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The so-called 'do-nothing' feds do some more for border security

August 13, 2010 - Mike Maneval

On Friday President Barack Obama signed a $600 million border-security bill. The measures included in the bill includes a 1,000 new border patrol positions and more use of unmanned drones for border surveillance. It remains to be seen if the president's critics on the illegal immigration issue will attempt to minimize the impact of the legislation - as they've attempted, out of a desire to paint the federal government as "doing nothing," to minimize every effort by the federal government to control immigration during the past two years.

As I observed back in May, the Obama administration deports more illegal immigrants than proceeding administrations and has presided over the construction of another 500 miles of border fencing. The administration is working to expand the use of e-verify to block efforts by illegal immigrants to work in America - a measure vigorously contested by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

But these aforementioned steps against the tide of illegal immigration, along with Friday's $600 million steps, are just a few of the footprints in the border-crackdown bustling. What I didn't note in May is that the Obama administration was responsible for shutting down the Bush administration's initial foray into expediting entry into the country for Mexican truck drivers - a program that promised more opportunities for immigrant-smuggling than positive economic impact. And Huffington Post's Ivan Moreno detailed in late July how a new federal fingerprinting initiative will lead to even greater numbers of deportations. "It has the potential to revolutionize immigration enforcement," pro-immigration attorney Sunita Patel told Moreno.

Higher numbers of deportations, tougher policies for foreign truckers entering the nation, upgrades to systems for double-checking the immigration status of job applicants, 500 miles of fence, improvements to fingerprinting practices, and a 1,000 more border patrol agents ... it all adds up to a sum far greater than "nothing." 



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