GOP plan calls for National Guard deployment at border
On the surface, this Republican plan to deal with the border crisis is a lot better than the plan offered by President Obama.
But fearing the accusation of being "inhumane" to the illegal alien children, the GOP House members charged by Speaker Boehner with developing the plan will not call for the immediate deportation of the kids, but rather grant them their hearing before a judge. The plan calls for the hiring of more judges to expedite the process.
But GOP aides familiar with the plan say the group wants deportations to happen “in a humane way,” and will not recommend eliminating court hearings for the children who are here. Instead, they will endorse hiring more judges in order to expedite the process, aides said.
Aides did not provide details about what the group, headed by Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, wants the National Guard to do while on the border.
On Monday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced he plans to send up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the border to protect against drug traffickers and other criminals who may try to enter the country as part of the recent surge and to help stop immigrant children before they cross the border.
The working group’s list of recommendations also call for:
• Allowing the U.S. Border Patrol access to 4.3 million acres of protected federal lands that border Mexico. Republicans have argued that illegal immigration and drug activity thrive on the land because because border authorities are prohibited from driving motorized vehicles or building roads.
• Working to help Mexico secure its southern border, where immigrants are entering illegally from Central America before traveling north to Texas. It's a plan championed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who is also a member of the working group.
Absent from the list is a call for the president to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which some conservatives believe motivated the thousands of children to venture to the United States.
The program, put in place by President Obama through an executive order, allows people who arrived here as children to remain here for two years. It's a divisive issue for the GOP, with some Republicans, including outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., in support of a similar proposal to legalize people who came here as children illegally.
The working group’s recommendation will not deal with spending.
Frankly, I don't see much difference between the president's plan - which also calls for hiring more judges - and the GOP plan. The National Guard deployed to the border will marginally help the states by taking some administrative responsibilities from border agents so that more of them can patrol the border. But they're not going to "guard" the border in any meaningful way.
What this shows is that Washington is still unserious about border security. Too many elites benefit too much from illegal immigration for Congress to do much of anything about it.