In addition to repeatedly claiming that immigration reform will not do enough to secure the border (despite the fact that we already spend $18 billion on immigration enforcement every year, and that the Senate bill will add a total of $40 billion more), immigration reform opponents have been arguing that they cannot support an overhaul at least as long as President Obama is in office, because he cannot be trusted to enforce border security.
“I am reluctant to say that amnesty is a possibility because I am not very confident about the probability of getting to that point [of border security]. We haven’t seen a president that can do this in my adult lifetime,” Steve King said in a recent interview with Daily Caller.
“”I think [Obama’s] decision not to enforce core parts of ObamaCare shows that there’s a real risk that he won’t enforce even the enforcement measures of any immigration bill that we might pass,” echoed Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) in a separate interview.
Today, at an AFL-CIO panel even with Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Sen. John McCain blasted their argument and their way of thinking, calling the idea “ludicrous.”
As McCain said, if it’s the President’s unwillingness to enforce a law that Republicans are worried about, then they can work together to pressure him to enforce the law. A preemptive argument is no reason to oppose something that seriously needs to be addressed, like immigration reform. If it were, as he said:
Then we should pass no laws. We should pass no laws. We should all go home, save the taxpayers money, and not do anything. If that’s the logic, that Obama won’t enforce the law if we pass it, then pass no laws.
It’s ludicrous to say that. I mean, if the president doesn’t enforce laws, we have ways to go to court and force him to, or her, to enforce laws. So I mean, of all the reasons I’ve heard in opposition to immigration, that’s the one that has no validity whatsoever.
McCain’s comments reflect the thoughts of a majority of Americans, who believe that the GOP’s ‘border security first’ arguments are nothing more than an excuse to do nothing on immigration reform. According to a recent NBC/WSJ poll, 59% of Americans do not think the claim is a legitimate concern, including 79% of Latinos.