Remember this statement by President Obama?
[T]his is what I wake up to in the morning and this is what I go to bed at night thinking about. … When I woke this morning and I’m shaving and Malia knocks on my bathroom door and she peeks in her head and she says, “Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?”
No – he wasn’t talking about the hole in our border security.
Those comments were made by Obama in response to questions following his speech on the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
In that speech, Obama said: “I realize that this entire response effort will continue to be filtered through the typical prism of politics, but that’s not what I care about right now.”
Obama’s “care” included several visits to the Gulf, which also so happened to provide some great optics. There was also that little detour to Florida a few months later (on the way to his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard) where reporters wondered whether he’d “feel the pressure to take his shirt off and show the world that the Gulf Coast is safe for swimming after the April 20 BP oil spill.”
Of course, we don’t need (or want) to see Obama take his shirt off and take a swim in the Rio Grande to show us that the White House claim is true – that “border security is stronger than it ever has been” – but we would like to see him “feel the pressure” to roll up his shirt sleeves and get to work. Or at the very least, perhaps as he adds to his $44 million travel tab with this year’s Vineyard vacation, he might allocate a few hours in his schedule for a similar detour – to witness the massive spill of illegal aliens across our southern borders.
But Obama claims that he’s “not interested in photo-ops,” rather in “solving a problem.” In 2010, after similarly dismissing the “prism of politics,” he asserted:
What I care about right now is the containment of this disaster and the health and safety and livelihoods of our neighbors in the Gulf Coast. And for as long as it takes, I intend to use the full force of the federal government to protect our fellow citizens and the place where they live. I can assure you of that.
Threatened by a disaster much larger than an underwater oil leak, our neighbors along the border anxiously await Obama’s similar assurance.
Although Obama clearly could not have promised Malia that he himself would plug the hole in the pipeline, his current actions and policies – rather than plugging any of the gaping holes in our broken immigration system – have widened them.
While the “endless wave of illegal immigrants floods” the Rio Grande valley, Obama, in his July 12 weekly address, failed to even mention the disaster. Instead he blasted Republicans, declaring that “So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked every serious idea to strengthen the middle class” – a statement that earned him three pinocchios from the Washington Post.
Considering Obama’s latest photo-ops from the South – not at the border, but in fundraisers and pool halls – it certainly doesn’t appear that concern over the border chaos is what Obama wakes up to in the morning and goes to bed at night thinking about.
It’s the stuff of nightmares, though, for those who have discovered the “small, lifeless bodies washed up along the riverbank” of the Rio Grande.
Insecurity keeps citizens all across our nation awake at night – from the dangerous areas along our southern borders, to towns forced to accommodate thousands of uninvited visitors, to communities torn apart by violence and poverty.
Protesting the rash of crime in their neighborhoods, citizens in Chicago spoke out against Obama and his policies that seemed to be “ignoring their plight while pushing for funding for illegal immigrants at their expense.”
Undoubtedly, most of that violence could be traced to illegal drugs. As former INS agent Michael Cutler, in his article on the “colander” of our immigration system, noted:
Heroin and cocaine are produced outside the United States. Every gram of heroin and every gram of cocaine present in the United States represent incontrovertible evidence of a failure of border security.
Heroin, like the oil leaking into the ocean, destroys everything in its path.
Drugs aren’t the only deadly threat crossing our unsecured borders. Besides reports of lice, scabies, tuberculosis and other infectious and communicable diseases among the border camps – biological terrorism is considered a real possibility. Also, as the border crumbles, property values in the area erode. Schools, hospitals and other community services are stressed to the breaking point.
In order for her dad to fix the BP disaster, Malia understood that the hole in the pipeline had to be plugged first. Then the oil had to be contained and cleaned up, the damage paid for, and policies put in place to help prevent a similar disaster from recurring.
Although every hole in the “colander” of our broken immigration system needs to be addressed, first and foremost, the border – like the pipeline – has to be plugged.
This nation, like Malia, is eagerly awaiting a response from Obama: Did you plug the hole yet?