Right now, a legal and humanitarian crisis is unfolding on our Southern border. And our President simply cannot bring himself to take the problem seriously.
By all accounts, tens of thousands of refugees have spilled across the border, many of whom are unaccompanied minors or single parents. A large plurality of the accumulated mass are not illegal immigrants seeking to come here for work, but rather Central Americans fleeing massive unrest in that part of the country. The wave of humanity has overwhelmed the capacity of the border states to handle the flow and treat these people in the humane manner that is only befitting this country, even temporarily while we process them for legitimate claims of asylum and send the rest back.
In the midst of this crisis, our President has been busy raising funds for Democrats, drinking beer, shooting pool, and politely declining joints in Colorado. Texas Governor Rick Perry invited Obama to take a break from his busy schedule to come down to see the border; not so that Obama could get a photo op, but rather because some things – particularly humanitarian crises – must be seen with your own eyes to fully appreciate. Somehow, for some reason, Obama continues to refuse.
I can think of no non-trolling reason at this point that Obama refuses to visit the border and see it for himself. For a guy who has spent the better part of six years puling that Republicans only oppose things because he is for them, it sure looks a lot like Obama is refusing to visit the border for the sole reason that a Republican asked him to do it. Obama finally managed to wedge a meeting with Perry in between his busy fundraising schedule; but this meeting took place in Dallas, which is closer to Kansas City than it is to the border.
During the course of his uninspired and petty remarks on the subject, Obama made the hilarious claim that he is trying to avoid partisan politics, despite the fact that the very reason he couldn’t visit the border is that he had spent almost 72 straight hours fundraising to help Democrats win partisan elections. As noted by James Oliphant, everything about Obama’s current handling of this crisis has been profoundly non serious:
None of this, of course, is new. Since the Republican takeover of the House in 2011, this has been SOP for this POTUS. Obama sees it as an intractable situation, one he seems resigned to, but also one that affords him the opportunity to suggest that the outcome of everything he attempts is preordained. “If I sponsored a bill declaring apple pie American, it might fall victim to partisan politics,” he said in response to reporter’s question. “I get that.”
The president’s statement came on a trip while he’s fully engaged in partisan politics, headlining Democratic fundraisers in Dallas and Austin—and he again resisted calls to go downstate and see the border crisis for himself. “This isn’t theater. This is a problem,” he said. “I’m not interested in photo-ops.”
It was a tough line, a Clint Eastwood line (ignoring, for the moment, that at these fundraisers, there are inevitably photo-ops). Obama has consistently felt the need to sound strong on immigration, lest he give ground to his Republican critics. But even if the president stays away from the border, those children and their fates will be his responsibility. They’ve fled one hostile environment and, it seems, found their way to another.
Regardless of which side you come down on in the particulars of the immigration debate (and I tend to come down on the squishier side than most people reading RedState), you have to agree that the situation right now on the Southern border is unacceptable both from a rule of law standpoint, and also from a humanitarian one. Sadly, for this President, neither of those concerns merits his personal attention or even basic levels of human decency to look at least some of these people in the eye.