President Obama on Immigration Reform

The 2012 race to the White House has begun. Maybe it began four years ago. Whatever the case, President Obama has spoken out on immigration, and he is pointing squarely at the Republicans for holding up to reform. And that is politics, especially with the increasingly influential Hispanic vote.

On a recent trip to Texas, President Obama visited the southern border. He presented that border security has been substantially addressed (and he’s right), citing the increased levels of staffing with Customs and Border Protection, the dramatic rise in deportations since he took office, and the investments made in border technologies. His words:

So, we have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement. But even though we’ve answered these concerns, I suspect there will be those who will try to move the goal posts one more time.

They’ll say we need to triple the border patrol. Or quadruple the border patrol. They’ll say we need a higher fence to support reform. Maybe they’ll say we need a moat. Or alligators in the moat. They’ll never be satisfied. And I understand that. That’s politics.

But the truth is, the measures we’ve put in place are getting results. Over the past two and a half years, we’ve seized 31 percent more drugs, 75 percent more currency, and 64 percent more weapons than before. Even as we’ve stepped up patrols, apprehensions along the border have been cut by nearly 40 percent from two years ago – that means far fewer people are attempting to cross the border illegally.

He went on to cite other accomplishments, and centered his message on more of an economic approach. To someone who has been working in immigration for a long time, the words sounded good. However, the immigration debate has always been caustic and highly charged. Most experts do not see reform in the near future, but just mere politicking, and President Obama’s speech was viewed as such.

That said, you never know—border security is in fact tighter, the rest of the debate is not going away, and politicians do like to find votes.