Politics
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks and takes questions at a town hall meeting with young African leaders at the University of Johannesburg Soweto campus, South Africa, Saturday June 29, 2013.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

Carney says Obama is an honest broker on border security

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Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

White House spokesman Jay Carney dismissed growing GOP concerns on Wednesday about whether President Barack Obama would drop portions of an immigration compromise that he doesn’t like, just as he has delayed a portion of the Obamacare law.

“This is coming from people who have voted 40 times to repeal the entire [Obamacare] law… this is not a serious concern of theirs,” Carney told reporters at the Wednesday briefing.

“They are trying to gain some political traction out of the simple deferment of a [Obamacare] deadline,” he said.

Republicans “either are for it or not,” he insisted about the controversial immigration bill.

Carney’s dismissal came the day after the House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, highlighted the GOP’s concerns about Obama’s selective enforcement of the law.

“If the president can selectively enforce a provision under Obamacare, what’s to say that he can’t selectively enforce or not enforce a provision on border security in the immigration package?” Cantor said on the Fox’ Hannity TV-show June 9.

Cantor is expected to help lead a discussion by the GOP caucus this afternoon, July 10, about whether they should support an immediate major rewrite of immigration law, or wait till after expected gains from the 2014 mid-term elections to get a better deal.

They may also pick some other option, such as delaying action while citing Obama’s selective enforcement of laws, including immigration laws, to fend off criticism from the media.

In June 2012, for example, Obama diverted federal dollars to create a mini-amnesty for roughly 2 million younger illegal immigrants, even though Congress had repeatedly rejected similar proposals. The move boosted Obama’s support among Latinos prior to the 2012 election.

The GOP’s business-minded wing and major donors back the Senate’s bill, which they say will expand the economy and eventually boost Americans’ average income.

But many GOP supporters favor a rival approach that supporters argue would attract Latinos and lower-income Americans by boosting wages via cutbacks in immigration.

Carney suggested that the Obama would stick with any immigration deal.

“The president has demonstrated through deeds — not just words — his commitment to border security,” he said. “That’s just a fact — you can pretend it is not because you want to find a way to do the wrong thing,” he said.

However, the huge 1,200 page bill include many complex provisions unrelated to border security. They include many waiver and exemptions, rules governing deportation of illegal immigrants, spending levels for border enforcement, worker-protection regulations and naturalization procedures.

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