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Oklahoma GOP censures Sen. James Lankford amid border bill talks

Jan 29

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Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, the Republican leading negotiations with Democrats on a southern border immigration bill has been censured by the Oklahoma Republican Party. The committee approved a resolution that condemns and censors Lankford, Saturday, Jan. 27.

The resolution and condemnation document claims that Sen. Lankford negotiated a deal to reportedly allow 5,000 undocumented immigrants a day into the U.S. for work. The numbers being cited are from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who made the claim during a press conference on Wednesday.

“This bill normalizes 5,000 people a day coming in. Five thousand a day is over 1.8 million a year,” Cruz said. “That’s called an invasion. By the way, under Joe Biden, we’ve had 9.6 million.”

Lankford called Cruz’s claim “absurd” during an interview with Fox News on Sunday.

“Right now, there’s Internet rumors is all that people are running on,” Lankford said. “It would be absolutely absurd for me to agree to 5,000 people a day. This bill focuses on getting us to zero illegal crossings a day.”

“Authorizing several thousand people to invade our borders before any action can be taken is contrary to the oath that Senator Lankford took to the Constitution and therefore outside of the area that he is authorized to negotiate,” the censorship document states.

The resolution also calls on Lankford to end his “actions” or the Oklahoma Republican Party will “cease all support for him.”

“He is jeopardizing the security and liberty of the people of Oklahoma and these United States,” the resolution said.

However, not every state Republican is on board with the committee’s move.

“Today an extreme faction of the @officialOKGOP held a meeting without providing an official call to all members of the State Committee, including me, to attack Senator @jameslankford. Any vote taken by the OKGOP today was not legitimate and definitely does not represent the voice of all Oklahoma Republicans,” Former Oklahoma GOP Chairman Anthony Ferate wrote on X.

Some Republicans have noted former President Donald Trump’s opposition to the current legislation in progress, and contend its passage could mean a victory for his political adversary, President Joe Biden.

“If Joe Biden suddenly got religion and supported a border deal that actually reduced the flow of illegal immigration, that would be good for him politically,” Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., told CNN Thursday, Jan 18.

The censure comes as CBS News reports a bipartisan group of lawmakers in U.S. Congress is nearing a deal with the Biden administration. The bill would include dramatic changes to border control, including the ability to pause asylum processes during migrant surges, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Politico reported GOP leaders are worried that Trump allies may obstruct the border deal negotiations, creating challenges for Senate and House leaders in reaching compromises with the Biden administration.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are working on negotiations with the White House.

The most recent data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows more than 300,000 encounters with migrants in December 2023. However, the report also shows Border Patrol agents saw a 50% decrease in those encounters during the first two weeks of January based on preliminary figures.

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[KARAH RUCKER]

THE REPUBLICAN LEADING NEGOTIATIONS WITH DEMOCRATS ON A SOUTHERN BORDER IMMIGRATION BILL HAS BEEN CENSURED BY THE OKLAHOMA STATE GOP.

ON SATURDAY, THE COMMITTEE VOTED ON A RESOLUTION CONDEMNING AND CENSORING SENATOR JAMES LANKFORD–

CLAIMING LANKFORD NEGOTIATED A DEAL WITH DEMOCRAT CHUCK SCHUMER TO REPORTEDLY ALLOW FIVE-THOUSAND UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS A DAY INTO THE U-S FOR WORK, THE CLAIMS COMING FROM REPUBLICAN SENATOR TED CRUZ.

[TED CRUZ]

“THIS BILL NORMALIZES FIVE-THOUSAND PEOPLE A DAY COMING IN… IS OVER 1.8 MILLION A YEAR. THAT’S AN INVASION. BY THE WAY UNDER JOE BIDEN, THAT’S OVER 9.6 MILLION.”

[KARAH RUCKER]

IT’S A CLAIM LANKFORD DENIES, CALLING IT “ABSURD” DURING AN INTERVIEW WITH FOX NEWS.

[JAMES LANKFORD]

“RIGHT NOW, THERE’S INTERNET RUMORS IS ALL THAT PEOPLE ARE RUNNING ON. IT WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY ABSURD FOR ME TO AGREE TO FIVE-THOUSAND PEOPLE A DAY. THIS BILL FOCUSES ON GETTING US TO ZERO ILLEGAL CROSSINGS A DAY.”

 

THE DOCUMENT GOES ON TO STATE “AUTHORIZING SEVERAL THOUSAND PEOPLE TO INVADE OUR BORDERS BEFORE ANY ACTION CAN BE TAKEN IS CONTRARY TO THE OATH THAT SENATOR LANKFORD TOOK TO THE CONSTITUTION AND THEREFORE OUTSIDE OF THE AREA THAT HE IS AUTHORIZED TO NEGOTIATE IN.”

THE RESOLUTION CALLS ON LANKFORD TO END HIS “ACTIONS” OR THE OKLAHOMA REPUBLICAN PARTY WILL “CEASE ALL SUPPORT FOR HIM.” IT ALSO SAID, “HE IS JEOPARDIZING THE SECURITY AND LIBERTY OF THE PEOPLE OF OKLAHOMA AND THESE UNITED STATES.”

HOWEVER, NOT EVERY STATE REPUBLICAN IS ON BOARD WITH THE COMMITTEE’S MOVE. SOME ARE CLAIMING THE STATE PARTY’S VOTE WASN’T LEGITIMATE.

FORMER OKLAHOMA GOP CHAIRMAN ANTHONY FERATE WROTE ON X:

“TODAY AN EXTREME FACTION OF THE OKLAHOMA GOP HELD A MEETING WITHOUT PROVIDING AN OFFICIAL CALL TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE STATE COMMITTEE, INCLUDING ME, TO ATTACK SENATOR JAMES LANKFORD. ANY VOTE TAKEN BY THE OKLAHOMA GOP TODAY WAS NOT LEGITIMATE AND DEFINITELY DOES NOT REPRESENT THE VOICE OF ALL OKLAHOMA REPUBLICANS.”

[KARAH RUCKER]

SOME REPUBLICANS HAVE ALSO NOTED FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP’S OPPOSITION TO BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION BEING HAMMERED OUT BY LAWMAKERS, NOTING ITS PASSAGE COULD MEAN A VICTORY FOR PRESIDENT BIDEN DURING AN ELECTION YEAR. REPUBLICAN SENATOR KEVIN CRAMER TALKED TO C-N-N ABOUT THE POLITICAL RAMIFICATIONS LAST WEEK.

[KEVIN CRAMER]

“IF JOE BIDEN SUDDENLY GOT RELIGION AND SUPPORTED A BORDER DEAL THAT ACTUALLY REDUCED THE FLOW OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, THAT WOULD BE GOOD FOR HIM POLITICALLY.”

[KARAH RUCKER]

THE CENSURE COMES AS CBS NEWS REPORTS A BIPARTISAN GROUP OF LAWMAKERS IN CONGRESS IS CLOSE TO A DEAL WITH THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION–

WHICH COULD INCLUDE DRAMATIC CHANGES TO BORDER CONTROLS, INCLUDING THE ABILITY TO PAUSE ASYLUM PROCESSES DURING SURGES IN MIGRANT CROSSINGS–

ACCORDING TO THREE PEOPLE FAMILIAR WITH THE TALKS WHO SPOKE WITH THE NEWS OUTLET.

POLITICO REPORTS– THERE ARE CONCERNS WITHIN REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP OF TRUMP-ALLIES THROWING A WRENCH IN THE DEAL– AS THEY TRY TO GET COMPROMISES FROM THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION. HOUSE SPEAKER MIKE JOHNSON AND SENATOR-MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL ARE WORKING ON NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE WHITE HOUSE.

THE MOST RECENT DATA FROM U-S CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION SHOWS MORE THAN 300-THOUSAND ENCOUNTERS WITH MIGRANTS IN THE MONTH OF DECEMBER.

HOWEVER, THE AGENCY REPORTS DURING THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF JANUARY–

IT SAW A 50 PERCENT DECREASE IN SOUTHWEST BORDER ENCOUNTERS–

BASED ON PRELIMINARY FIGURES.