Senate goes on vacation as House passes a Border Bill

Editor’s Note – Border crisis – security or humanitarian issue? The answer depends on your political goals and/or ideology, but one thing is clear, our national security needs at the border have never been fully met, and the humanitarian crisis is a creation of the President. He has created a play on emotions for nefarious ends.

boehner-to-obama-tell-us-where-you-stand-on-the-key-issue-in-the-border-crisisThe pundits and talking heads will argue forever, but what really is taking place is one group jockeying for political position versus those who wish to actually affect change and solve current issues before they get out of hand.

Obama purports it to be the right fighting the right and a do nothing Congress, but if one pays close attention, it is all about the vote for the left.

The problem is Mr. President, though so many in this country cannot even describe our form of government or its branches correctly, you sir are manipulating the ill-informed and playing to your base at the expense of our national security.

Divide and conquer. But it was your Senate that went on vacation sir. Mr. Brinkmanship strikes again.

Compromise to Obama is “do it my way or the highway!” But we want to know why Harry Reid never allows a vote on anything from the House, even when the constitution mandates that all spending bills must begin in the house.

You can get the Senate to do anything you want to fool the people. The manipulation is so obvious – to all but the ill-informed.

It is so obvious that it is a political ploy because we already had successful operations in conjunction with Central American countries like:

It is obvious, Obama does not want to solve the problem, and he and Kerry are not doing their job with Mexico or the other nations to our south.

House Okays Bill to Address Border Crisis

By Erica Werner – Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans passed legislation late Friday to address the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border by sending migrant youths back home without hearings, winning over conservatives with a companion bill that could lead to deporting more than half a million immigrants whom the Obama administration granted temporary work permits.

President Barack Obama condemned the Republican action and said he’d act unilaterally, as best he could.

A day after GOP leaders pulled the border bill from the floor in a chaotic retreat, tea party lawmakers were enthusiastically on board with the new $694 million version and a companion measure that would shut off a program created by Obama granting work permits to immigrants brought here illegally as kids.

The second bill also seemed designed to prevent the more than 700,000 people who’ve already gotten work permits under the program from renewing them, ultimately making them subject to deportation.

The spending bill passed 223-189 late Friday, with only four Republicans voting “no” and one Democrat voting “yes.” The measure ending Obama’s deportation relief program passed 216-192, with 11 Republican “no” votes and four Democrats crossing party lines to vote in favor.

“It’s dealing with the issue that the American people care about more than any other, and that is stopping the invasion of illegal foreign nationals into our country,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. “And we got to yes.”

But Obama said no. “They’re not even trying to solve the problem,” the president said. “I’m going to have to act alone, because we do not have enough resources.”

Obama said he would reallocate resources where he could, while making clear his options were limited without congressional action. The administration already has taken steps including re-ordering immigration court dockets and boosting enforcement measures.

The moves in the House came on what was to have been the first day of lawmakers’ five-week summer recess, delayed by GOP leaders after their vote plans unexpectedly collapsed on Thursday. Senators had already left Washington after killing their own legislation on the border crisis, so there was no prospect of reaching a final deal. But three months before midterm elections,

House Republicans were determined to show that they, at least, could take action to address the crisis involving tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors fleeing violence and poverty in Central America to cross illegally into South Texas.

“It would be irresponsible and unstatesmanlike to head home for the month without passing a bill to address this serious, present crisis on the border,” said Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

To reach a deal, GOP leaders had to satisfy the demands of a group of a dozen or more conservative lawmakers who were meeting behind the scenes with Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and taking their cues from outside groups such as the Heritage Foundation that opposed earlier versions of the legislation.

These lawmakers objected to sending any more money to Obama without a strong stance against his two-year-old deportation relief program, which Republicans blame for causing the current border crisis by creating the perception that once here, young migrants would be allowed to stay — a point the administration disputes.

House GOP leaders agreed earlier in the week to hold a separate vote to prevent Obama from expanding the deportation relief program, as he’s signaled he plans to do, but that didn’t satisfy conservatives who held out for stronger steps.

Thursday night, those lawmakers huddled in the basement of the Capitol with new House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., until coming up with a deal ending funding for the deportation relief program as well as making changes to the border bill aimed at ensuring the faster removal of the Central American migrant youths.

Friday morning, as the full Republican caucus met in the Capitol, conservative lawmakers were declaring victory.

“I’m very satisfied,” said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, the leading immigration hardliner in the House.

With the vote to end the deportation deferral program, “We will put a handcuff on one of the president’s hands,” said Bachmann.

The GOP plans met with howls of protest from immigration advocates and Democrats, who warned Republicans that they’d be alienating Latino voters for years to come.

“This, in all honesty and candor, is one of the most mean-spirited and anti-immigrant pieces of legislation I’ve seen in all my years in the Congress,” said longtime Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich.

Democrats also accused Republicans of handing control of their policies to the most conservative lawmakers in the House, within months of abandoning pledges to act on broad-based legislation to overhaul U.S. immigration policy and bring millions of immigrants here illegally out of the shadows.

The new GOP border bill adds $35 million more for the National Guard, which would go to reimburse states for guard deployments. Like earlier versions, it would increase spending for overwhelmed border agencies, add more immigration judges and detention spaces, and alter a 2008 anti-trafficking law to permit Central American kids to be sent back home without deportation hearings.

That process is currently permitted only for unaccompanied minors arriving from Mexico and Canada.

The bill would pay for strapped border agencies only for the final two months of this budget year, falling far short of the $3.7 billion Obama initially requested to deal with the crisis into next year. More than 57,000 unaccompanied youths have arrived since October, mostly from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, plus tens of thousands more migrants traveling as families.

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Associated Press writers Donna Cassata, David Espo, Alan Fram, Stephen Ohlemacher, Jim Kuhnhenn and Andrew Taylor contributed to this report.

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Operation Bus Bound Video:

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Israel releases Video of border Hezbollah intel gathering

Editor’s Note – There’s a trigger point here, there, and everywhere! That “Sarajevo Moment” seems just around the corner, and the Israelis are on their game.

Many think they made many mistakes in the past, especially in 2006, but the table is set much differently, and the chips are deep. The leadership is in place, and it’s a much different makeup than during the Olmert days.

Intelligence Collection at the Lebanese Border

The IDF released a video documenting Hezbollah collecting intelligence at the Lebanese border, six years after the Second Lebanon War

Israel Defense

The IDF has released a video documenting the way Hezbollah is collecting intelligence at the Lebanese border, six years after the Second Lebanon War.

The video was presented during a debriefing by Brigadier General Hartzi Halevi, Commander of the 91st Division (Galilee Formation), which is responsible for the Lebanese border sector.

During the debriefing, Halevi said, “The IDF sees the connection between the ongoing events in Syria and the terror activity at the northern border, and is preparing accordingly. The chances of hostile activity in the border region are continuously increasing, and therefore, we are required to be prepared. There is more than just one way to violate the calm at the northern border, but the IDF will know to provide a clear and keen response against any possible scenario.

“The challenges we face are numerous. We will have to see how we face the complex challenge that includes an enemy with multiple capabilities. However, we will be able to operate on Lebanese soil, should it be required, and inflict considerable damage to the terror centers present there.”

See the video:

Islamist trend in Egypt alarms Israel on border

Editor’s Note – Tensions rise after the election of Muslim Brotherhood ministers and the presidency.

Alarmed Israel tightens its Sinai border

From Space War.com

The Israeli military will deploy mobile radar systems along the Sinai border with Egypt amid fears that Palestinians, possibly aided by militants linked to al-Qaida, plan to step up attacks on the Jewish state.

The emergence of a jihadist organization in the vast wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula on Israel’s southern flank, its least defended frontier, is causing deep concern in Israel’s military and intelligence establishment because it may reflect Egypt’s lurch toward Islamist rule.

Until 2011, Palestinian rocket attacks were launched from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, and Israeli forces retaliated without hindrance, usually with airstrikes, and in December 2008 a 22-day invasion by a large ground force.

Previous border attack scene along the Israel-Sinai corridor

But the Feb. 11, 2011, downfall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a staunch supporter of Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel, in a pro-democracy revolution, immensely complicated Israel’s security situation on its southern border.

Mubarak’s ouster after weeks of bloodshed in the streets put the future of the landmark pact, which the vast majority of Egypt’s 82 million oppose, in serious doubt.

There have been several attacks mounted from Sinai since August 2011, when eight Israelis were killed in the worst terrorist assault in years. Two 122mm rockets fired from southern Sinai hit Israel earlier this month.

A jihadist group calling itself the Mujahedin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem claimed responsibility for a June 18 attack from Sinai that killed an Israel and triggered a gun battle in which two attackers died.

This has coincided with a weeklong surge in rocket attacks from Gaza that drew retaliatory airstrikes in which several Palestinians were killed.

Tension remains high and there’s been talk of another Israeli ground offensive.

In December 2011, an Islamist group named Ansar al-Jihad in the Sinai Peninsula announced its formation, the first jihadist organization in the region, and pledged loyalty to al-Qaida.

“Terrorist bases are being established in Sinai and we expect the Egyptians to restore sovereignty there,” declared Israel’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.

“If international awareness does not spur immediate Egyptian action to address the growing security vacuum and increased terrorist incidents on the border with Israel, the Sinai powder keg may soon explode,” observed retired Brig. Gen. Michael Herzog, a former head of the Israeli military’s Strategic Planning Division.

Cairo’s hold over the Sinai Peninsula, the westernmost edge of the Arab world which Israel captured in 1967, was never strong, even after Israel returned the region under the 1979 treaty.

The sparsely populated region, which is largely desert, has long been neglected by Cairo.

Even before Mubarak’s ouster, disgruntled Bedouin tribesmen were gravitating toward al-Qaida, which is reported to have built up a network that has in recent months begun hitting Israel, or allowed Gaza militants to launch attacks from there.

The post-Mubarak political rise of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood has further deepened alarm in Israel that its southern border, calm and pretty much undefended for the last three decades, is once more becoming a combat zone.

The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928 and subsequently the godfather of just about every radical Islamist group in the Arab world, has made spectacular political gains since Mubarak was booted out.

The organization dominates Egypt’s Parliament with other Islamists and on Sunday Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader who served years in Mubarak’s prisons, was declared the country’s first freely elected president.

He narrowly beat the military’s candidate, former air force chief Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak’s last prime minister.

The Muslim Brotherhood has publicly declared it will observe all foreign treaties signed during Mubarak’s three-decade dictatorship. But the Israelis, increasingly jumpy because of the bloodbath in neighboring Syria, Iran’s nuclear program and a recent surge in Palestinian attacks from Gaza, fear Egypt’s new leadership will make little effort to restore control in Sinai, and might even encourage attacks.

“The challenge Israel is facing in the Sinai is very similar to the daily terror threats it faces in the Gaza Strip,” noted The Jerusalem Post’s military expert, Yaakov Katz.

“But here’s the main difference: while Israel can retaliate and respond militarily to attacks from Gaza, its hands are — for the time being — tied in face of the same threats it faces from Egypt Â… even if it knows about a ticking terrorist bomb.”

Obama Slashes Border Security

Editor’s Note – This topic is apparently so beaten to death that no one in the Department of Homeland Security or at the Justice Department wants to talk about it from this point forward and that includes the money allocated from Appropriations. If there are any non-believers out there that think Washington DC does not care about the Southern Border and the associated corruption and failed national security interests, then just spend one full day on the border, but bring along your own security.

Technology, humanitarian aid, and financial military support goes to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the billions of dollars but this White House has decided to trim the border security at our Southern border by half when it comes to assets and construction of the fence. Sure, it does not need to be a physical fence, but understand there are hundreds of miles exposed with no line of demarcation. The bottom line is, any borders with no protection of any sort is a failure of national security.

Please read the two articles below:

Obama Has Halved Spending on Border Fencing, Infrastructure, Technology–Leaving 1,300 Miles of Mexico Border Unfenced

By Edwin Mora

CNS News

(CNSNews.com) – The Obama administration has slashed spending on border fencing, infrastructure and technology, cutting it by more than half since it peaked under President George W. Bush in fiscal 2008, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

In 2008, according to GAO, the federal government spent more than $1.3 billion on border security fencing, infrastructure and technology. In 2011, it spend $573 million.

Meanwhile, Customs and Border Protection has said that as of June it had fenced only 649 miles of the nearly 1,954-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border–leaving more than 1,300 miles of that border unfenced.

The November 2011 GAO report refers to this category of federal spending by the acronym BSFIT.

“Over $4.7 billion has been appropriated for BSFIT activities from fiscal years 2007 through 2011,” it says.

The report breaks the figure down for the five consecutive fiscal years (the 12-month period from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 of the following year) – $1.188 billion for FY2007, $1.303 billion for FY2008, $845 million for FY2009, $800 million for FY2010 and $573 million for FY2011.

Over that period, the annual appropriations for border security therefore peaked in FY2008 under President Bush and declined to its lowest level in FY2011 under President Obama.

“An across-the-board cut to DHS appropriations of 0.2 percent reduced the BSFIT appropriation to $573 million [in fiscal 2011],” notes the GAO. The report added that some of the annual appropriations covered in the report do not expire at the end of the fiscal year for which they were allotted.

The report also stated that last January, “after 5 years and a cost of nearly $1 billion,” the DHS ended the Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet) – also known as the virtual fence – “because it did not meet cost-effectiveness and viability standards.”

“DHS is developing a successor plan to secure the Southwest border called the Alternative (Southwest) Border Technology plan,” the report adds. “The plan’s first phase is the Arizona Border Surveillance Technology Plan, which also includes a mix of radars, sensors, and cameras.” It is expected to cost about $1.5 billion over 10 years.

Explaining how the appropriations have been directed, the report said that in November 2005 the DHS initiated the Secure Border Initiative (SBI), described as “a multiyear, multibillion-dollar effort aimed at securing U.S. borders and reducing illegal immigration.”

Under the SBI, the DHS’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) implemented the following programs:

  • SBI Network (SBI): radars, sensors, and cameras along 53 miles of Arizona’s 376-mile border with Mexico;
  • Northern Border Program: cameras, radars, and operations centers along the border with Canada;
  • Tactical Communications Modernization: an upgrade to the CBP communications systems; and
  • Tactical Infrastructure – fences, roads, and lighting along the southwest border.

According to the CBP, as of the end of June 2011 it had completed 649 miles of pedestrian and vehicle fencing along the approximately 2,000 mile-long Southwest border.

“A total of 350 miles of primary pedestrian fence has been constructed, while the final total of vehicle fence (the project was officially completed on January 8, 2010) was 299 miles,” it says.

A “primary pedestrian fence” is aimed at preventing the illegal passage of people while a “vehicle fence” is focused on stopping the unauthorized passage of vehicles.

“Their placement depends on the threat at the location and the operational needs of law enforcement,” CBP says.

CBP is responsible for securing a total of 8,607 miles of the U.S. border, including about 2,000 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, approximately 4,000 miles of the U.S.-Canada border, plus sectors of coastline in the Gulf of Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

As of the end of fiscal 2010, the U.S. government had established “effective control” over 1,107 miles of the 8,607 miles it is responsible for securing – 69 miles along the northern border, 873 on the U.S.-Mexico border and 165 miles in coastal sectors.

Less than half of the southwest border and less than two percent of the northern border are therefore under “effective control.” The term applies to those areas where the U.S. government can be “reasonably” be expected to intercept illegal cross-border activity

The Holes Found in U.S. Border Fence Technology

After 20 years and billions of dollars, securing the southern border remains a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Why is it so hard to build a fence that works?

Popular Mechanics

By Dan Koeppel

As lines in the sand go, this steel structure is designed to be the toughest on earth to cross. The 15-foot-high fence extends west of Nogales into the Arizona desert, undulating and curving as it follows the border with Mexico. South of the fence, hillside houses rise beyond a hundred-yard-wide no man’s land. Some houses contain migrant laborers who will try—perhaps even tonight—to cross this line. A pickup truck makes its way up a gravel cut that zigzags across a hillside on the Mexican side. “He’s watching us,” says Border Patrol agent Mario Escalante. “He’s trying to gather intelligence—and so are we.”

This kind of fence—one of about a dozen different barrier types found along the southern border—has a name that sounds like something the Army would give its brawniest tank: the anti-ram. From a distance, it looks like an array of dark-colored vertical blinds.

On closer inspection, the slats reveal themselves to be steel pipes 4 inches in diameter filled with concrete poured around interior skeletons of rebar. The fence is modular, built in segmented panels 8 feet wide and sunk 6 feet into the ground.

One manufacturer claims it would take two men, each with a power saw, nearly 40 minutes to cut a 2-foot-wide hole in its anti-ram fencing, and they’d need to carry additional fuel and extra blades to do it. And if the fence’s name invokes images of an impenetrable barrier to powerful machines, it should—some anti-ram fences are designed to withstand a 40-mph impact by a 10,000-pound vehicle. Such defensive measures don’t come cheap: The average cost of vehicle fencing is $1 million per mile.

For more than 20 years, politicians from both parties have held the same basic position on the nation’s frontiers. “First, the United States must secure its borders,” President George W. Bush said on May 15, 2006. “This is a basic responsibility of a sovereign nation.” President Obama noted on April 29, 2010: “It is the federal government’s responsibility to enforce the law and secure our borders. . . .”

Few political leaders have disagreed with these sweeping sentiments. And polls show that about 60 percent of Americans are in favor of a barrier that they believe will curb illegal immigration, drug smuggling and terrorists.

Since 1990, the U.S. has barricaded about 650 miles of the nearly 2000-mile border with everything from rudimentary barbed wire to fencing made of Army surplus helicopter landing mats to three-sided steel barriers that look like bulked-up versions of the tritons that littered the World War II beaches of Normandy. More recent designs include concrete and steel bollards—vehicle-stopping posts similar to the kind found at entrances to government buildings, office towers and shopping malls. Some of the most expensive barriers—remotely operated surveillance systems—have been deployed in several field tests but with disappointing results.

Despite all the time, effort and money spent on both physical and virtual fences, about 175,000 migrants, mostly coming for work, made it past existing barriers in 2008. After decades of effort, bipartisan consensus and billions of dollars, America’s southern border seems as permeable as ever. And the frustrated American public wants to know: What’s so hard about building a fence?

At the headquarters of the Border Patrol’s Tucson sector, in a room filled with video monitors, agents play for me a recording made two weeks ago, in early January. The incident began with a hit from a motion sensor buried 50 miles south in the Sonoran Desert.

Read the rest here: Popular Mechanics

AG Abbott Letter to Obama – ‘I Told You So’

Editor’s Note – When we ask if we are secure on our borders, the current administration tells us we are safer than we have ever been. The arrests are up and the illegal immigration is down. Janet Napolitano said:

“There is a perception that the border is worse now than it ever has been,” Napolitano said at the Bridge of The Americas border crossing in El Paso, Texas, the Associated Press reports. “That is wrong. The border is better now than it ever has been.”

However, the people who live in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California know better. Just ask Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County Arizona who is calling for Holder’s resignation, or in this case, the Attorney General of Texas. Read what the AG of Texas has to say to Obama:

Greg Abbott Tells Obama to PROTECT US NOW after Texas Officer Shot by Mexican Drug Cartel on Border

By David Bellow

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sent a letter to President Obama on November 2nd, 2011. The letter had a clear message.

I TOLD YOU SO!

Greg Abbott has been pleading for the Obama Administration to take action to protect the Texas Border from these violent Drug Cartels. The Drug Cartels have killed tens of thousands of innocent victims and now the Drug Cartel violence is spilling onto the American side. Earlier this year I posted a video of a battle that happened on the border across from Roma, TX. The explosions and gunfire were easily seen and heard from the Texas side. I have also written articles detailing shootouts between the Drug Cartels and Texas Law enforcement and also about how Texas children are being recruited and killed by Mexican drug cartels.

Greg Abbott warned President Obama that soon these Drug Cartel bullets will harm Americans on the Texas side of the Border.

Sure enough, Greg Abbott was right.

A Texas Deputy was shot 3 times in a shootout last weekend.

Following this recent incident, Greg Abbott sent a letter to President Obama pleading for him to take action to protect Americans by protecting the Border. He used this recent incident as his example.

Below is the Letter that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sent to President Obama on November 2nd, 2011:

Dear Mr. President,

Over a year ago, I wrote to you warning of the increasing threat of cartel-related violence spilling across our border with Mexico. At the time, gunfire from cartels in Juarez had crossed over the border into El Paso. Fortunately for El Pasoans, those bullets struck only buildings, rather than bodies. But as I warned back then, we cannot simply rely on good fortune to protect American lives from the ever-present threat of cartel violence on our southern border. Since the incident in El Paso, the threat from the cartels has only grown—and now the bullets have struck Americans. Just last weekend, in a deadly shootout with cartel operatives, a deputy sheriff in Hidalgo County, Texas, was shot three times. Thankfully the officer survived, but the Hidalgo County Sheriff confirmed that the shooting spilled over from ongoing drug wars involving the Gulf Cartel in Mexico.

Unfortunately, last week’s gun battle in Hidalgo County was not an isolated incident. In January of this year, highway workers repairing a road near a known drug-smuggling route were fired upon from the southern side of the border near Fort Hancock, Texas. In June, Texas law enforcement officers near Abram, Texas, exchanged fire with drug smugglers who attacked them from across the border. In May, U.S. Border Patrol agents near Mission, Texas, also came under fire under similar circumstances. And in September, one man was killed when cartel operatives exchanged gunfire between vehicles driving down a highway in McAllen, Texas.

Within just the last two weeks, three high-level cartel leaders have been arrested inside the United States. Reports indicate they were hiding in Texas in an attempt to avoid violence in Mexico. But the violence is already starting to follow these criminals to the United States, as the increasing cartel activity in South Texas demonstrates. Their presence in our country is more evidence that the cartels increasingly view the porous border as no more than a line on a map. And if your Administration continues to fail to secure the border against this threat, it is only a matter of time before American lives are lost.

I implore you to aggressively confront this escalating threat. The safety and security of the Americans you have pledged to defend is at risk because of the cartel battles spilling across our border. To protect American lives, your administration must immediately dedicate more manpower to border security—especially along the 1,254 mile Texas border, which remains unacceptably porous. Texas and its law enforcement personnel at the state, county and local levels remain committed to working with your Administration to maintain the highest level of public safety. We ask that you collaborate with us to accomplish that goal before more American blood is lost.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Greg Abbott

Attorney General of Texas