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Bloggings: More "Border Security" for CIR. Is This Just Another Benghazi Witchhunt? By Roger Algase

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Anyone following the Republican campaign in the few weeks before last November's election might have thought that the most important issue facing America was not the economy, the budget, gender and marriage equality, gun control, immigration, or any of the other issues which will determine what kind of America we, our children, and our grandchildren will live in, but - Benghazi.


This is not to disparage the loss of four US diplomats. Every life is important, whether those of dedicated Americans in our foreign service, the three Americans and one Chinese immigrant killed by the suspects in the horrific Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath, the more than 1,000 workers killed by the appalling greed and corruption in Bangladesh (from where the Senate CIR bill would sharply reduce immigration by eliminating the Diversity Visa lottery); the victims of the grossly under-reported plant explosion in West, Texas, the dozens of immigrants who have died from medical neglect in ICE detention centers, or the thousands of others who have lost their lives trying to cross the Mexican border while seeking a better life in America.


However, after the election, the Benghazi witchhunt (as Eugene Robinson accurately calls it in his May 9 Washington Post article Republicans lead a witchhunt on Benghazi) faded from the news, when the Republicans realized that they had a real problem on their hands - how to continue to exist as a party after their terrible showing among Latino voters.


To their credit, many Republicans, including but by no means limited to the GOP members of the bipartisan Senate Gang of Eight, have taken the reality of demographic change seriously, by supporting genuine immigration reform, which means legalization for up to 11 million unauthorized immigrants and streamlining the legal immigration system.


But other Republicans continue to play games by raising fake issues to achive purely political goals. This is why Benghazi is now back in the news. More importantly, it is why Republican opponents of CIR are now desperately trying to kill the Senate bill by offering poison pill amendments about "border security".


As an issue, border security has no more reality than the attempt to use Benghazi to damage Hillary Clinton's presidential chances. 


The May 7 written testimony of DHS and ICE to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs describes the huge amounts of effort and money which have been devoted to the largely successful effort to reduce illegal crossings at the Mexican border.


But CIR opponents are insisting on a goal that is all but impossible - 90 percent apprehensions along the entire Mexican border. See Politico: Gang of Eight throws GOP a bone, May 9.


The same article quotes GOE member Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) in response: "Let's not keep up bringing up this false issue that we do nothing on border security. Our bill is tough as nails."


But when can we expect anti-immigrant Republicans to stop using the fake border control issue as a ploy to gut CIR? Probably this will happen when the GOP stops talking about Benghazi.

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