It was intended to signal the unveiling of the first steps towards controlling the southern border, the secondary part of President Barack Obama’s order on immigration. Instead, it is receiving heat from both polar sides of the immigration debate while many in the political center seem indifferent.
While the President himself stayed away from the event, he sent the Homeland Security Chief to Texas to officially open the largest immigration detention center in the United States. Dilley, Texas, is drawing the spotlight as a 50-acre facility that will hold up to 2,400 migrants who are captured while crossing the border from Mexico. HomeSec Secretary Jeh Johnson inaugurated the center with the goal of sending a message south that we might have helped millions who had already crossed, but don’t try it if you’re not here already.
The right sees it as a minor message that will be overshadowed by the spreading cacophony of joy for those in Mexico, Central, and South America who are already planning to take advantage of what is being announced as “Obama’s Amnesty.” While the President did not offer amnesty, the false message down south is already resonating: “If you can make it into America, they won’t send you back.”
The opening of the facility is viewed poorly by the left as well. They say that long term incarceration is not an answer, particularly since it’s designed for women and children. They would rather allow those who cross the border illegally to simply blend into society and not risk deportation or imprisonment.
From both sides, the President is being challenged. It won’t change his course. With Obamacare proving to be unsustainable (hitting its first major premium raise announcement before the first year was complete), this is his only hope to leave a mark. We only hope the mark won’t be so harsh that it actually becomes a scar.