LatinaLista — The announcement that President Obama was going to finally give in to the demands of Senate Republicans and dispatch more troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, exactly 1,200 National Guard troops, wasn’t surprising.
Obviously, it’s the olive branch to get the GOP to come on board and work across the aisle on immigration reform. To sweeten the temptation, Obama even threw in $500 million for additional border personnel and technology as part of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill.
But militarization of the border to entice cooperation from Senate hardliners shouldn’t be used as an olive branch, especially extended to people who in their free time rally with Tea Partiers and enthusiastically regurgitate half-truths about undocumented immigrants.
An olive branch signifies one side is acting in good faith while the other side can reap the rewards of the olive branch but not fulfill their end of the understanding. Of course, the expectation here is that GOP Senators will accept the olive branch, equally in good faith, and finally sit down and work across the aisle on immigration reform.
Yet, there’s no indication that will happen.
With President Obama and Democratic leaders repeatedly saying that, unlike healthcare reform, they cannot tackle immigration reform without GOP support, this latest effort may only accomplish one thing — giving these GOP Senators, and their anti-immigrant radicals, what they want while giving nothing in return.
No, President Obama shouldn’t have extended an olive branch — it should have been a carrot. With crime rates actually remaining steady, and not rising along the border, the presence of National Guard troops is not a necessity but a luxury only authorized to quell the fear mongering by some border state senators who are more afraid of losing their re-election bids than any potential crime threat crossing the border.
If President Obama had used the authorization of militarizing the border as a carrot to the GOP then maybe they wouldn’t act so self-righteous and make people believe that their demands forced Obama to see the reality of the border situation — as only seen through their eyes.
A carrot would have meant that if GOP Senators fail to act responsibly in regard to immigration reform then Obama could alter the specifics of the deal — send less or no troops and withhold money.
Yes, the GOP would accuse the White House of playing with border security but it would be an argument that could ricochet and hit the GOP Senators in their asses because playing with the hopes and dreams of 12 million people is something they’ve been doing for too long.