Byron York has a great article out today on the Obama administration’s failure to come up with some phony metric that could be used to establish whether or not the border is secure. Byron writes:

Immigration reform depends on a secure border. Nearly every lawmaker pushing reform, and certainly every Republican, stresses that the border must be proven secure before millions of currently illegal immigrants can be placed on a path to citizenship.

But how do you measure border security? For years, the government estimated the number of miles of the border that were under “operational control” and came up with various ways to define what that meant.

Then the Department of Homeland Security threw out the concept of operational control, which Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano called “archaic.” The administration promised to create something called the Border Condition Index, or BCI, which would be a “holistic,” and a far better measure of border security.

So imagine everyone’s surprise when Mark Borkowski, a top Homeland Security technology official, told Miller that not only was BCI not ready, but that it won’t measure border security and was never meant to.

The reality is that the Obama administration already believes the border is perfectly secure. Just last month Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitanotestified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that, “Our borders have, in fact, never been stronger.”

Harping about the need to “secure the border” is just a talking point Republicans who want to cave on amnesty use to sound more conservative on the issue. If they were serious about border security they would not tie it to immigration reform at all. As The Washington Examiner editorialized yesterday:

More importantly, national security is the primary function of the federal government, to which the laws of naturalization are clearly subordinate. Members of Congress and the president of the United States have all taken sworn oaths to secure the nation’s borders.

No politician, liberal or conservative, should ever talk of border security as if it was some bargaining chip to obtain in exchange for anything. But that is exactly what Paul’s plan, and Sen. Marco Rubio’s, R-Fla., Gang of Eight framework, do.

The political parties seem much closer to a consensus on conferring status on illegal immigrants than they have been in decades. And nearly everyone agrees on the need for border security. There is no need to hold either of these issues hostage to the other. If lawmakers take their oaths seriously, they will deal with border security on its own merits, simply because it is their grave constitutional duty. They will then discuss immigration reform on its own merits, because it’s the right thing to do.