The big bipartisan border reform deal is all but dead, thanks to MAGA Republicans obeying Donald Trump’s wishes to kill it. The legislation delivered many of the immigration measures conservatives have long wanted, but the former president and his allies in Congress worry progress on the issue would make Joe Biden look good ahead of the presidential election. Therefore, addressing what Republicans say is the most pressing crisis facing America today is going to have to wait until a later date when the party feels it’s more politically expedient.
United States Border Patrol — the branch law of enforcement Republicans have routinely cozied up to for photo-ops while clamoring that they need more federal support — thinks the crisis should be addressed now, and that the legislation Republicans are trashing is a great way to do it.
Fox News reported Monday night that Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Troy Miller, a 30-year CBP veteran, released an internal memo calling the bill “the strongest set of tools we have had in decades to effectively manage migration and enhance our nation’s border security.”
Miller goes on to tout how the bill would shut down the border to asylum claims if the daily crossing average surpasses 5,000 per day, as well as the immense funding and resources it would provide. “These proposed changes won’t fix everything in our immigration system,” he writes. “But they are tough and fair. And, if enacted into law, they would make meaningful and substantial improvements to our nation’s border and national security.”
Art Del Cueto, the vice president of the CBP’s union, the National Border Patrol Council, who has served on the Border Patrol for over 20 years, agreed, touting the 5,000-migrant cap during an interview with Real America’s Voice. “What this does, there’s a lot of talk about the 5,000 cap. Right now there is no cap, so everyone … gets released. Under this bill, everyone is going to get detained,” he said. “They’re saying they’re going to hold up to 5,000 that are going to go through the processes, but the processes are more strict than they are now. … If they don’t have a good asylum claim, they’re going to get sent back immediately without ever getting released.”
VP of Border Patrol officers union that endorsed Trump in 2020 explains why he supports the border bill. pic.twitter.com/vCYbNM6i8Y
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) February 6, 2024
Republicans aren’t too concerned with what Border Patrol thinks, though. When asked Tuesday morning on Fox News if the party is disagreeing with what law enforcement has to say about the bill, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) said, simply, “they can have their perspective.” House Speaker Mike Johnson implied on Monday that border agents only support the legislation because it could fatten their wallets. “I think it does have something to do with the pay structure that’s in the bill,” he told Laura Ingraham Tuesday night when asked to respond to the union’s support for the bill. Other Republicans have barreled ahead with their opposition, trying to convince Americans the bill would make the border less secure. “[The bill’s measures] keep our border open and water down our asylum system,” Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) tried to claim Monday on Fox News. “It’s exactly the opposite,” responded host Martha MacCallum.
STEVE DOOCY: So are Republicans gonna say that the Border Patrol union and acting CBP chief are wrong?
TOM EMMER: Well look, they can have their perspective, Steve
DOOCY: It's their jobs, Tom! pic.twitter.com/wPygbAxf5T
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 6, 2024
The Republican opposition to border reform is a particularly farcical example of their abject indifference — and in many cases antipathy — toward governing. The legislation would undoubtedly help stem the influx of migrants they say are destroying America, but they’d rather keep things chaotic because they think it will help Trump’s chances in November. Border Patrol’s opinion is irrelevant to them, and yet they’ll continue to run their campaigns on supporting the agency. “The police, you know, are dying to do their work, just like Border Patrol,” Trump said during an interview with Newsmax Monday night. “The police want to do the job and they’re not doing it. They’re not allowed to do it.”
“The country is just so pathetic,” the former president added.
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