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The Obama Administration has announced that it will be sending 1200 National Guard troops to the border.
This recent capitulation by the Obama Administration to the fear and rhetoric of the Right wing of the Republican Party does very little to help ensure Border Security and a lot to validate the meme that violence is "spilling over".
Violence is not increasing on the border, in fact crime is down.  Furthermore, the murder of the American rancher in Arizona was probably done by an American.
National Guard troops are not authorized to detain illegal immigrants. They can't stop people, in fact they can't even engage drug cartels without proper identification by local authorities.  In other words, National Guard can't do anything but watch and detect.
So why would President Obama send the troops, if they basically can't stop anybody?
Yes watch and detect helps, but that's not what's being sold here.

This only serves as an opportunity for conservative hard-liners like Gov. Jan Brewer to take credit for forcing the Obama administration to amp up security. And for worried Democrats to out-"I'm tough on border security" each other.  Without necessarily improving the border.
Yes Mr. Obama, we all want to have border security, but we want real actions not political showmanship.
Congratulations Mr. Obama, you've now started another Arms Race on the Border. Unfortunately, local law enforcement need money so badly that anything would help a this point.

Originally posted to LatinoDem on Wed May 26, 2010 at 08:35 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Watching and Detecting is Something (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, docb

    Not nothing.

    •  To be more effective, without racial profiling (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      longislandny, greengemini, DruidQueen

      To remove the attraction of US jobs, The following changes are needed.

      Require On-line Social Security verification for employeers through use of e-Verify. If number does not clear (matching, name, number and address), it is responsibility of employee to have this corrected through Social Security administration before that person can be hired (during a 1 year transition period, the person can be hired but this must be cleared in 90 days to continue employment).  This will be messy at first in clearing up backlog of errors that have not been corrected in some time.  Allow people to check out their e-Verify status at state employment offices, so they can correct this in advance of a hiring situation.

      IRS quarterly reports (Form 941s) filed by companies need to be used by government to identify  instances of three or more employers reporting use of the same social security in a quarter.  Verify numbers against addresses and recent photos, follow-up on employees with more than 3 matching numbers.  Initially focus on numbers being used by more than 5 companies in a quarter.

      Employer FORM I-9s, need to be forwarded to a government agency, and not just held on file by the employer.

      Require the filing of FORM I-9 and tax reporting, for even 1 day, drop the exemption for hiring a person for 3 days or less.
       Do not permit companies to make deductions for payments to employees where FORM i-9 has not been filed, or if Form 941s were not filed.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Wed May 26, 2010 at 09:22:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thought it was mandatory after the Reagan (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Demi Moaned

        immigration to have employers fill out an I-9 form. I was also under the impression it is mandatory in Arizona to have employers complete an e-verify to check that the S.S. number is valid and the documentation is not false. It would appear to me there is no oversight in these two instances, and some employers are letting it slip.

        •  Documents get stolen and even though (0+ / 0-)

          someone has a SS card that says O'Riely and looks more like Gomez the employer can not challange that. Thaey have their document their ass is covered.

          If we all just stopped voting would they all just go away?

          by longislandny on Wed May 26, 2010 at 09:56:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Form I-9 is mandatory (0+ / 0-)

          but, it is not required for people to be employed for 3 days or less, and the employer only keeps the docs on file at their office, they are not submitted to any government agency.  Both of these terms are an invitation to abuse.

          The e-verify is not required by the Federal Government nationally.  There are parts of the US that are not in Arizona.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Wed May 26, 2010 at 10:56:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It is the screaming republicans like the Gov and (0+ / 0-)

      the soon to be defrocked Senator who cause the ruckus..The Repubs did not finish the wall--or fund it--they support the corporations that use/demand the cheap migrant labor  to make astronomical profits and we have not a few that are in the drug trade  --either suppliers or users..

      It is demand. folks--for the cheap labor and the drugs that have caused this problem!

    •  What it is NOT is participating in that evil AZ (0+ / 0-)

      system. And when the request is specifically attributed to Dem electeds, they can't really take credit for it either, try though they may.

  •  my first reaction this this was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "ok, we have an ecological disaster ongoing in the gulf so the President panders to the right wing"?

    •  ? (7+ / 0-)

      so he can't do more than one thing?  and what were those UP TO 1200 troops going to do at the oil spill?

      by GlowNZ on Wed May 26, 2010 at 08:42:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I doubt there is much more he can do with the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      disaster in the Gulf. He doesn't walk on water or turn water into wine. He can not wave a magic wand and say nasty oil begone. The National Guard on the Boarder is not just to placate the right wing. I think it sends a message to the Mexican President that we are ready, willing and able to protect our boarders, and you need to do something on your side too about this drug trafficing.
      Having said that, I would not mind him going to LA, and getting pissed off and saying after examining the situation, he has decided, it was a mistake to lift the ban on off shore drilling. There will be no more drilling until this is corrected and it is proven to several agencies that it can be done safely and there are safegaurds in effect to assure this will never happen again. Maybe also promising the residents of LA, the U.S. Justice department will assist them in recovering any damages from B.P. that they have suffered.

  •  don't freak out (6+ / 0-)

    Its just a sop to the gop.  I have read what they are going to be doing down there which is NOTHING.  They won't even be armed.

    by GlowNZ on Wed May 26, 2010 at 08:42:10 AM PDT

  •  I have no clue what he is thinking (0+ / 0-)

    If he thinks this will get Rethug support for comprehensive reform, he learned nothing from health care.  If he thinks it will help at the border, he was not paying attention when Bush did this.  All he has done is fuel the "papers please" movement.  I am beyond disappointed in this.  It has been tried and failed consistently.  Rahm Emmanuel is a big advocate of this crap-no, not a bash Rahm comment, jes sayin. This is stupid and ineffective.

    All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Mohandas Gandhi

    by MufsMom on Wed May 26, 2010 at 08:43:39 AM PDT

    •  He's probably trying to provide some cover for (4+ / 0-)

      Democrats on the ballot in Arizona (and other westtern states).

      "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind."

      by lordcopper on Wed May 26, 2010 at 08:52:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, that is not going to help (0+ / 0-)

        because it will impact the Latino vote and the Rethugs are NOT voting for Dems.  Dems down there are not going to vote for Rethugs because the Feds are not feeding this "papers please" crap. It's stupid and gets him NOTHING.

        All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Mohandas Gandhi

        by MufsMom on Wed May 26, 2010 at 09:07:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Elections are about winning at the "margins". (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burrow owl, AgavePup

          Voters support parties/candidates for a multitude of reasons.  Even those voters who favor humane treatment for the undocumented, and a "rational immigration policy", believe in enforcement of the border.  Sorry, the POTUS cannot come out in favor of illegal immigration, it's a non-starter.

          "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind."

          by lordcopper on Wed May 26, 2010 at 09:16:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I understand many poor Mexicans are fleeing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Mexico because of the drug wars. Those folks trying to cross into America simply to escape this madness and earn a living are the getting caught in the cross fire and are getting killed. Along with the troops on the boarder, I think he also needs to put some pressure on the Mexican government to do something. It appears they are letting this happen.

          •  Nail --> Head (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You got it, Vera, we HAVE to put the pressure on Mexico. Mexico's president has huge brass balls to bitch at the US over Arizona's immigration law as discrimination, when he and his corrupt grubby politicians are doing nothing for the incredible poverty and death happening in their country.

            Time to stop fucking grandstanding to ReThuglicans on this issue, and start doing the stuff that needs doing. Like nail all the American companies for hiring illegals because it's cheaper labor than paying citizens. And pressure Mexico to get off their ass and improve the way of life over there so people don't NEED to come here.

            And that's just for fucking starters.

            Wake up, President Obama, and while you are at it, get a clue about offshore drilling. It needs to be BANNED. Period.

      •  Was requested by Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8 D) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        who is a sophomore congresswoman, facing a popular R state senator who recently served overseas.  She is a Blue  Dog, but has to be in this district.

  •  When in doubt, send in troops (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It sounds like a solution, like we're DOING something, and it gives Obama an answer when critics say "what are you doing about immigration?".  So this is another area where the administration believes it must appear tough, which probably tracks the polls.  And make sure to stay away from the "a" word.  Sad.

    "The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love."

    by Budlawman on Wed May 26, 2010 at 08:44:03 AM PDT

    •  I think rather than send these troops (0+ / 0-)

      to fight in Iraq, they should be helping with problems at home, and there is no doubt the southern boarder is problematic.

      •  Why are those the only alternatives? (0+ / 0-)

        Why do our problems have to be addressed by the military, when economic solutions may be the better answer?  This is more about the appearance of responsiveness and toughness, than the reality of solving problems, in a situation that by most accounts is already improving.

        "The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love."

        by Budlawman on Wed May 26, 2010 at 12:33:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's all optics and perception. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ccyd, lordcopper

    I get "suaviter in modo", Mr President. May we now have some "fortiter in re"?

    by tapu dali on Wed May 26, 2010 at 08:47:25 AM PDT

  •  Here Is A Thought. Want To Stop Illegal (3+ / 0-)

    immigration, well maybe increase the number of enforcement folks by 1,200 and go after businesses that hire them. I'd like almost an open border. My family immigrated here. The more the merrier IMHO.

    But the reason folks come here illegally is cause there are jobs that are superior to what they can get in their own country. It is really that simple. Want to stop illegal immigration, "dry up" the jobs.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by webranding on Wed May 26, 2010 at 08:49:31 AM PDT

    •  I am puzzled to why that is, when there has been (0+ / 0-)

      a substansial amount of American business that have moved their operations across the boarder to Mexico, because of cheap labor and less regulations. There should be more jobs to be had on that side of the boarder, at least more than in the past.

  •  The diarist is exactly right as to the limitation (6+ / 0-)

    of troops sent to the border.  Politics are driving this action, and guess what, the President is a politician. So why not let him throw a bone to Democrats in Arizona.  Arguing that the U.S. Govt shouldn't enforce immigration laws is a losing argument.

    "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind."

    by lordcopper on Wed May 26, 2010 at 08:50:42 AM PDT

  •  The Border Patrol can use the help (7+ / 0-)

    Giving Agents some support is a good thing.

    Chance favors the prepared mind - Pasteur

    by tlemon on Wed May 26, 2010 at 08:54:27 AM PDT

  •  What's the harm? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, ccyd, siduri

    So it's useless?  Government does plenty that's useless.  I don't see what the problem is.

    This machine makes fascists feel bad. (Meteor Blades-approved version)

    by Rich in PA on Wed May 26, 2010 at 08:59:19 AM PDT

  •  I think it provides cover... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The "border security" reason, frankly, smells a little fishy.

    Perhaps there's a broader reason related to the drug cartels. One that the President probably doesn't want to get into right now.

    After all, he just had a big meeting with the Mexican president.

    Of course, this is just me and a no-fact-needed conspiracy theory. But it wouldn't surprise me to see troops being used in a coordinated fashion with the Mexican army for an "interdiction" or whatever else you might want to call a search-and-destroy mission.

    I'm still at a loss to figure out WHY someone would want to cross the border when our economy, while improving, is still suffering Bush-lag.  

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it -- GB Shaw

    by kmiddle on Wed May 26, 2010 at 09:14:21 AM PDT

    •  Because (0+ / 0-)

      an "illegal" immigrant can make $10 an hour doing menial work in California, which is ten times more than he can make for the same work a few miles away in California.

      I wish we had expansionist, visionary politicians, and we could unite with Mexico.  Wouldn't that be the answer to so many of our troubles?

      I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

      by Kevvboy on Wed May 26, 2010 at 09:16:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  An "illegal immigrant" could make $10. an hour (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in California and Arizona, but they don't. The reason why undocumented workers are employed is becuase they will work for much cheaper, much less than the mininum wage. In the state of California when you pay for worker's comp insurance the rate is tied into the amount of workers you have working for you. When you have half of your workforce working under the table and that half will not open their mouthes because of fear of losing their job or being sent home, it is way more profitable to employ undocumented workers who will keep their mouths shut about low wages and lack of safe working conditions. That is the truth of the situation, and the situation faced by most "illegal immigrants". It is rare when they are paid a fair wage.

        •  Actually the illegal aliens sometimes still do (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          make $10 an hour (or more) it's just that they get to keep all of it, and the employer doesn't have to pay more on top of that for the reasons you state.

        •  I know you all don't regularly read the (4+ / 0-)

          Seattle TIMES here but try it, in light of immigration and jobs.

          It's an article about agricultural workers in WA. It seems the ICE came in and cleared out of jobs a lot of local and apparently quite stable but improperly papered Latino workers working for a fruit farmer, a large part of the population of a small town there. Didn't detain them apparently, just required he fire them. He did.

          Then the farmer advertised for local replacements, in this recession for US workers to replace the fired, and got zilch, nada, zippo. The wage that his workers got was between nine and twelve dollars an hour depending on how much they picked, well above minimum wage, what he was paying the departed locals, and he still got zilch, nada, zippo American workers. I am aware from my people coming from there, that the weather conditions described in the article are accurate.

          What he ended up doing, feeling the fool doing it because he could not now hire the folk who were still in that mostly now unemployed town down the road from him, is to get the visas for it(because he had tried to get Americans and couldn't) and then fly in workers from abroad, Jamaica of all places, to do his essential picking and he had to provide the airline tickets to do it. And his costs and the costs of his fruit all along the line will rise for it. The ag raid and the firing had absolutely no effect on the taking of the freed up jobs by otherise unemployed but available American workers. They were accessible, but stayed unfilled. The people down the road were now unemployed people who couldn't take jobs at all, with the financial consequences to the state and locality that unemployed persons produce.

          I cannot say how widespread the experience is beyong Ag in this state, and this article may just be anecdotal in the minds of some, but it is an illustration of the idiocy of just saying that the undocumented are taking jobs away from Americans as a flat statement, or that they are all getting sub minimum wage only because undocumented both are not universally true.

          •  I didn't say undocumented workers are taking jobs (0+ / 0-)

            from Americans, but I know they do get paid below minimum wage. Since the employer can get in trouble for hiring them, the employer is not paying payroll taxes on them, or covering them with worker's comp. insurance. The prices of fruits or vegetables is not reflective of the cheaper labor and other costs. However the profit is. If you need a workforce and can not find one, and you need to import workers, then it should be incumbant on the employer to provide his/her workers with the proper documentation,pay a fair wage, and pay payroll taxes on their workforce and cover them with at the very least worker's comp insurance. The construction industry is a good example of jobs being taken away from Americans and contractors are hiring undocumented workers instead of union construction workers. There is no doubt these undocumented workers are getting paid a much lower wage than union workers would receive. In my job, I deal directly with the nursing home industry, because of state regulations and proposed legislation, they are cutting back on their workforce of undocumented workers. Assisted living facilities require anyone who works there to have a background check and be fingerprinted. I am not so sure if these are jobs Americans want to do either, and if they were advertised what kind of response there would be. For far too long, people who owned and operated nursing homes made huge profits, so huge that wall street investment firms were buying up these businesses, employing cheap labor and turning huge profits, it was a license to steal. The agriculture industry is not the only industry that utilizes undocumented workers to turn a profit.

            •  I understand your point, but part of what the (0+ / 0-)

              article points out is that even in a recession this guy got no local takers, and in that part of WA, there are not that many alternative jobs. And he was offering much more an hour than minimum, not a terrible wage in that part of the state or in the liberal part either. The cherry on top of the irony was that in order to get visaed workers when his local hunt got squat was that he had to go to Jamaica to get them, not to the next town where all the fired ones were. If the premise is to protect local workers, then what to do when you advertise and have no takers at all and gotta get that job filled, in his case because his harvest was time sensitive in a big way and his product highly perishable, but equally true in less perishable trades. Remember, the premise of the article was that he really thought until he tried that he could in a horrible recession with hammering unemployment he could actually get local workers.

  •  They're moving a few troops from (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    one place to another.  Don't get so excited.  I have a feeling this is part of the plan for addressing immigration in real terms.  It's gradual, and probably must be until post-2012, but I know they want to move on it.  First you have to be able to say you "strengthened the border" because that is a prerequisite in most peoples' minds for beginning to address the question of the immigrants who are already here without papers.

    I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Wed May 26, 2010 at 09:14:43 AM PDT

  •  Why doesn't he simply deploy (0+ / 0-)

    more actual people who can detain illegal immigrants?  That would seem to be much smarter then deploying national gaurd since they can't do much.  I still don't understand why the government can't simply deploy whatever number of people it takes to mostly stop people crossing into our country illegally.  You would think that would be of the upmost importance if you really want immigration reform.  If the government stops the flow of illegal people into our country, it would be much much more easy to get immigration reform passed through congress.

  •  Let's see, border length = 1969 miles, add 1200 (0+ / 0-)

    troops, that's about 1 soldier for every 1.6 miles. That should keep those brown people out of Scottsdale!

    •  I am not sure whether you mean this as Snark (0+ / 0-)

      but even soldiers cannot work 24 hours a day. Also, they need leaders to lead them and support people to feed them, pay them and otherwise rend to their needs.

      You need a lot more people to make a 2,000 mile border leak-proof.

      If you are older than 55, never take a sleeping pill and a laxative at the same time!

      by fredlonsdale on Wed May 26, 2010 at 12:11:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Dem. Rep Giffords from that CD is up for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mariachi mama

    re-election and she has had the support of crossover Repubs and Independents.  To retain that seat, which is along the border and includes the Krentz ranch she has been calling for National Guard.  Of course, every AZ politicians is claim credit but come Nov. Giffords could really use this as an example of tougher border security measures.  

    There are, of course, already 17,000 border patrol officers in just the Tucson sector alone. I don't know what the role of National Guard is, if they provide additional surveillance equipment or techniques or what.  

    In a personal experience side note, I've stood on high hills above the border, at Chiricahua National Monument and Organ Pipe National Monument and looked in all directions and been able to see miles and miles and miles of border. It's always seemed perplexing to me that I never find BP on these hills. They only seem to drive around in trucks 30 miles from the border and question US citizens about their citizenship.  The BP seems to be technology challenged. Giffords had to buy some of them satellite phones so they could communicate with each other.  

    •  BP=border patrol, not those other jerks....n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  To police all that inhospitable desert land day (0+ / 0-)

        and night, whoever does it, BP or NG, would in fact have to live there day and night and be on duty day and night in sufficient numbers to have any officer encountering coyotes or just crossers or who had an accident of any kind to have backup, which would also have to live there day and night. That country is so inhospitable that it is empty desert, as far as human populations go, although not for poisonous snakes, scorpions, Gila monsters tarantulas and other interesting wildlife, and no local water,  for a very good reason. And all fences require constant maintenance which also require the presence of people in quantity and supplies on a very regular basis.

        None of which the complainers are prepared to provide. They all want SOMEBODY ELSE to do it and pay for it. That's you and me (NG is our friends and neighbors). And to howl and decry anyone who gets through anyway as a failing. They picked all the easy stuff, harassing people in towns, for their own.

        Rs want more troops and more money for this, and are probably smarting that he ordered it before that lunch meeting, but of course not on PAYGO.

        •  The Sonoran desert is hardly inhospitable. And (0+ / 0-)

          it's most definitely not uninhabited.  Gila monsters and rattlesnakes get a bad rap.

          •  But it is empty and for a reason. (0+ / 0-)

            Part of the premise of the argument though is where is anyone going to get three shifts of thousands of troops plus support and who is going to pay for it, when we can't get enough troops for the two foreign wars we are already in. Somehow I do not think that the people who want the six foot apart armed troops three shifts a day on the border are also prepared to abandon those two wars, or pay in taxes the huge supplementals it would take to pay for such an exercise on an open ended basis.

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