like-minded legislators support the law -- as do most voters nationwide -- while Obama and other national politicians of both parties have decried it, with some comparing it to institutionalized racial profiling.

According to Weigel and others, Obama's about-face on border security is at least partially politically motivated: After repeatedly promising to reform U.S. immigration law this year, the president needs to rally all the support he can to at least begin a dialogue on the subject.

But even if enhanced border security is accepted as a "down payment" to Republicans and conservative Democrats, there is, of course, no guarantee that it will help pass immigration reform. As David Dayen of the liberal blog Firedoglake puts it:
As much as Republicans like McCain say that they won't do anything until "the border is secure," they will dismiss all efforts to secure the border and find some other excuse if that doesn't work. This is just a swallowing of right-wing frames about the problems with our immigration system.
He and other liberals believe that enough money has already been sunk into the U.S. war on drugs and that the clampdown will only exacerbate the already tense border situation.

Source : http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/president-obama-walks-fine-line-on-us-mexico-border-security/19491456

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