How left wing was his audience in El Paso? When he mentioned the border fence (3:30), they booed. This was an open border crowd, so I don’t know why Obama felt the need to lie about the fence being “basically complete.”
In what world is 5% “basically complete”?
Five years ago, legislation was passed to build a 700-mile double-layer border fence along the southwest border. This is a promise that has not been kept.
Today, according to staff at the Department of Homeland Security, just 5 percent of the double-layer fencing is complete, only 36.3 miles.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’s investigative arm, reported in early 2009 that only 32 miles of double-layer fencing had been built. That means under President Obama, only 4.3 miles of double layer fencing has been built. This is woefully inadequate.
Obama also took credit for continuing a border patrol buildup started by Bush:
“Under Secretary Napolitano’s leadership, we have strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible,” Obama said. “They wanted more agents on the border. Well, we now have more boots on the ground on the southwest border than at any time in our history. The Border Patrol has 20,000 agents –- more than twice as many as there were in 2004, a buildup that began under President Bush and that we have continued.”
Politifact rates that “mostly true”, but stipulates that of the 20,745 border patrol agents as of April 9, 2011; 17,659 of them are stationed along the southwest border with Mexico.
That’s up from 17,499 border patrol agents at the end of September 2008, four months before Obama took office (an 18 percent increase).
Singling out just the border patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexico border, the number has increased from 15,422 to 17,659 (a 14 percent increase).
In March 2011, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report, “Border Security: DHS Progress and Challenges in Securing the U.S. Southwest and Northern Borders,” in conjunction with testimony from GAO Director Richard Stana.
The report confirmed that personnel and other resources to stop illegal crossings of the U.S.-Mexico border have increased dramatically in recent years. In 2004, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was created, reorganizing several federal agencies under a single roof. That year, the agency had 10,500 agents to patrol land borders. That number now stands at nearly 21,000.
Politifact notes that Obama’s proposed 2011 budget requested a reduction of 181 Border Patrol agents.
Then, out came Obama’s notorious strawmen:
“I suspect there will be those who will try to move the goal posts one more time,” Obama said. “They’ll say we need to triple the border patrol. Or quadruple the border patrol
Oh, who could he possibly be talking about? Those wascally wepublicans, again? Moving goalposts? Why are there goalposts when it comes to keeping the border secure, and Americans safe?
The Washington Times reported on the escalating violence on the border, back in March:
For more than two years, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials have been warning that the dramatic rise in violence along the southwest border could spread and eventually target U.S. citizens.
The violence posed what the officials called a “serious threat” to law enforcement officers, first responders and residents along the 1,951-mile border.
“It is time for the political games to stop for fear of insulting the government of Mexico,” the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) said in a statement. “U.S. citizens are being kidnapped and killed while our Border Patrol agents fight a war at home that no one will allow them to win.
Obama mocked Republicans with his hilarious moat with alligators joke, and yet —-
The United States Attorney’s Annual Statistical Report for Fiscal Year 2009 stated that “violence along the border of the United States and Mexico has increased dramatically in recent years.” Citing a National Drug Intelligence Center report, it continued, “Mexican drug trafficking organizations represent the greatest organized crime threat to the United States and the influence of Mexican drug trafficking organizations over domestic drug trafficking is unrivaled.”
Last month, officials in Brownsville, Texas, found a homemade, improvised explosive device on Highway 77 that resembled the bombs used against U.S. troops in the Middle East and by Mexican drug cartels.
The government has even warned Americans not to travel in certain areas of the southwest because of crime. In June 2010, the U.S. Department of Interior posted signs near the Sonoran Desert National Monument that read, “travel not recommended,” warning the public that it was considered an “active drug and human smuggling area.”
And three border patrol agents have been killed near the border in the past three years.
Pundit and Pundette: Obama: “That fence is now basically complete; They’ll never be satisfied.”
Then, there will be those who call Obama’s speech in El Paso “pathetic” , “purely political”, and “cynical, partisan politics”:
Bryan Preston at PJ Tatler: Obama’s pathetic El Paso speech (Update: Video link added):
Perhaps the worst line in the president’s speech came when, in pushing for the DREAM Act, called for the US to “stop punishing children for the sins of their parents.” He is referring to parents who travel to the US illegally, bringing their children with them. But for the most pro-abortion president in American history to utter that line, and not realize how it boomerangs back on his own stance favoring partial birth abortion, is repugnant. This president seems to have little moral sense about him.
The president’s speech was an exercise in cynical, partisan politics. He was really in Texas just to raise money for his re-election, and to enjoy some quality time in the sunshine with his teleprompter. The nation is dealing with 9% unemployment, falling home prices and skyrocketing energy and food prices. There is never a good time to abrogate the rule of law for the sake of politics, but Obama may have chosen the worst time possible for his immigration initiative.
Ace of Spades HQ: Fact-Check On Obama’s Speech Determines… Well, He Did Produce a Birth Certificate, So There Is That
Slim pickings past that, though, as Jake Tapper notes Obama basically gets two facts right:
1. There is a country called “Mexico,” and
2. It has a border.
A little tidbit I didn’t realize:
He claims the “border fence” is “almost” complete, which might suggest, to the ignorant, that we almost have a fence all the way across our border. Not even close. He means the tiny amount of fence mandated by Congress has almost been built… and that covers about 650 miles of our nearly 2000 mile border with Mexico.
And Jake Tapper maintains that what the president is referring to when he says “basically complete” is the fact that 649 miles of fencing have been completed out of 652…but the law requires two layers of reinforced steel on that, and only 5% of it has been done.
Michelle Malkin: The Amnesty Bandwagon Rides Again:
If, as widely expected, Obama fails to deliver amnesty through the legislative process, there’s always amnesty by executive fiat. White House insiders first floated the idea in June 2010 to unilaterally extend either deferred action or parole to millions of illegal aliens in the United States. This administration has accomplished its major policy agenda items through force, fiat, and fraud. Immigration will be no different.
Linked by Michelle Malkin in Buzzworthy, thanks
Hat tip: Gateway Pundit