President Obama has wanted to trade secure borders for a form of amnesty for illegal aliens for at least six years, an apparent recording of an interview on Chicago Public Radio reveals.

The issue erupted last week when Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said to a town-hall meeting in Arizona that Obama personally told him he would not secure the border because Republicans then would have no reason to support comprehensive immigration reform.

Today, the blog Naked Emperor News posted on an audio recording apparently of Obama making a similar statement in 2004:

Obama comments that the “system” is “unfair” for a lot of people and says there would need to be a way to secure the borders, track individuals coming into the U.S. “who may be engaged in terrorist activity” and “provide a pathway” for citizenship.

“That’s going to be a difficult conversation to have and it’s going to have to be bipartisan,” he said. “The tradeoff is going to have to be improved security of our borders at the same time allowing those who are already here to reach out for that American dream,” he said.

Kyl told the Arizona audience he had a one-on-one conversation with Obama about the issue:

“I met with the president in the Oval Office … just the two of us,” Kyl said. “We had a discussion. Here’s what the president said. The problem is, the president said, if we secure the border, then you-all won’t have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform.

“It other words, they’re holding it hostage,” Kyl said, prompting gasps of surprise or possibly outrage in the room. “They don’t want to secure the border unless and until it is combined with comprehensive immigration reform.”

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer issued a statement to Fox News stating, “The president didn’t say that and Sen. Kyl knows it.

“There are more resources dedicated toward border security today than ever before, but, as the president has made clear, truly securing the border will require a comprehensive solution to our broken immigration,” he said.

But Ryan Patmintra, a spokesman for Kyl, said the senator was not backing down.

WASHINGTON - JULY 13:  Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) makes his opening statement during the confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor before the Senate Judiciary Committee July 13, 2009 in Washington, DC. Sotomayor, now an appeals court judge and U.S. President Barack Obama�s first Supreme Court nominee, will become the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court if confirmed.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“There were two people in that meeting, and Dan Pfeiffer was not one of them,” he told Fox. “Sen. Kyl stands by his remarks, and the White House spokesman’s pushback that you must have comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border only confirms Sen. Kyl’s account.”

At Right Pundits, a commentary asserted Obama’s alleged stance on the border follows a pattern.

“If Obama is holding the border hostage, it’s the greatest example of Chicago-style, thug politics to date. Well except for maybe the health-care debacle or the BP shakedown,” the site said. “Okay, he’s adding to his list daily. If the Jon Kyl Obama meeting took place and Obama
did say this, then he’s just effectively sealed the fate of Democrats where immigration is a huge issue.”

The accusations also are not dissimilar from claims made in requests to the Office of Special Counsel for an investigation of the White House over alleged job offers to U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., and former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, another Democrat.

The letters to the Office of Special Counsel allege White House officials offered the politicians jobs in return for not opposing White House favorites Sens. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Michael Bennet of Colorado.

Kyle Wingfield at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution concluded the charge against Obama is “very serious.”

“It seems unlikely to me that a senator with his experience would be dumb enough to invent such a statement out of thin air and attribute it directly to the president.”

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