Editorial: Playing with Fire

They voted for eliminating protection of deportation in the security budget


Senator Lindsay Graham could not be clearer when he warned his Republican colleagues that they are “playing with fire” as they are connecting funding for the Department of Homeland Security with an effort to eliminate President Obama’s executive actions and discretionary measures on immigration.

The recent extremist attack in Paris against the Charlie Hebdo magazine revived security worries in the U.S. about the possibility that something similar could happen here. All through the years since 9/11 several terrorist attempts have been thwarted, while others, such as the Boston Marathon bombings, were successful with tragic consequences.

National security is a top priority, except for the House of Representatives.

There, the almost $40 billion to fund the federal agency amount to little less than a vehicle in their constitutional war with President Obama. It’s a weapon to stop what they call a presidential abuse of power with the use of executive action, especially involving immigration.

It’s ironic that, in practical terms, the congressmen’s action is weakening the country’s safety instead of strengthening it.

On one hand, it’s endangering the funding of the federal agency for the purpose of scoring political points, knowing that the measure approved yesterday most likely won’t prosper at the Senate. The ultimate goal is to make Obama sign a law he won’t be able to refuse, and which would contain the elimination of protections from deportation.

On the other hand, they prefer that millions of people remain hidden in our society instead of bringing them out of the shadows and making known who they are and where they live. That will surely contribute to national security.

But the House seems too self-absorbed in its fight with President Obama to see beyond that. Immigration is one of those issues that cloud their common sense anyway.

Graham’s warning is clear and lucid. It’s saddening that the congressmen’s ideological blinkers make them lose their compass to the point of putting their obsessions above national security.