Fox & Friends hosted Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and agreed with his false suggestion that President Obama has not worked to secure the border with Mexico. In fact, the Obama administration has taken numerous actions to increase border security.
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Fox & Friends hosts Gohmert to suggest Obama refuses to secure border
Doocy says Gohmert is "absolutely right" that Obama has not worked to secure border and "probably isn't going to." On October 13, Fox & Friends hosted Gohmert to discuss the recent murder of a Mexican police official who was investigating the death of an American tourist on a border lake. During the discussion, Gohmert stated: "This is a threat to America. And I know the president's busy out there saying Republicans have no ideas, but how about this for an idea? Protect the country. Provide for the defense of the country. There are people in my district that have said, look, we've been on Falcon Lake, we've seen how dangerous it is. You can see drug smugglers going back and forth across there, because there are not enough law enforcement, game wardens, and certainly no National Guard folks that could intercede. We have got to do that. It's a matter of national security." Co-host Steve Doocy replied, "You are absolutely right, congressman. But, you know, this president probably isn't going to do that. Is there anything Texas officials can do right now?"
From the October 13 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): We're joined right now by Republican congressman from Texas, Representative Louis Gohmert. He's co-sponsored a bill that would give the secretary of Defense power to send 10,000 National Guard troops to the border upon the governor's request. And congressman, what role does this murder have to do with the urgency to put troops on the border?
GOHMERT: Well, I would hope that it would have the similar effect to what the Chilean disaster has had -- the way the president has rallied the country, rallied international attention to come help protect and save Chilean lives. Now, we have threats to American lives. We have threats to Hispanic communities along the border. They deserve to be protected. And instead, what we've done is put up signs in Arizona and put out warnings along Falcon Lake saying there's dangerous drug smugglers that are using this area. Like in Arizona, why don't you American citizens go north of Interstate 8? This is a threat to America.
GOHMERT: And I know the president's busy out there saying Republicans have no ideas, but how about this for an idea? Protect the country. Provide for the defense of the country. There are people in my district that have said, look, we've been on Falcon Lake, we've seen how dangerous it is. You can see drug smugglers going back and forth across there, because there are not enough law enforcement, game wardens --
GOHMERT: -- and certainly no National Guard folks that could intercede. We have got to do that. It is a matter of national security.
DOOCY: You are absolutely right, congressman. But, you know, this president probably isn't going to do that. Is there anything Texas officials can do right now?
Fox & Friends ignores numerous actions taken by Obama admin to increase border security
There are currently more Border Patrol agents "than ever before in the history of this country." PolitiFact has noted that Obama has been "increasing the number of border patrol officers." Indeed, in a July 22 hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Michael Fisher, Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, stated, "Currently we have over 20,000 Border Patrol agents nationwide, more than ever before in the history of the country." A Customs and Border Protection document states that the 2010 budget included $19.4 million for 123 new Border Patrol agents and support staff. The Obama administration's 2011 budget states, "An increase of $44.8M is requested to fund 318 Custom and Border Protection Officers FTEs [Full-Time Equivalent] within the Office of Field Operations and 71 support FTEs for CBP." The Arizona Republic created the following chart to show the increase in border patrol agents since 2001:
Obama signed $600 million border security bill for more border patrol agents, inspectors. On August 13, Obama signed a $600 million border security bill to "fund some 1,500 new border patrol agents, customs inspectors and other law enforcement officials along the border, as well as two more unmanned aerial 'drones' to monitor border activities."
Obama added 1,200 National Guard troops to Southwest border. The Los Angeles Times reported on June 15 that Obama "agree[d] to dispatch 1,200 National Guard troops to the border and to seek an extra $500 million for border enforcement. That came after 18 months in which the Obama administration has outdone its predecessor on border enforcement spending and deportations of illegal immigrants, all in an effort to build support for a comprehensive immigration plan." As The Dallas Morning News reported, 286 of the 1,200 National Guard troops were deployed to Texas.
Obama admin. significantly expanded Border Enforcement Security Task Forces. Politico reported on May 6 that "[u]nder the Southwest Border Initiative, the Obama administration has doubled agents assigned to the Border Enforcement Security Task Forces." According to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), these teams "incorporate personnel from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other key federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement agencies" to "collaborate and share information to fulfill the overarching goal: to interrupt the flow of cash, weapons and ammunition that fuel the illicit trade of the drug cartels."
Obama admin. increased number of intelligence analysts on border. Politico stated that the Obama administration "tripled the number of intelligence analysts along the southwest border" and "sent in new canine teams." The Department of Homeland Security announced these increases in March 2009.
ICE official: "There has been a lot of action" on enforcement in the last few years. James Dinkins, director of the Office of Investigations at ICE stated in a July 22 Congressional hearing: "This committee and - and the federal government have given ICE a lot of resources. And just this last year we've sent 160 additional agents to the southwest border alone, so we have done great. We've been receiving funding for border enforcement security task forces, BEST task forces. Ten of those are on the southern border, so there has been a lot of action in the last - the last few years, absolutely."
AP: "The US-Mexico border is more fortified now than it was even five years ago." A June 23 Associated Press article noted: "You wouldn't know it from the public debate, but the U.S.-Mexico border is more fortified now than it was even five years ago. Far more agents patrol it, more fences, barriers and technology protect it and taxpayers are spending billions more to reinforce it."
Richard Stana of Government Accountability Office: "[I]t's not accurate that nothing has been done." Testifying before Congress about a GAO report that makes recommendations for improvements to ICE human smuggling investigations, Richard Stana noted, "The government has put countless billions of dollars into border enforcement - you know, more people, fencing, cameras, sensors and so on. ... And of course, being from the GAO, were always looking for opportunities to do things better, and there are opportunities to do things better. But it's not accurate that nothing has been done." (accessed via Nexis)