The Corner

Amnesty Trumped Border Security

The Washington Post over the weekend published a damning piece on the administration’s foreknowledge of the border chaos. Though there is no evidence that the White House actually wanted the crisis to happen, Andy McCarthy is correct that “President Obama has instigated this crisis” through “a systematic campaign to gut the immigration laws.” But it’s clear from the Post account that they didn’t appreciate how it would blow up in their faces:

But top officials at the White House and the State Department had been warned repeatedly of the potential for a further explosion in the number of migrant children since the crisis began escalating two years ago, according to former federal officials and others familiar with internal discussions. . . .

“There were warning signs, operational folks raising red flags to high levels in terms of this being a potential issue,” said one former senior federal law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about internal operations.

The warnings came from ICE and CBP, from ICE union chief Chris Crane, from Governor Rick Perry, from a report for the Department of Homeland Security conducted by a team from the University of Texas at El Paso, from the Women’s Refugee Commission, from the first ladies of Honduras and Guatemala, and from a delegation from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

So far, this would suggest simple incompetence, something we have come to expect from the Obama White House. But it seems to have been worse than that:

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) said Democrats recognized the urgency but feared that if they raised too much of a public outcry, it would create political blowback for the Obama administration’s push to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul. . . .

Democrats worried that the escalating border crisis would help Republicans make a case that the administration’s policies had failed, Roybal-Allard said.

That was always a concern of mine: How to address the issue in a way that did not detract from the need for comprehensive immigration reform,” she said.

The fundamental premise of the Obama-Schumer-Rubio plan has always been that the border situation had stabilized so the country could move on by clearing the decks through amnesty for the established illegal population. When it became increasingly clear that the situation at the border was not stabilized, its supporters decided to keep silent in hopes that Congress could quickly pass the amnesty/immigration-surge bill and get it to Obama’s desk before anyone noticed that its premise was false. That is not wishful thinking or incompetence — it’s a conspiracy to defraud the public.

That the Obama administration and congressional Democrats would engage in such a monstrous fraud is no surprise. The more interesting question is whether their Republican fellow travelers were in on the deception. What did Rubio, McCain, Graham, Alexander, Hatch, Murkowski, Ayotte, Chiesa, Collins, Corker, Flake, Heller, Hoeven, and Kirk know, and when did they know it?

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