President Barack Obama’s zeal to give illegal immigrants amnesty is holding the nation’s border security hostage to his political agenda, says GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe.
As Obama called on Congress to tackle comprehensive immigration reform in a speech Thursday afternoon, Inhofe told Newsmax in an exclusive interview that the president clearly is using border security as a bargaining chip to obtain amnesty for millions of illegal aliens residing in the United States.
That was the same charge made by Inhofe’s friend and colleague, Arizona GOP Sen. John Kyl, who stirred controversy last week when he revealed a discussion in which Obama told him that taking action to secure the Mexican border “would remove the incentive for comprehensive immigration reform.” The White House has denied Kyl’s allegation.
Inhofe told Newsmax that he has total faith in Kyl’s assertion because he “has never told a lie” in the almost 25 years he has known him.
Consequently, he places more confidence in Kyl’s credibility than that of the White House.
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Rumors in Congress suggest Obama will stop at nothing to achieve his goal of allowing millions of illegal immigrants to stay in the country, Inhofe said. The administration reportedly plans to use an executive order to circumvent Congress and block the deportation of millions of illegal immigrants.
Inhofe predicts the president will use his power to stop or delay the deportation of illegals to select a block of deportees — anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 at a time — and prevent them from being sent home.
“This is just a way for them to accomplish their agenda in this way to allow them to do what they have failed to accomplish in the legislature,” Inhofe says. ”It’s kind of the same they did unsuccessfully on the global warming and cap and trade.
“They tried to do it with the EPA and the Clean Air Act; they are trying to take everything over by the executive [branch].”
In his speech Thursday at American University in Washington, Obama seemed to suggest that border security isn’t that important in passing immigration reform. In fact, he raised doubts that the border could be secured at all.
America's borders are "just too vast" for the immigration problem to be solved with fences and border patrols alone, Obama said. He also slammed Arizona’s popular immigration law, which empowers police to arrest illegal aliens and has found majority support in polls across the country.
Obama took Republicans to task, in particular 11 GOP senators who supported recent efforts to improve the immigration system. He did not name any in particular but told his largely supportive audience at American University that those lawmakers had succumbed to the "pressures of partisanship and election-year politics."
In response, Kyl, one of the 11 Republican senators Obama alluded to, said he had a good reason for his position this time around.
"My constituents have said do everything you can to secure the border first," Kyl told Fox News Channel. "It's our job to secure the border, whether or not we end up passing so-called comprehensive immigration reform."
Regarding cap and trade, meanwhile, Inhofe tells Newsmax that he remains confident it is dead in the Senate and likely would be defeated even if the Democrats try bringing it up in a modified form during the lame-duck session following the midterms.
Nonetheless, Obama plans to do everything he can to get a carbon-emissions tax passed. He recently met with moderate-to-liberal GOP senators such as Olympia Snowe of Maine, seeking their backing for a restriction on CO2 emissions.
“Well, they can call it anything they want, but cap and trade is cap and trade,” says Inhofe, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. “And these guys all know now that. Even the more mushy Republicans who used to be hard for me to deal with all realize that cap and trade is the largest tax increase in the history of America.”
Democrats reportedly intend to pass some sort of “benign” sounding energy legislation before the August recess, put it into conference with Waxman-Markey — the House cap-and-trade bill — and pass it after the midterms.
Inhofe tells Newsmax.TV the senators who vote for this legislation will likely be defeated.
“It doesn’t matter what they put the tax on, ultimately it’s the people … who are going to pay,” Inhofe says. “The costs are going to be huge.”
Were cap and trade to pass, it could cost anywhere from $100 billion to $300 billion, depending on the estimate, and the Obama administration believes it could cost each household $1,761 a year.
“The whole reason for cap and trade is to masquerade how much it would cost the people,” Inhofe says, regarding why the Democrats do not pass a simple carbon tax instead of cap and trade.
Even though Senate passage is unlikely, liberals such as John Kerry and Joe Lieberman keep pushing cap and trade to ingratiate themselves with the “far-left environmental extremists” and get them to contribute to their campaigns, Inhofe tells Newsmax.TV.
The senator likewise dismisses Lieberman’s claim to have found additional senators to support cap and trade because he believes the Senate’s moderates likely would not vote for it due to its likely economic harm.
On Afghanistan, Inhofe says “there is no greater hero than David Petraeus” to win that war, and victory hinges around his ability to pull off the same strategy he enacted in Iraq.
“I think we have the right person in there doing it, and if David Petraeus can’t pull off a successful surge, no one can,” he says. “David Petraeus is not going to do his job unless he has the unfettered authority through the White House to get it done, and I think the problem McChrystal had was he had all of these appointees … who were really disrupting.
“Hopefully, that’s in the past.”
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