Opinion: Columnists

Gregory Kane: President 'Open Borders'

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We can now call him President Barack "Open Borders" Obama.

This week a bipartisan group of U.S. senators came up with an immigration reform package that, according to FoxNews.com, included these key points:

» A pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants who currently reside in the United States. The pathway will be contingent on a plan that better secures the nation's borders.

» Better tracking of those currently in this country on visas.

» Background checks.

» Paying fines and back taxes so that illegal immigrants can then qualify for a probationary legal status.

As the senators were presenting their plan, Obama was in Nevada, doing what he and other Democrats do best: groveling for the Latino vote when it comes to the matter of illegal immigration.

President "Open Borders" then presented his own plan for immigration reform. Like that of the senators, it had four key points.

» A pathway to citizenship.

» Improved border security.

» "Overhauling" the current legal immigration system.

» Helping businesses verify the legal status of workers.

Obama doesn't link a path to citizenship with improving border security. That doesn't sit well with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a conservative, Republican Latino who is part of the bipartisan group of senators who presented their own plan.

"I think that would be a terrible mistake," Rubio said of not linking a path to citizenship with better border security. "We have a bipartisan group of senators that have agreed to that. For the president to try to move the goalposts on that specific requirement, as an example, does not bode well in terms of what his role's going to be in this or the outcome."

Rubio said if the link between a path to citizenship and improved border security isn't in an immigration reform bill, then he won't support it.

It should be obvious why the senators linked the path to citizenship with improved border security. Once word gets around south of the border that the gringos are cutting slack to anyone who slips across the border -- which is basically what we have been doing -- then even more illegal immigrants will flood the country.

But that might be precisely what Barack "Open Borders" Obama wants.

The man has to be intelligent enough to realize what a group of Republican and Democratic senators have concluded: that creating a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants while the border is still porous only invites more illegal immigrants.

So if Obama doesn't make the same link, it can only be because he'd welcome more illegal immigrants.

Neither the president nor the senators gave specifics about how to better secure the border. And none of them acknowledged the obvious truth: that the federal government has already dismally failed in its obligation to secure our borders.

What is it going to take for them to take this problem seriously? Must we propose militarizing the border from California to Texas? Must we talk about creating a 10-mile-wide zone filled with barbed wire and land mines, and shoot anyone who makes it through -- must we bring back Herman Cain's suggestion of an alligator-filled moat? -- before the message is clear that Americans are dead serious about protecting our borders?

Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

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Gregory Kane

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The Washington Examiner