Meet the Press   |  July 07, 2013

Robinson: Republicans demanding something that can’t be delivered

Washington Post columnist, Eugene Robinson, says border security is better than ever before and takes on Rep. Labrador’s, R-Idaho, comments to the contrary.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> you've got john mccain , who just a few years ago is doing campaign ads saying secure this darn border first, who's saying that congressman labrador and anyone who cites insufficient security at the boarder is looking to kill the bill and it's not a credible opposition.

>> if you look at what's been going on at the border, the border is much more secure than it has been in the past. and there are those who argue it will never be -- there will never be an impregnable fortress wall between the united states and mexico. it's 2,000-mile-long border. and what the house republicans seem to be demanding is something that no one can deliver. so what's the point of that? i think -- look, this is -- it seems to me a pretty good compromise from their point of view because they do get 20,000 new border patrol agents and a lot of bells and whistles that weren't there before.

>> and a long path to citizenship for those who are here illegally. it's a pretty arduous process.

>> they are here. i've seen a lot of intellectually weak cases in this town. i've rarely seen one as weak as this. the congressional budget office says they want to reduce it from a third to a half. they want economic growth . top economists say lit do that. they want to reduce the debt. cbo says it will. all the big major objectives republican stand for the senate immigration bill will do. the other things they're talking about are secretary, tertiary issues. compared to the thing this bill does, they're minuscule. that mystified me.

>> congressman, respond to david brooks on that.

>> i'm sorry, but what i just heard was totally ridiculous. if you listen to what the cbo said, they said it's going to be a third and 50% reduction in illegal immigration . that means that every five year wes ear going to have to do another reagan amnesty. what the american people want is a secure border. they understand that there is going to be economic growth . and i agree that there's going to be economic growth when you have immigration reform , that's why i'm a big proponent of immigration reform , but for somebody to sit here on national tv and say it is actually a weak argument for us to argue that we want something like 90% security, i think it's actually beyond the pale . what we need to do is look at one thing. there's two components of the law that we need to change. for example, the i.c.e. agents have told us if they could work with the local community , the local law enforcement agents, they would be much more effective in securing our interior. the democrats do not want any local enforcement of immigration laws . we do it with drug laws . we do it with all ease other things where we have these task forces between the federal and state and local agencies, and the democrats do not want to deal with immigration. we could do that and we could curtail a lot of the illegal immigration . there's a lot of other things we can ekd do to make the law stronger.

>> david, respond to that.

>> the cbo said it would reduce it by a third to 50%, and the congressman won't support it unlessitis 100% because we'd have to do a reagan.

>> that's not what i said. don't put words in my mouth.

>> the current law produces x much illegal immigration . this law cuts it significantly. it's better than the current law. generally when something is better than we have, you want to support it.