President George W. Bush’s August 31, 2005 fly-over of New Orleans, Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina was a turning point in his presidency. The fact that he did not land in New Orleans couldn’t help but create the impression he was indifferent to American citizens in their hour of need. The imagery was shocking and the rest is history. The Bush 43 presidency will always bear traces of this scar. President Bush even admitted as much in a November 2010 interview, telling NBC’s Matt Lauer the decision made him look “detached and uncaring” and was a “huge mistake.”
Well, President Obama is traveling to Texas this week for political fundraisers, as thousands of illegal immigrants continue to overwhelm the border, but he has so far ignored Texas Governor Rick Perry’s urgent plea to visit the border. His refusal to even go and look disrespects Texans and everyone else affected by this illegal immigration. It’s shocking that the president would avoid visiting ground zero of what essentially constitutes an invasion of America. What does an invasion look like, if not this? Do the invaders have to be of a certain age?
How can President Obama get away with not standing with the citizens and government officials on the front line? What more basic responsibility does a president have? It is bad for him to not go to the border; it is inexcusable for him to be so close on a political fundraising mission and just not bother.
And talking about the need for immigration reform doesn’t suffice as an excuse for letting the invasion continue. At this point, I don’t know what it is about any aspect of the president’s reform agenda that could stop the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who are flooding American towns even as we speak. America has a hole in its border. The consequences of doing nothing and mostly surrendering to those who want to cross into our country are impossible to imagine.
Perhaps the Obama administration thinks that Texans are getting what they deserve for being a solidly red state and not supporting the president’s election. But this isn’t just a Texas problem. Many of the illegal immigrants are being whisked away by federal agents to other states. I have tried and so far have not been able to find a definitive list of what states these thousands of illegal immigrants are being shipped to. I assume the administration doesn’t want us to know.
As Governor Perry said yesterday on ABC’s “This Week,” “They [the Obama Administration] either are inept or don’t care. I have to believe when you do not respond in any way, that you are either inept or you have some ulterior motive.”
How can Democrats with good judgment or self-preservation instincts let this happen?
This may sound harsh, but I believe this situation is a calamity that surpasses all of the other times President Obama has selectively enforced our laws or maneuvered outside the law to rule by fiat. If you think the president has a plan or aggressively wants to stop what is happening, watch Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on “Meet the Press” yesterday. His fumbling, parsed, lawyerly performance proves there is no sense of urgency within the Administration. They do not think this is a crisis – at least not a crisis for Americans.
This administration isn’t just letting the invasion occur; they are facilitating it in a way that is a malfeasance that undermines American sovereignty.
Follow Ed on Twitter: @EdRogersDC