Obama Seeks $27B to Clamp Down on Border

Budget focuses on halting flow of guns, illegal immigrants
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 6, 2009 10:32 AM CDT
Wearing a Barack Obama mask, Anthony Marquez waves to people during a march and rally for immigration law reform, in Los Angeles Friday, May 1, 2009.    (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – In the budget he’ll hand to Congress tomorrow, President Obama is seeking $27 billion for border and transportation security as he focuses on immigration enforcement and battling the flow of US arms to Mexico. The 8% increase over this year’s budget allows for an expansion of border teams, a security boosts at airports and seaports, and immigrant screening programs, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Prioritizing enforcement may be a necessary nod to conservatives if Obama wants to push a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, the Times notes. “If the American people don't feel like you can secure the borders, then it's hard to strike a deal that would get people out of the shadows and on a pathway to citizenship,” Obama said. But the president’s plans mark a change from the Bush administration’s focus on border fences, expanded detention centers, and teams to raid workplaces.