In an address to Latino leaders from across the nation Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano placed the blame for the lack of immigration reform on the Republicans.
From ABC News
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a group of Latino leaders from across the U.S. today that responsibility for inaction on a comprehensive immigration reform bill falls squarely on Republicans and that the Latino community must turn out in November to vote their displeasure.
“Your voice is your vote, man,” Napolitano said at a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute event. “Your vote is the currency this town lives on.”
“Many members of the congress who voted ‘no’ last time on immigration reform said they needed to see more enforcement and more security first. We have met every benchmark set in those debates. So the request I keep making is quit moving goal posts,” she said.
Napolitano told the Latino leaders that the Department’s accomplishments in border security, which include seizing and deporting record numbers of contraband and migrants along U.S. borders, reflect “common sense” priorities that target criminals.
“[The border] is as secure now as it has ever been and getting more secure each day. We’ll never seal the border,” she said. But “to paraphrase Al Gore, what should be going up is going up, and what should be going down is going down.”
Several Latino leaders pressed Napolitano on whether the administration would support a piecemeal approach to reform, including asking lawmakers to pass legislation such as the DREAM Act this year. She was non-committal.
“The president supports the DREAM Act and I support the DREAM Act. The president supports immigration reform, and I support immigration reform. And how Congress takes that up is for the Congress and the leadership to decide,” she said.
The fact of the matter is that this is yet another issue that Obama would prefer not to deal with. And his actions to date have sent mixed messages to the Latino community as he has called for immigration reform (amnesty) on the one hand while sending more National Guard troops to the border to strengthen enforcement, which liberal Latino’s don’t want.
As the former governor of Arizona, Napolitano is all to familiar with the immigration problems her state as well as other border states face and she knows that it isn’t just the GOP that has a problem with the immigration reform proposed by the President. But in a what has turned out to be a key election year the administration needs a scapegoat for their failure to deliver for the Latino community, and blaming former President Bush, as Obama has done on so many occasions, just wouldn’t fly in this case. So they have resorted to an old standby in the GOP.
Even these Latino leaders have to understand that the blame for any lack of reform falls on Obama and the Democrats. How this is the GOP’s fault — with the large Democrat majority in Congress and Obama in the White House — is beyond reason.
Obama is more like the anti-Harry Truman, the buck always stops somewhere else.