He wants the National Guard there not to intercept illegals coming across but to essentially babysit the younger ones who’ve already made it so that the Border Patrol can go back to intercepting people. Still, though: Sending the Guard to the border is something you’d expect to hear from Steve King circa 2007, not John Boehner circa 2014. A Twitter pal blames this on Dave Brat’s big win but I think Brat is less cause than effect. My theory for why he beat Cantor so handily is that the endless stories in righty media lately about thousands of young illegals coming north dovetailed perfectly with his knock on Cantor as a pro-amnesty donor-class crony. Even if Cantor had pulled that race out, the huge surge at the border that Drudge has been touting every day would still be killing Boehner and his hope of passing anything this summer. It’s just too easy to draw a line from Obama’s DACA order in 2012 and the two years of heavy breathing in Congress about comprehensive reform that followed to illegals thinking they’re going to get a pass from ICE if only they can make it here soon enough.
If Boehner doesn’t demand more security now, whatever shred of faith is left on the right that he’ll fight for security as part of a comprehensive deal will disintegrate. So, here we go. From his letter to the president:
The safety of these migrant children is a matter of paramount importance. It is our duty and obligation to enforce the laws of our country while protecting the most vulnerable and ensuring they are healthy and well protected. In that vein, your administration should immediately deploy the National Guard to our southern border. The National Guard is uniquely qualified to respond to such humanitarian crises. They are able to help deal with both the needs of these children and families as well as relieve the border patrol to focus on their primary duty of securing our border.
The State Department must immediately begin discussions with the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to ensure that apprehended migrants can be promptly and efficiently returned to their home countries. Long processing times for returns are directly resulting in overcrowded conditions in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services (HHS) resources. Additionally, the State Department should work with these countries to design and execute an aggressive communications effort to fully articulate the dangers and struggles children and families will face if they attempt to migrate to the U.S. Finally, the State Department should also enter into conversations with the Mexican government about its ability to secure its southern border. The lax enforcement at Mexico’s borders gives a free pass to immigrants heading north.
Once these immigrants have reached the U.S. and are apprehended, they must be processed by DHS and then the family units must be prepared for return to their home country. Your administration should immediately deploy additional personnel, including Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys, immigration judges and support staff to assist in the processing and removal of these aliens. DHS must find a way to ensure that apprehended adults and their family members do in fact appear for their deportation hearings. We believe that all families should be detained in clean, safe facilities that are in compliance with existing federal statute and case law. Until adequate housing is made available, Alternatives to Detention (ATD) should be deployed to ensure compliance with court appearances and deportation hearings.
The politics of this are poisonous enough that even Obama has to pretend he wants the kids sent back to Central America. If Boehner’s flip was all about Dave Brat, presumably O would be leaping at the chance to say “comprehensive reform is dead in the House after Eric Cantor’s defeat, therefore I must act immediately to ease our deportation policies.” He’s not doing that, though, because as the illegal surge at the border gets more attention, he has to start worrying about red-state Democrats taking an even more severe beating this fall. That’s one reason why I was so curious after Cantor lost to see what O would do now about that deportation order he’s been promising the left for the past few months. Initially I thought he’d hold off until August, when Congress is in recess and the public’s not paying much attention to issue the order. The more news there is about tens of thousands of child illegals flowing in, though, the more I think he might decide to postpone his order until after the midterms so as not to trigger a backlash. Illegal-immigration advocates won’t like that, but who cares? For all the whining they do about the “deporter-in-chief,” the truth is that Democrats are about as happy with O’s immigration policies today as they’ve been over the past four years:
Exit question: If Boehner really cared about border security, now would be a fine time to enact a “security first” bill in the House providing the Border Patrol with more resources, no? The head of the BP’s union says the crisis is now so bad down south that “de facto amnesty is here.” Illegals are being shipped east because border authorities simply don’t have the facilities to house all of them where they’re caught. That’s fertile ground for Boehner to act, if he’s serious about this. Harry Reid will kill the bill in the Senate, but that’s fine. The GOP can use that to attack red-state Dems this fall. So why hasn’t Boehner introduced anything yet?