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Homeland Security Chief: Funding Should Not Be ‘Political Football’ In Immigration Fight

Politics Tribune News Service

Homeland Security Chief: Funding Should Not Be ‘Political Football’ In Immigration Fight


By Brian Bennett, Tribune Washington Bureau (TNS)

WASHINGTON — The nation’s Homeland Security chief pushed back Thursday against Republican threats to cut off funding for the department to protest President Barack Obama’s immigration policies.

The department’s budget runs out at the end of February, and Republicans have threatened to hold up additional appropriations unless the Obama administration pulls back plans to stop the deportation of up to 4 million immigrants who are in the country illegally.

“In these times, the Homeland Security budget of this country should not be a political football,” Jeh Johnson, the secretary of homeland security, said at the Wilson Center, a think tank in Washington.

The United States faces increased threats from terrorist groups, Johnson said, particularly in the wake of the three-day killing spree that left 17 people dead in Paris this month. An al-Qaida offshoot in Yemen claimed responsibility.

To press his point, Johnson showed the audience a photo of himself as an 8-year-old boy with his family next to their Buick convertible. It was parked a few feet from the U.S. Capitol during a sightseeing visit in 1966.

That would not be allowed today, Johnson said.

“Sadly, there are threats to our homeland security today that did not exist in 1966,” Johnson said. “We have to be vigilant.”

Johnson said that his agency and the FBI do a “reasonably good job” of tracking Westerners who have joined the civil war in Syria, or the insurgency in Iraq, and may try to return home to launch attacks.

Europe faces a greater immediate danger, Johnson said, because thousands of French, British, German, Dutch and other citizens have traveled to Syria, compared with about 100 Americans.

“They have much bigger numbers,” he said.

Johnson said his department is reviewing security measures to screen travelers, mostly from countries in Europe, who don’t require visas to enter the United States.

U.S. lawmakers have asked the administration to further restrict the so-called visa waiver program to help prevent fighters with European passports from crossing a U.S. border.

Earlier this month, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) described the visa waiver program as the “Achilles’ heel of America.”

Passengers from visa waiver countries need not be interviewed by an American consular officer. They instead fill out an online information form before boarding a U.S.-bound flight.

The information is checked against U.S. databases for ties to terrorist groups or suspicious travel patterns. Last year, the U.S. increased the amount of information such travelers must provide.

Three former secretaries of homeland security also spoke out Thursday about threats by Congress to shut down funding for the department.

Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano sent a joint letter to Senate leaders asking them not to link Homeland Security funding with the effort to stop Obama’s immigration actions.
“Funding for the entire agency should not be put in jeopardy by the debate about immigration,” the three wrote in the letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

Ridge and Chertoff served in the Republican administration of President George W. Bush. Napolitano, a Democrat, headed the department during Obama’s first term.

Obama has said he would veto a spending bill that stripped funding for his new executive actions on immigration.

In addition to enforcing immigration and customs laws, the Homeland Security Department is responsible for aviation and border security, protecting the president and responding to natural disasters.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons


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  1. Dominick Vila January 29, 2015

    Mr. Johnson is, obviously, correct. The Department of Homeland Security, at a time when terrorist attacks are once again taking place worldwide, must be exempt of political games. Using riders in a DHS Bill designed to render obsolete President Obama’s Executive Order to force a presidential veto is the epitome of irresponsibility. Only imbeciles or traitors would compromise our national security to score political points.

    1. mike January 30, 2015

      “Only imbeciles or traitors would compromise our national security to score political points”, does that include Obama? It should!!!

      1. Dominick Vila January 30, 2015

        Only if you believe proposing a 7% increase in the DHS budget, and fighting to end sequestration are negatives…

        1. mike January 30, 2015

          You can try and ignore, but this was all started by Obama and his massive loss in November.
          He is not innocent and it is his reversal to go alone that is causing this problem.

          Yes, in today’s world, this is not the time but Obama wants the fight. Politics over governing, just like his SOTU speech, all posturing and division.

          1. Dominick Vila January 30, 2015

            What exactly did President Obama do or say to undermine the Department of Homeland Security effectiveness or budget?
            Trying to deflect attention from what the GOP is doing, including compromising the effectiveness of the DHS to combat terrorism, or the down vote to Bernie Sanders proposal to expand Veterans benefits by $2B a year, will only resonate among those who form opinions based on what Rush and Beck tells them.

          2. mike January 30, 2015

            Really Dom!!!
            What a silly post from you, more deflection, distraction.
            Obama started this by his defiance at the loss of both chambers. His go alone without Congress is his doing.

            What departments are included in DHS, think about it.

            As to Beck and Rush, more delusional left wing psychosis.

          3. Dominick Vila January 30, 2015

            Moving the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from the Department of Justice to the Department of Homeland Security was a horrible mistake.
            The main charter of the DHS is to guarantee our national security against foreign military and terrorist threats. Playing political games, and trying to satisfy the desires of a segment of a political party, should never – ever – be used deliberately to score political points at the expense of our national security.
            The reason the GOP is introducing a rider in the DHS budget designed to render President Obama’s EO on immigration is to put him on the spot. His choices are going to be vetoing a DHS Bill, or signing it. Hopefully, he will do the latter. Reversing his EO will energize millions of American citizens, including Hispanics-Latinos born in the USA, and people of other ethnicity who do not share the bigoted and inhumane attempts to treat fellow human beings are subhuman.
            I oppose amnesty because it would encourage more illegal immigration, and because I believe our laws must be respected, but legislation that penalizes children for the “crimes” committed by their parents, and that do not address the root of the problem is not the way to go.
            I suspect you would have preferred a President that bowed down to the Legislative branch after a midterm election defeat. Sorry, but that’s not the reason President Obama was elected and re-elected by a majority of Americans, and it would not be conducive to effective governance or the implementation of effective policies.

          4. mike January 30, 2015

            How does Obama executive order on immigration fix the immigration problem?? It doesn’t!! It sends a signal that when you get here you are safe, so start on up.
            “Playing political game………….at the expense of national security”. I suggest you tell that to Obama, this all started with the political posturing by him.

            But yet he has lost 85 members of Congress because of his policies. Today if he was running he would lose big time. From ACA to foreign affairs he has become a disaster. More importantly the majority of Americans no longer trust him.
            Clinton wasn’t the Ideologue that Obama is and found ways to govern, but Obama doesn’t care about governing just politicizing.
            As to the subhuman, inhuman, bigoted, remarks, pure horse manure or should I say another pile of cow pies.
            There are answers to immigration but not by the do it alone act of Obama.

          5. Dominick Vila January 30, 2015

            When President Obama signed the EO granting temporary work permits to immigrants that entered the USA illegally 5 years or more ago, and who had children born in the USA, he acknowledged that his EO did not solve the immigration problems we have, and that his EO could be rendered null and void by passing comprehensive immigration law reform. The intent was to encourage the GOP to take action on this issue. He should have known better.

          6. mike January 30, 2015

            This all about Obama and what he wants to do on his own and nothing more.
            If he is so interested in reform, sit down and work with Congress, but he isn’t!
            When he had the power to do reform, he walked away from it in 2009 and 2010 when he had the majorities to write any law he wanted.
            This is all posturing and nothing more.

          7. Dominick Vila January 30, 2015

            There are only so many major changes that can be tackled at once. In 2009-11 our top priorities were saving the economy, creating jobs, and the ACA.
            President Obama has urged Congress to work on immigration law reform during the last 4 years, to no avail. His EO was a way to encourage Congress to find short and long term solutions to this problem.

          8. mike January 30, 2015

            The moment he lost the congress he started his posturing.
            He made no effort to set down with both chambers for four years to work immigration reform. He just made demands.
            You seem to forget his program sign up starts next month(DACA) and the next step in May. Lots of time for new Congress to write a bill this important, Right??
            How much abuse and fraud will we see?

          9. Dominick Vila January 30, 2015

            Proposing a solution to one of the most controversial, and emotional, issues in the USA is not political posturing. President Obama would have been better off leaving that issue for a future President to address.
            Republican and Democratic lawmakers could solve this issue in a matter of days, if they wished. The problem for them is that doing the right thing would impact and alienate their campaign donors, and that both sides depend on an important segment of their constituencies to be elected or re-elected.
            A potential “solution” such as introducing language denying permanent residency or a path to citizenship to those that fall under the umbrella of President Obama’s EO may solve this impasse, but it would only pass the buck to future Presidents and Congresses, but it would solve nothing.

          10. mike January 30, 2015

            It is posturing, and nothing more than preparing for 2016 and his legacy.
            Solve in matter of days, Really???
            The only way anything is going to be done is when the democrats decide to close the border. Republicans know changes are necessary but as long as illegals have access and can get in, they will continue to come. Is it a perfect solution? No, but it is a start. Will it be cheap? No! But the billions we spend a year on illegals will save our tax dollars.
            You can have all the immigration reform you want but as long as the border is wide open it will be meaningless. Illegals will continue to come.
            To the majority of Americans it is just common sense. But to those on the left is all about touchy feely.

            On other topics: I told you NM is wasting its time on Mitt and 2016. He is out.

            4th quarter is in and not as rosy as we all hoped. 2.6%. Not that robust economy you had crowed about the last 2 quarters and expected. Looks like for the year mid 2%. In line with previous years.

          11. Dominick Vila January 30, 2015

            The border will not be closed until Republican businessmen are either fined for hiring illegal immigrants, or they replace them with robots. When and if that ever happens, immigration law reform will be written…and probably signed by a Republican President.

          12. mike January 30, 2015

            Just more of your cow pies/horse manure.
            How many final orders has Obama taken against employers in the last few years. Sure don’t hear about it, do you!!! I have read several sources(not from the right) saying it is less than in the 1990’s.
            Obama is pro-immigration and all out for the Hispanic vote and hiring. He is not going to upset the apple cart.
            Close the border, first. The votes are there in the republican party to do so. It’s the dems who are dragging their feet.

          13. Dominick Vila January 31, 2015

            Your sources should take a look at the height of the walls along our Southern border, and should make an effort to determine the number of border patrol officers deployed along our Southern border before they offer opinions on this subject.
            Most U.S. Presidents have supported immigration, they issue is whether or not we should condone the entry of immigrants without the appropriate visas, and allow them to stay and work in the USA indefinitely. Some Presidents, such as Ronald Reagan, went as far as granting almost 4 million illegal immigrants in 1986. Others, such as Bush I and II supported efforts to facilitate the plight of illegal immigrants, and promoted the entry of Cuban medical professionals. President Obama issued an Executive Order granting TEMPORARY WORK PERMITS to those who have been in the USA over 5 years (those who entered the USA before he was inaugurate in 2009), and who have children born in the USA.
            None of our Presidents, past and present, have supported fining and eventually shutting down businesses that hire illegal immigrants, which is the only way to stop the flow of illegal immigration.

          14. mike January 31, 2015

            I never said the fence would be perfect, but without the closing of the border nothing is going to change. It is just the first part of the reform needed.
            The fence needs to meet 3 elements, parallel barriers/walls, high tech camera, motion detectors,ect., and manpower.
            At this time Obama’s “catch and release” only exacerbates the problem. Most illegals hope to be caught knowing they will be released into American communities.
            When you hear the BP unions complaining that there hands are being tied so they can’t enforce the laws you know that it is coming from the top, Johnson and Obama. The laws are on the books to address the immigration problem but Obama is not enforcing them.
            Reagan did do amnesty with the Congress not alone as Obama is doing.

            Democrats have been against E-verify. As of 2013 only 7% of business were using the system.
            We learn yesterday that transgender illegals are being given hormone shows at our expense.

            Not American citizens getting free shots but illegals.

          15. Dominick Vila January 31, 2015

            The “secure the border” first is an excuse designed to hide the obvious: the GOP has no intention of ending a status quo that allows some sectors of our economy to prosper at the expense of virtual 21st slaves. Please don’t tell the “coyotes” that smuggle illegal immigrants into the USA that most of their clients want to get caught. On second thought, perhaps you should. Since most of them would die of a laughter attack the chances of people entering the USA illegally may decline more than it has in recent years.
            Yes, Reagan enjoyed the support of Democrats in Congress, and so did Bush I and II. A focus on governance is one of the greatest differences between Democrats and Republicans…and Dems often pay a heavy price for it.

          16. mike January 31, 2015

            I see the “crap master” is at work again on the topic “secure the border”. I won’t dignify such a stupid comment.
            As to decline in numbers, DUH!!! We had a recession and continue to see little to no growth in the economy, ergo no jobs. We have far more people and fewer jobs, what’s so hard to understand why immigration is down. It’s the jobs, Stupid!!!
            You seem to forget one of the biggest opposition to reform was the AFL/CIO, which means so were many democrats.

          17. Dominick Vila January 31, 2015

            Thank you for not making a fool of yourself with claims of “secure the border first”, knowing that an impregnable 3,000 is impossible which, for the GOP means not making a decision on this issue…ever!
            Yes, the main reason for almost one million illegal immigrants leaving voluntarily during the last 7 or 8 years was, indeed, the negative impact of the near collapse of our economy on job creation. No jobs = no illegal immigrants.
            I love it when Republicans cite the much maligned labor unions to support their obtuse policies.

          18. mike January 31, 2015

            Really!!! I didn’t want to dignify an asinine comment by you, and yes the border needs to be secure.
            “Impregnable” I think you are now delusional. If it was so IMPREGNABLE how did all those millions get in and out of the US??
            What you can’t answer honestly or with any knowledge is what happens when our economy starts to really rebound. Will they all stay home??
            I would bet they would start crossing this impregnable border all over again.
            I know you meant “impregnable 3000 kilometers”, Right? Because it you meant miles you have a number problem.
            As I said earlier, you are consummate crap master.

          19. Dominick Vila January 31, 2015

            That was precisely the point I made. Our Southern border has never been impregnable, and it will never be. The GOP is well aware of the latter, and that is why they insist on securing something that cannot be secured 100% as a condition to change our immigration laws.
            As to what will happen when our economy rebounds, I would say that illegal immigration did not increase in 2014 and that legal immigration remained at normal levels. Ultimately, the only thing that will solve this problem depends on the actions we take. If Congress continues to support the status quo to ensure their campaign donors continue to benefit from the labor of illegal immigrants willing to work for less than minimum wage, with no benefits, and without complaint, the current situation will last for many more years to come.

          20. mike January 31, 2015

            Not one republican has said it is a !00%. So more from the crap meister, it is only part of reform but an important part.

            You want to use 2014, an average growth year since the recession, as your basis for determining increases in immigration, a year that was consistent with previous growth years under Obama, Really!! Do you really think 2014 was that great?? Two good quarters out of 24, and in your eyes is a big rebound. You sure ignored my other post on the 4th quarter 2.6%-which was a big disappointment.
            When the economy starts to really move forward, wages start to rise above present levels, they will start back across. Can you definitely say they won’t be back???
            The laws are on the books to enforce our problems but Obama has ignored then, as have other presidents, the difference is that the American people have had it with illegals.

            As to labor unions, AFL-CIO didn’t oppose guest worker programs Obama wanted as part of his reform, Right?? Unions didn’t call them “indentured” worker programs, Right?

          21. Dominick Vila January 31, 2015

            You are correct, nobody has said a 100% secure border. Does that mean the GOP will settle for 90%? 95? Before they do something to solve this problem?
            No, two consecutive quarter of economic growth and job creation does not mean our economy is booming, and has become a magnet to attract legal and illegal immigration. It means the slide that began in 2006, and became a crisis in 2007, has come to an end and we are finally recovering.

          22. mike January 31, 2015

            But all your bragging back in November and that great recovery was under way.
            Keep dreaming on the recovery thing.
            You still haven’t said if the illegals will or will not be coming back when a real recovery is underway. Do you really know??
            The USA has the most lenient policies toward illegals in the world and you don’t believe they won’t be back, Right? Nothing will stop them at that time unless changes are made. One of those changes is a very secure border.

          23. Dominick Vila January 31, 2015

            Yes, I celebrated the 2014 economic recovery and job creation record, in November, December, and I still do. 4.6% and 5% growth does not compare to the 20% plus of decades ago, but it is a lot better than the near collapse of the U.S. economy in 2007, and losing 800,000 jobs a month. When it comes to the economy and job creation we must take into consideration the reasons we have been struggling, continue to struggle, and may not be able to overcome fully without, literally, reinventing ourselves.
            The effects of decades of outsourcing, the dramatic decline in assembly line work since the 1970s, the effects of automation and robotics, the impact of new technology on labor requirements, the transition to a service oriented and high tech economy without preparing our workforce to meet the skill level requirements our corporations expect, our reluctance to invest in infrastructure (which includes much more than roads and bridges), and the emergence of powerful competitors augur trouble ahead.
            Regarding your question about whether or not illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America will resume when our economy strengthens are jobs are plentiful, I would say that I lost my crystal ball. My guess, is that if we manage to come up with something new, that requires a considerable amount of manpower, immigrants will once again come in large numbers regardless of how many fences we built, how high they are, and how many tunnels we blow up.
            IMHO, other than a new breakthrough in the high tech industry, the key to prosperity involves investment in infrastructure, especially if it includes making our power grid more efficient, if it involves diverting potable water to areas devastated by droughts, if it involves modernizing our ports and airports, and if it involves building dykes, similar to those in the Netherlands, to protect coastal areas that will be severely impacted by rising sea levels and powerful storms in the not too distant future. Other areas where manpower requirements may help involve the construction of different types of habitat to protect humanity from increased solar radiation, and development of efficient and more affordable solar and wind systems.
            Blaming politicians is not going to solve this problem. The government can help, but ultimately it is going to be up to us to overcome the challenges we are facing.

          24. hicusdicus January 31, 2015

            The second will happen first.

          25. mike January 31, 2015

            The politicians are the government and bureaucrats are just as bad.
            IMHO, you can talk all the ethereal stuff you want but that is all it is, talk. Now who is devastated by droughts? What towns and beaches are underwater? We now need Dikes, Really??
            No question we need to be alert but this doomsday crap is just that, crap.
            You can start really celebrating when the Fed raises the interest rate, but until there you are just blowing smoke.

          26. Dominick Vila February 1, 2015

            It is not a doomsday scenario. At least not yet. The melting of the polar caps and glaciers is a reality, and so is the fact that sea levels are rising. The Netherlands did not build their dykes because they were already under water, they did it because they understood the dangers of rising sea levels and powerful storms on their coastal areas, and decided to protect them. An added benefit is that they gained access to areas that were already under water. We either commit ourselves to protect our coasts – and our environment – now, or wait until it is too late and let our grandchildren tackle the problem when it is likely to be too late and too expensive to handle.
            Droughts have impacted large areas in our Western and South Western states, and shortages of potable water are anticipated in states like California in the not too distant future. Investing in diverting water from the Salton Sea or the Colorado River, for example, and building plants to convert sea water to potable water would solve the problem. Needless to say, the state governments in states afflicted by these problems should cover most of the cost, but since they cannot do it alone – and since we are still a “United” States – the Federal government has a role to play in this effort.

          27. mike February 1, 2015

            That is right is not a doomsday scenario but the left sure makes it sound that way.
            Some predictions state in 7000 years at this rate.
            The left destroyed their arguments with falsified studies and out right lies.
            Antarctica averags -37% so that will take many years. North Pole ice is on water not land and its melting will have very little affect on sea levels.
            In your eyes everything is the fault of humans and nothing to do with cycles of this planet.

            What I find most disgusting is the lefts attempt to tie our economic hands thru EPA regulations to the point that we can not compete on a world level.
            You on the left would rather see us be all PC about the climate while China, India, and other countries leap ahead and leave us in the dust(oops).

            As usual the last part of your post is all about the govt. and nothing about the private sector finding the solutions. Or even the combinations like in the past.

          28. hicusdicus February 1, 2015

            If there ever was a full of crap contest DV would be a gold metal winner.

          29. hicusdicus January 31, 2015

            Gun barrel persuasion. Have you noticed how Hollywood always shows illegals as wonderful people just trying to better themselves? Anybody who complains is some evil conservative. A pot smoker get more punishment than an employer who hires them by the hundreds..

          30. hicusdicus February 1, 2015

            I will buy that comment. Pompous, consummate crap master, 5 stars for you.

          31. hicusdicus February 1, 2015

            At one time labor unions did good. They have now swung to the extreme and are just a bunch of secondary bosses who serve no purpose but to steal the working peoples money and formant corruption and crime.

          32. hicusdicus February 1, 2015

            The only difference between republicans and democrats is the way they spell greed.

          33. hicusdicus January 31, 2015

            You got that one right . Big business is how they got elected. The prevailing greed in the political arena will eventually bring our country to its knees.

          34. paulyz January 31, 2015

            Your last paragraph is only part of the answer. We must pass & enforce mandatory E-verify, stop visa overstays, & fully secure the border, including a 2-layer fence. This must be done as a First & Separate Bill, then we can deal with the other issues. If they insist on another “comprehensive” bill, all we’ll again have is another Amnesty, & be dealing with the exact same problems in a few years. Just as all of our past Amnesties have just expanded the problems. Americans will never trust Congress & especially Obama & the democrats to enforce the Law as we have clearly seen. There is also the issue of terrorists, drugs, criminals, diseases, & returning previously deported Illegals. They have had decades to do this, but haven’t & won’t, unless enforcement is actually done first & separately.

          35. Dominick Vila February 1, 2015

            E-verify would work if it is used as a tool to identify and fine those who hire illegal immigrants.
            The terrorists that attacked us on 9/11 did not jump fences, they entered the USA via Kennedy International airport with student and tourist visas. Illegal immigration is a legitimate concern. There is no need to use hyperbole to scare people.

          36. paulyz February 1, 2015

            Absolutely, use E-verify to stop people from hiring Illegals, secure border to stop Illegals from getting here in the first place, & stop visa overstays, exactly the correct policy to enforce, not another failed “comprehensive” political Amnesty.

          37. Dominick Vila February 1, 2015

            The last amnesty granted to illegal immigrants was done in 1986 by President Reagan. Neither Bush I, nor Bush II or Obama have granted amnesty. President George W. Bush’s action in 2006 to encourage Cuban medical personnel to come to the USA was not amnesty. His, and his Dad’s efforts to help illegal immigrants was not amnesty, and neither was President Obama’s EO. Amnesty is a PERMANENT PARDON that allows the recipients to enjoy permanent residency status, and paves the way to citizenship. TEMPORARY WORK PERMITS are just that, temporary, and do not extend special privileges to the recipients other than exempt them from deportation and allowing them to work legally in the USA.

          38. mike February 1, 2015

            What you won’t acknowledge is the fact that the democrats want on comprehensive reform and bulk at anything piecemeal.
            The republicans have an E-verify bill that includes putting a lock on SS numbers that would stop fraud, and a employer provision that takes them if they acted in good faith out of full responsibility if they don’t meet employment requirements.
            The point of E-verify is get all businesses on board and remove those that don’t qualify.
            At this time the democrats are against the effort.

          39. Dominick Vila February 1, 2015

            The only reason many Democrats oppose E-Verify is because the only way to implement it is to make it a Universal requirement. Something akin to a national ID card, like the ones used in most of the world, which a lot of Americans interpret as a violation of our Constitutional rights. I don’t have a problem with that.
            Barring that, the only way would be to single out every Hispanic and Latino, regardless of whether they were born in the USA and their ancestors lived in this country since before the Pilgrims arrived. For many of us, that is tantamount to wearing Stars of David on our lapels.

          40. mike February 1, 2015

            What a load of Malarkey!!
            Business owner can visibly see and hear the difference between a native and an illegal. So save the crap.

            So Democrats don’t want a secure border, don’t want E-verify, don’t want to deport. don’t want to prosecute fraud perpetrated by illegals. They are not citizens and quite frankly don’t deserve our rights or benefits.

            Hell, throw the border open, remove the BP and watch this country disintegrate.
            And you think the Republicans are the problem.

          41. Dominick Vila February 1, 2015

            I have never heard any Democrat – or Republican or Independent – say that we don’t want a secured border and don’t want our laws enforced.
            What has been proposed, and most Democrats agree with, is that a short and long term solution to this problem must be sought.
            The excuses about what needs to be done before something is done about the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country, and what needs to be done before our immigration laws are changed to address our labor needs, is just a tool used to preserve the status quo.

          42. mike February 1, 2015

            In your opinion is the border secure?? If you say No then you are in disagreement with your leftist friends in Congress.
            You seem to be having one of your selective moments again.

            You don’t remember the Democratic party congressional members saying “Obama has already successfully secured the U.S. Border. The president has spent108 billion Obama on border security and we have been successful.”
            How about the Senate Democrats proposed slashing 1 billion from Obama’s 3.7 billion.

          43. Dominick Vila February 2, 2015

            Our Southern border is much more secure than it was 10 years ago. The length and height of The Wall has increased, and the number of border patrol officers is at an all time high. Will it ever be 100% secure? I doubt it. As long as good paying jobs, by migrant standards, are available people will find a way to come in. At the moment, the easiest way to come in is via our wide open Northern border.

          44. mike February 2, 2015

            Length and Height increased under Obama, Really!!!
            Secure?? So these 100,000 plus unaccompanied children and families in 2013-14 were really challenged by physical barriers getting across the the border, or the 480,000 apprehensions. Funny!
            You keep on that 100% baloney. Common sense says never will it be 100% but 90% would be a start.
            So how many are entering from the Northern border? Is it 10%, 20% of those crossing southern border?

          45. Dominick Vila February 2, 2015

            How many are entering via our Northern border? As many as they like. Our Northern border is as porous as most West European borders. The difference is that those who do enter the USA illegally via our Northern border are able to blend with the American population, and there is very little interest in identifying them or deporting them.

          46. mike February 2, 2015

            Sure you don’t know how many because Obama sent a directory out in Sept. 2011 to stop all routine search of buses, trains, and airports, from Washington state to Maine. It was considered profiling. So save me the “little interest in identifying or deporting” crap.
            Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer and Ahmed Ressam are examples of this so called “profiling”. But under Obama it has been stopped unless credible intelligence of a threat is available.
            I see you are trying to play the race card as usual.

          47. mike February 2, 2015

            What did I just post? basically the same thing.
            You made the comment about “little interest in identifying or deporting”, which is pure horse manure. BP would love to do their job but now they can’t.

          48. Dominick Vila February 2, 2015

            The point is that searches miles from our borders violate our constitutional rights.

          49. mike February 2, 2015

            You have no point other than an open border with little to no concern who enters this country.
            Just more PC and nothing more.

          50. Dominick Vila February 2, 2015

            I have not heard anybody in this forum advocate open borders. You, on the other hand, implicitly endorsed bigger government, a concept that goes well beyond the number of civil servants or contractors. The last thing we need is unconstitutional searches.

          51. mike February 2, 2015

            “endorsed bigger government”, I don’t think so!!!!
            Change the subject deflect, same old Dom.
            So our constitutional rights are not being violated on the Southern border.
            You seem to forget that the BP now has jurisdiction 100 miles in land from the Northern or Southern Border, both coasts. You know those “constitutional free zones” where 2/3 of population resides.
            What you keep trying to ignore is the directive to stop all searches by Obama. Nothing you try and say can negate the lack of interest and enforcement of our laws when it comes to illegals by Obama.

          52. Dominick Vila February 2, 2015

            Change the subject? Hardly. Supporting unconstitutional searches miles away from our borders means support of intrusive governance.

          53. mike February 2, 2015

            It’s happening everyday and if the border was closed this would be moot.

          54. mike February 1, 2015

            The democrats have bulked at any piecemeal legislation. They want only a comprehensive bill. Obama gave the Congress less than 3 months before his EO takes effect. What a guy!!

          55. Dominick Vila February 1, 2015

            I bet you would love it if President Obama went after businesses that hire illegal immigrants. The real question, since this is a matter that has been driving Republicans crazy during the last 6 years (ignored when they were in control of government and amnesties were granted), why don’t you call the Republican candidates running for the nomination and ask them to announce that they are planning to go after employers of illegal immigrants if they become President?

          56. mike February 1, 2015

            Obama has gone after thousands of business with I-9’s and has fined many. Which is great.
            As I said earlier only 7% of business are using E-verify. This will stop will stop illegals from working once the majority of businesses use the program.

            Since Obama’s big announcement I-9’s have become more complicated. If the employers finds the employees original documentation was a lie, should he keep him around? Obama’s new policy would give illegals deferred action or three year permit which would be up to the employee to announce his deception to stay employed.

          57. hicusdicus January 31, 2015

            Its all the republicans fault? No it’s not. It’s the ruling class and their greed. When I lived in Texas I knew smugglers of people and drugs and you do not have a clue as to what is really going on. You can pontificate all you want, it will change nothing. I suspect you already know this, you just like to chatter.

          58. Dominick Vila February 1, 2015

            I didn’t mention drugs because that is not the topic being discussed. Drugs enter the USA via our Southern and Northern borders, they come in through our coasts, they used to come from Colombia, then Panama (remember Noriega), they come from Afghanistan, and they will be dropped from airplanes if that’s what drug traffickers have to do to satisfy the thirst for drugs that consume so many fellow Americans. The moment people stop taking placebos to mitigate the effects of their fears, pains, and obsessions, the influx of illegal drugs – and the use of pain killers – will decline dramatically.
            The same goes for illegal immigration, go after the businesses that hire illegal immigrants, fine them, and if they persist shut them down, and the illegal immigration problem will evaporate. No jobs = no illegal immigration.

          59. hicusdicus February 1, 2015

            Not wanting to be unpleasant , I will state this as simply as possible. Your comment on the drug problem is so far from the truth there is nothing to be said. Your comment on the taco eaters is on the money except it will never happen. Greed rules right up to the loss of everything.

          60. hicusdicus January 30, 2015

            There are already laws on the books that cover illegal immigration. Parents are responsible to what happens to their children. Most laws are not respected they are enforced. Arm chair philosophers are a dime a dozen and usually completely out of touch with reality.

          61. Dominick Vila January 31, 2015

            Yes, there are outdated immigration laws that do not address our labor needs. That is why they should be changed. Yes, parents are responsible for their children, but that doesn’t mean children should be held responsible and punished for what their parents did.

          62. hicusdicus January 31, 2015

            The laws are not outdated they are simple. No citizenship, follow the law. Labor needs are just BS to pay lower wages and circumnavigate regulations. Its our unenforced immigration laws that have caused all the problems. The children go back to their home countries. Their government and relatives work out the problems. Its not punishment it is the law. The law is what holds together our society. If you like your life style quit trying to destroy it. Your leader who you are so proud of is not following the law he is buying votes.

          63. Dominick Vila January 31, 2015

            When it comes to citizenship, the only thing delineated in our immigration law is how to be eligible for that privilege.
            Enforcement of our immigration laws is more strict and effective than ever. Construction of higher fences, hiring more border patrol officers, and deportations have all increased since Barack Obama became president. Don’t confuse a TEMPORARY WORK PERMIT for those who have been in the USA for over 5 years, and who have children born in the USA, that does not include permanent residency, let alone a path to citizenship, or a permanent pardon, such as Reagan’s amnesty in 1986 with ignoring the law. President Obama’s EO is neither a permanent solution, nor an unprecedented decision. It can, and will be, rendered obsolete the moment Congress passes legislation that supersedes President Obama’s EO.
            The real problem is the fact that politics, special interests, and intense hatred by a small but vociferous segment of our population, make it almost impossible for this issue to be resolved.
            I don’t support amnesty, but I think a solution, such as Sen. McCain’s “Guest Worker” program would solve the problem, insofar as what to do with those who are already – illegally – in the USA. The real solution, however, is to modify laws designed to address the economic conditions that existed in 1935, with requirements that reflect our current needs.
            I don’t have a problem with giving preferential access – visas – to foreign professionals to overcome labor shortages in critical areas, but the need to satisfy demand for semi-skilled labor in some sectors of our economy should not be ignored.
            Yes, we still have enough unemployed and under employed Americans that SHOULD be able to do the work that illegal immigrants are doing. Unfortunately, most of them don’t have the slightest interest in doing that. With that in mind, the alternative is to deport all illegal immigrants, import produce from Mexico and Chile, and get ready for out of control inflation.

          64. dpaano February 11, 2015

            By the way, it wasn’t a “massive loss.” In fact, the democratic candidates got more votes than the republican candidates. Additionally, it’s a known fact that people do not vote in midterms, so the Republicans were able to squeeze in a couple more seats. They won’t be that lucky in 2016, trust me!!

          65. mike February 11, 2015

            Lets see, Democrats lost the Senate and Republicans gained more seats in the House. Republicans gained more governorships, and legislatures, but the left got more votes. Are you that deranged?

          66. dpaano February 11, 2015

            Yep, that’s right….check your facts!

    2. paulyz February 1, 2015

      Obvious & simple solution then, seal our borders since terrorism is threatening our National Security, right? That is one of the most basic functions & responsibilities of our government.

      1. dpaano February 11, 2015

        I’d be interested in hearing your ideas about how to “seal” the borders…..got any?

  2. Grannysmovin January 30, 2015

    Republicans control both houses, pass and fund a bill that will build a wall around our borders designed after the Berlin Wall. They can have it inscriped with; We Republicans Don’t Want your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Deport these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, the lamp is out and the door is closed.

    1. Dominick Vila January 30, 2015

      …perhaps they should send the Statue of Liberty back to France, while they are at it…

      1. paulyz January 30, 2015

        Better to use the Statue of Liberty for what is was intended, it is not the Statue of Illegal entry.

        1. Dominick Vila January 31, 2015

          There were no entry visas when France gave us the Statue of Liberty. That concept, and related laws, were implemented in 1935. That means that there was no such a thing as illegal immigration when the Statue of Liberty was built.

          1. paulyz January 31, 2015

            You miss the point. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to celebrate Freedom. Both of our Countries fought for Liberty. It represents the Liberty of our American Government. It wasn’t put up as a symbol for anybody to violate our Laws and enter Illegally. The placque stating send us your huddled masses …….was added years later, nothing to to with asking people to come Illegally.

          2. dpaano February 11, 2015

            And my great-grandparents, who came from Ireland and England, didn’t have visas. They came through Ellis Island and became citizens once they went through the citizenship process. Yet, we won’t allow immigrants to do that now….interesting!!!

    2. paulyz January 30, 2015

      The inscription on the Statue of Liberty was added years later, it isn’t US policy. It also doesn’t state to send all your huddled masses ILLEGALLY. We have allowed many Millions of Legal Immigrants here more than the rest of the World combined, but you still criticize your Country. Perhaps open-borders in this day & age of drugs criminals, terrorists, gangs, diseases, etc., is what you prefer. Or maybe you prefer excessive numbers of Illegals entering while Millions of Americans remain unemployed, health care & education expenses are high?

      1. Grannysmovin January 30, 2015

        Caps – really. I prefer that the GOP legislators pass comprehensive immigration reform. I prefer that some republicans and GOP legislators stop spewing their hate and intolerance and try and remember we are talking about human beings not “illegals” as if that is a new race. “Perhaps open-borders in this day & age of drugs criminals, terrorists, gangs, diseases, etc., is what you prefer” ‘; where have you been – those elements have been the problem for decades.

        1. paulyz January 30, 2015

          We have had many “comprehensive immigration reform” bills passed but the problems grow worse every year. Why? Because “comprehensive” never includes the enforcement measures, only the Amnesties. They have had decades to fully secure the border, stop visa overstays, & pass mandatory E-verify, but not only don’t, but oppose it as well. Until these 3 items are completed as a first & separate bill, then it shows that they are not serious about the enforcement measures, only Amnesty for more voters for the Democrats, & more cheap labor for some businesses. But not cheap for the rest of us that must pay for their huge costs to American Citizens.
          Why is this so hard to understand?

          1. Grannysmovin January 30, 2015

            Stop with the more votes for Democrats that is BS and you know it. Amnesty does not make them citizens and you must be a citizen to vote and you are well aware of that. They have increased border security, but most assume they all come across the border. You mentioned it visa overstays and I agree that is an area they need to strengthen. If the immigrants are given a pathway to citizenship and can stay without living here illegally, they will be a benefit to us financially. Read the article in the Washington post where the CBO report doesn’t mean immigration brings down wages.

            From USANews; “The report found that during the next 20 years, immigration would bolster the country’s economic growth by 4.8 percent. The report shows that immigration reform would reduce the country’s deficits by $1.2 trillion during this time, as young, working immigrants take jobs and pay taxes.”http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/10/29/immigration-reform-boosts-economic-recovery

          2. paulyz January 30, 2015

            Have you already forgotten Obama’s unlawful act giving at least 5 Million Illegals Legal status? It is already known that this will entitle them to receive Obamacare, & many Illegals already do vote, support the Democrat Party, & will eventually be allowed to vote. This is just getting their foot in the door. Also, tens of thousands of criminal Illegals up for deportation, were released into society, as were thousands of Illegal Central americans, many Not children, not to mention all the deported Illegals ordered Not to be deported.
            Idon’t know where you get your info, but almost all Americans know that Millions of Illegals cost us ALL many Billions annually in many ways.

            And if you don’t secure the border, pass mandatory E-verify, or enforce our Laws, we willbe having these same exact problems again in several years, but you know that don’t you. As do the Democrats, but do it anyway when they had decades to prove they will.

          3. Grannysmovin January 30, 2015

            Legal experts on both sides of the argument agree and disagree; reason the laws are written ambiguously. Done by previous Presidents via Executive Order. Stop with the Republican Talking Points put out by Faux News. Provide the documented proof that tens of thousands criminals were released into society. Provided the documented proof that many people who are here illegally would risk getting caught so they could vote. Where is the proof that people who are illegal are voting? Because Faux news or republicans keep spewing it does not make it fact. Link to the legal documents that prove what you are claiming.

          4. dpaano February 11, 2015

            Granny….he can’t!!!

          5. dpaano February 11, 2015

            Maybe you remember both Reagan and Bush doing pretty much the same thing……how quickly you guys forget!

          6. dpaano February 11, 2015

            And, maybe if the Republicans quit stripping our government of workers, they might have enough personnel to do those jobs!!! Apparently, you don’t seem to understand that it is the GOP’s fault that they have downsized the entire government to the point that barely any of the departments can function. For example, look at the IRS. They’ve downsized this bureau to the point that they don’t have enough personnel to check returns for fraud…..this means that more and more people are going to get away without filing their taxes….and that means more and more money out of OUR pockets, yours included! This is just one example!
            Additionally, illegals working the the U.S. DO pay taxes when they buy food, gasoline, etc. They don’t get away totally scott free! We all pay taxes of some sort or another.

      2. latebloomingrandma January 30, 2015

        Then why doesn’t someone remove the poem from the statue?. It makes a mockery of Lady Liberty.

        1. paulyz January 30, 2015

          Yes it does

  3. James Bowen January 30, 2015

    DHS is basically shut down already given that they are not allowed to enforce immigration laws, which is the most important function of that department. Congress has a duty to defund this unconstitutional amnesty and should accept nothing less. Remember, the reason the 9/11 attacks were not stopped is primarily because of lax immigration enforcement.

    1. Dominick Vila February 2, 2015

      James, please tell me you don’t believe what you just wrote. The main function of the DHS is to guarantee our national security. That Department was created in the aftermath of 9/11 to overcome the inefficiencies inherent in having autonomous intelligence agencies (CIA, FBI, local law enforcement…) that did not share information because of petty peeves. Their top priority is to prevent another foreign terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
      Immigration (legal and illegal) now falls under the DHS charter, but that is not their main function. Not even close.
      The 9/11 terrorists did not enter the USA because of lax immigration laws, if nothing else because they were not immigrants. Tourists and students enter the USA legally when they get the applicable visas from the STATE DEPARTMENT, not the DHS.
      Illegal immigration is a legitimate issue that needs resolution. Using hyperbole to scare people, or incorrect information, does not help matters.

      1. James Bowen February 2, 2015

        The primary functions that fall under DHS are immigration, customs, border security, and emergency management. None of the other police and intelligence agencies you mention fall under DHS. If you ask me, DHS should have never been created in the first place. We already have a department responsible for national security, it is called the Department of Defense. DHS was nothing but another bureaucracy that was created by politicians to make it look like they were doing something. DHS is still restricted from sharing info with other agencies. USCIS, which is part of DHS, handles immigration, including visas.

        Also, lax and permissive immigration laws were indeed the reason those terrorists were able to carry out the 9/11 attacks. Three of them were illegal aliens, the rest were in the country legally, which means that our legal immigration system is too permissive and not discriminatory enough. The Boston bombings were confirmation that this is still the case, in spite of the creation of DHS.

        1. Dominick Vila February 2, 2015

          I have similar concerns about the creation of the DHS, but I understand why it was. I am sure you remember how chaotic things were in the aftermath of 9/11.
          I realize that this is semantics, but the 9/11 terrorists were not immigrants – legal or illegal. Visas are issued by the State Department, not the INS. Most of the 9/11 terrorists entered the USA via our international airports with passports that had tourist or student visas issued by the State Department (by our Embassies or consulates in their homelands).

          1. James Bowen February 3, 2015

            The 9/11 terrorists were in fact immigrants. As I recall, three of them were illegal aliens, the others were here on various visas. Perhaps the State Department once handled these, but now USCIS does, which is part of DHS (http://www.uscis.gov/). We don’t even adequately screen legal immigrants, to say nothing of the status of immigration enforcement.

          2. Dominick Vila February 3, 2015

            One of the 19 terrorists that carried out the 9/11 attack entered the U.S. on a student visa. The rest arrived here on tourist or “business” visas. Tourist visas are temporary, and are usually effective for a couple of months. Business visas are also temporary, and are designed to allow foreign entrepreneurs to enter the USA to participate in business transactions.
            Immigrant visas are usually indefinite in nature, and are issued consistent with U.S. immigration laws. The latter is, indeed, a function of the DHS.

          3. James Bowen February 3, 2015

            Students are handled by USCIS: http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/students-and-exchange-visitors/students-and-employment. You are correct that tourists and temporary visitors are handled by the state department.

  4. Whatmeworry January 30, 2015

    Congress agrees with you Jeh. Your Boss made it one

  5. Tony Stark January 30, 2015

    Over one million illegal aliens are apprehended in the United States each year.

  6. Whatmeworry January 30, 2015

    Congress disagrees with you Jeh. Your Bost made it one


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