The Washington Times' "Obammigration" editorial would be true ... if it were Opposite Day
Blog ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN & ERIC SCHROECK
Today's Washington Times screed against the Obama administration for filing suit against Arizona's controversial illegal immigration law is nothing more than a compilation of debunked smears -- it contains almost no facts.
Let's go through this. First, the Times claims it is "President Obama's policy not to secure America's southern border." Nope. As we've repeatedly noted, the Obama administration has actually increased border security measures beyond those of the Bush administration. The Obama administration has been "increasing the number of border patrol officers"; "doubled agents assigned to the Border Enforcement Security Task Forces"; "tripled the number of intelligence analysts along the southwest border"; and "sent in new canine teams" to the border. Moreover, PolitiFact.com wrote that "spending on border security has increased" since 2007. In addition, the Democrats' comprehensive immigration reform outline heavily emphasizes, you guessed it, border security.
Next, the Times attacks Obama's pick to "head the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of State and Local Coordination," Harold Hurtt, as having "been a strident supporter of so-called 'sanctuary city' policies, which prevent police from checking immigration status even when crimes are involved." Again, the truth is something quite different. First, when Hurtt was Houston's police chief, Houston was not a "sanctuary city." Second, Houston police are "required to check the warrant status of everyone who is ticketed, arrested or jailed -- if they fail to show proper ID," and "ICE officials" are "given full access to city jails and information collected by HPD." Third, Hurtt has said that at ICE, he will support local decisions on enforcement of immigration. So there's another Times' attack that crumbles under scrutiny.
From there, the Times dredges up Sen. Jon Kyl's accusation that Obama privately told him "if we secure the border, then you all won't have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform." There are all sorts of problems with this. Kyl's accusation is undermined by the fact that Obama, as previously noted, has stepped up border security measures. And the credibility of Kyl's claim is damaged by his history of making false claims. But perhaps the biggest problem with the Times quoting Kyl's accusation is that Kyl himself has since walked it back, saying that he was not "referring to ... the administration." So, to break it down, the Times cited a dubious claim with no factual basis that has since been walked back in a desperate attempt to attack Obama.
The Times then moves on to attacking the Labor Department, writing that the "Obama administration promised to ensure illegal aliens get the same labor protections enjoyed by U.S. citizens" and citing the Labor Department's campaign to inform vulnerable workers -- including the undocumented -- about the wage standards to which they are entitled. (Oh, the horror!) But, as we've noted, this is not a policy invented by Obama. In fact, the Labor Department's policy of enforcing labor laws without regard to immigration status long predates the Obama administration. Another swing and a miss by the Times editorial board.
The Times winds down its Opposite Day celebration by falsely accusing the federal government of "waging war against Arizona for trying to defend itself" because the Education Department canceled a meeting scheduled to be held in Arizona. However, this attack was quite easily debunked nearly two weeks ago. Here's what actually happened, according to the Associated Press:
The Education Department says it moved a joint event held with Mexican and Canadian partners in a student exchange program because the Mexicans asked that it be moved. Each agency pays for its part of the joint North American Mobility Program.
The agency says it is holding other conferences in Arizona, including one next week.
So there you have it. The Times, with almost no facts at all, rehashed long-debunked smears and falsehoods in its desperate attempt to attack Obama and his administration over its lawsuit against Arizona's controversial illegal immigration law. Happy Opposite Day!