Republicans have been more willing than ever to work with Democrats on immigration reform, despite the objections from much of their base. But even now, the Democrats are refusing to compromise. Janet Napolitano is the latest to shoot down the idea of border security as a condition of reform. Seeing that border security is her responsibility, that should tell you something.
Republicans working to craft a comprehensive immigration reform bill say there is one rock-bottom requirement for any deal: The border must be secure, and proven to be secure, before any path to citizenship is created for the millions of immigrants currently in the country illegally. That is the one non-negotiable GOP demand. And on Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano flatly rejected it.
“Relying on one thing as a so-called trigger is not the way to go,” Napolitano told a breakfast meeting of journalists. Asked about her department’s recent revelation that it will not produce a long-promised method of measuring border security, known as the Border Condition Index, Napolitano said, “We’re confident that the border is as secure as it’s ever been. But there’s no one number that captures that.” Without a way to measure border security, many Republican reform advocates say, there’s no way to go forward with a reform agreement.
Read the whole thing, Jay Carney appeared to confirm that President Obama is in agreement with Napolitano on this issue.