Sunday, July 05, 2009

Alan Bersin, "Border Czar"

"Border Czar." It sounds like the title of a movie about the cold war, but it is the informal title given to Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs. What a title and what a job. Immigration issues, especially between the US and Mexico, have been a hot topic for years. Under George W. Bush, many Americans were angered over what many would call a "non-position" on the topic. We needed to make many illegals, "legal," we were told, or we would have economic ruin. This policy was accompanied with certain legal hurdles for those who were illegals that were inadequate to those of a more conservative inclination and too demanding to those with liberal leanings. The man at the center of this storm for Obama is Bersin.

Like most members of the Obama Administration, Bersin is a typical "over achiever." He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, attending both the city's public and Hebrew schools. He went on to attend Harvard, where he received a Bachelor's degree in government, he became a Rhodes Scholar and studied at Oxford, and then went on to receive a law degree at Yale Law School. His career experiences include Superintendent of the San Diego school system, California's Secretary of Education, Federal Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) and United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, and Bill Clinton's former Attorney General’s Southwest Border Representative. In other words, he was the nation's first "Border Czar," before the phrase became popular.

As the Border Czar, Bersin is called to enforce Obama's immigration policies. These polices are becoming hard to track. The Washington Times notes that "On the thorniest of political issues, President Obama has embraced the enforcement-first position on immigration that he criticized during last year's presidential campaign, and he now says he can't move forward with the type of comprehensive bill he wants until voters are convinced that the borders can be enforced."

This position stands in stark contrast to candidate Obama's views in 2008. During that campaign he said "Senator McCain used to offer change on immigration. He was a champion of comprehensive reform, and I admired him for it. But when he was running for his party’s nomination, he walked away from that commitment and he’s said he wouldn’t even support his own legislation if it came up for a vote." Now we see, Obama won't support it either."

The bottom line is that Obama has created a position that is difficult to defend, because it is shifting. The popular consensus is that the US needs a policy that enforces the borders with guards authorized to defend our nation and the necessary technology to keep them secure, require cities and states to respect and enforce the laws of the land when it comes to immigrants, and develops a practical approach for those who want to contribute to the economy to be here legally, but still protects US sovereignty.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on AM 650 (M-F at 11 am) in Houston, Texas and on AOL Radio. His articles often appear in Chicago Sun Times, Reuters, USA Today, and other national media. Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com. You can also find Price on Strategy Room at FoxNews.com.

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