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Ted Yoho's Proposal to Cut Aid to Mexico Until Border's Secure Becomes Primary Issue

July 8, 2014 - 6:00pm
A congressman from Florida is looking to stop foreign aid to Mexico until that nation can handle its side of the immigration problem -- and his Republican primary opponent is coming out swinging against the idea.

From his perch on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., called at the end of last week to cut off all foreign aid to Mexico until it can secure its border.

Mexico should not be accepting American generosity with one hand and covering their eyes to the situation at the border with the other, Yoho said. The House of Representatives controls the purse strings and if the executive branch refuses to address this crisis, the House of Representatives should act. In addition to us securing our border, Mexico should be securing theirs. While Mexico, as a sovereign nation, is free to act how they want, their negligence should not be rewarded with our foreign aid. Our unsecured border is a national security situation and we need to act now.

Yohos proposal drew fire from Gainesville attorney Jake Rush who is challenging the congressman in the Republican primary at the end of August. Rush, who gained national attention for his vampire role-playing hobby, has recently launched his first radio ads of the campaign.

According to all credible sources, Yoho's plan has a very low probability of being passed into law with a lower probability of solving the problem, Rush said on Wednesday, before trying to paint the freshman congressman as a creature of the Beltway. However, Yohos actions serve as yet another example of D.C. Yohos appetite for headline-grabbing not backed by a thoughtful, constitutional approach to solving problems.

The United States has a sovereign responsibility to secure the border and regulate immigration. America cannot, as Yoho proposes, outsource our sovereign rights and responsibilities to Mexico, Rush added. As a deputy sheriff, I know the first order of business is the consistent enforcement of the law. In contrast to Yohos scheme, I would take immediate action, requesting Congress to order the National Guard be activated to secure the border, protect Americans' property, and assist in the detention and deportation of illegal immigrants.

Abruptly ceasing aid to allies is not in Americas interest. The shallow Yoho scheme would only allow the Mexican drug cartels to gain additional power and leverage and ultimately would make the situation worse, Rush said in conclusion. Yohos incoherent approach to foreign affairs is nothing but pandering to the isolationist wing of his supporters with bumper-sticker foreign relations. Our history clearly shows us when America takes a misguided, isolationist approach to the world, America is made less safe. National security is directly connected to our prosperity and Yoho takes neither into account.

At the end of last month, Yoho blamed President Barack Obama for the immigration crisis and got behind a bill Republicans are pushing to cut off foreign aid to several Latin American nations until the problem is resolved.

Yoho announced he was backing the Southwest Border Protection Act which would allow governors to request up to 10,000 members of the National Guard to protect the border with Mexico and the National Border and Homeland Security Act which adds 6,000 extra Border Patrol agents and adds additional security measures to the border. The Florida congressman also is supporting the Illegal Entry Accountability Act" which cuts off foreign aid to Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador until Congress believes they are helping stem illegal immigration to America. Yoho also signed off on U.S. Rep. Darrell Issas, R-Calif., letter calling on Obama to work with Congress in securing the border.

Poor economic conditions and violence in Central America have existed for many years and thus do not explain the recent surge of immigrants across our southern border, Yoho said at the end of June. The current crisis along our southern border is a direct result of this administrations failure to enforce existing law. This lax approach has only encouraged more individuals to come to the United States illegally. It is my duty as a member of Congress to support legislation that will secure our borders and protect our national sovereignty.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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