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Why Republicans sabotaged their own border bill

Feb 12

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A bipartisan team of Congress members spent months negotiating the details of a comprehensive border security and immigration reform package. However, the package failed to make it through Congress after Republicans switched their support to opposition at the last minute. Republicans have criticized President Biden for not being tougher on border security, leaving some confused about why the GOP now suddenly opposes a tough border security bill that Republicans themselves co-authored.

Straight Arrow News contributor David Pakman argues that this drama actually has nothing at all to do with the border, and instead has everything to do with Donald Trump. Pakman says that the former president needs this ongoing border crisis to remain unresolved in order to fundraise and mobilize his supporters to defeat Biden in November.

In particular right now, Trump needs it. Trump can’t run against Biden on a terrible economy because the economy is doing well. Trump predicted that if Trump lost and Biden won in 2020, we would see a 1929-style stock market depression. We’ve actually seen what, a dozen all-time stock market highs? He can’t run against Biden on the economy. So instead, he’s running against Biden on dementia, and he’s running against Biden on the border.

Now, the truth is, the truth is that since Joe Biden became president, Department of Homeland Security is removing a higher percentage of the arrested border crossers than it did under Trump. The reality is that in absolute terms, the Biden DHS is removing three and a half times as many people per month as they did under Trump. The reality is that the crisis is mostly a manufactured crisis.

Why would Republicans argue for a bill fixing the problems they’ve identified at the border, and then all of a sudden be against the bill? It has a lot to do with four letters, m-a-g-a, MAGA, which stands for Make America Great Again. I will explain.

 

One of the things we’ve learned in seeing the way that the repeal of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court has hurt Republicans, despite it being an accomplishment based on their stated goals, is that you lose the ability to fundraise on “we will get rid of Roe v. Wade” when it’s gone. You lose the ability to demonize the other side because they maintain Roe v. Wade, because it’s gone.

 

And case in point, and we’ll get to the border in a moment, case in point, since Republicans succeeded in the sense of they elected Trump, Trump appointed, nominated and got confirmed three Supreme Court justices, those three justices were part of the decision that overturned Roe v Wade, since that happened, Republicans have done terribly in elections. And in fact, we have seen many Republicans admit it. There have been two sides to it.

 

On the one hand, Republicans can no longer say “we will get rid of Roe v Wade” because it’s gone. And then on the other hand, in order to keep pushing on the anti-abortion side of things, they need to do even more extreme stuff. Well, Roe v. Wade is gone. What are we going to do next? I guess we’ll try to ban abortion outright. Well, that’s not popular, because most Americans believe that abortion should be legal in most cases. So we now apply that to the border.

 

The reality is that Republicans don’t care so much about fixing the border problems. They care about using those problems, to the extent they exist, to attack Democrats, and to justify their election. The reality is that Republicans and Democrats, if you get them behind closed doors, they agree on a bunch of this stuff, they mostly agree on DACA. If you came here before you were an adult, because your parents came to the U.S. undocumented, and you went to school here, and you work here, and you pay taxes, and you’re not a criminal, in the sense that we know documented and undocumented immigrants commit crime at lower levels than natural-born Americans, once you understand that, you’re not going to kick those people out. Many of them only speak English, many of them have no connection to whatever country their parents brought them from, and Republicans and Democrats agree on this. So why don’t we get something permanent on DACA?

 

We don’t get it because if Democrats aren’t in power, Republicans don’t want to go with it, because if they go with it, and they solve DACA, now Democrats have an accomplishment. And even when Republicans are in power, they don’t want to do it, because if they go with it, it would be seen as kowtowing to what Democrats want, even though Republicans recognize you’re not going to kick, kick people out who came here at age three anyway.

 

What they benefit from is keeping it as a problem, keeping it as something that we’ve got to do, we need reform, we need reform, plus we need a wall. They just want to keep it going.

 

In particular right now, Trump needs it. Trump can’t run against Biden on a terrible economy, because the economy is doing well. Trump predicted that if Trump, that if Trump lost and Biden won in 2020, we would see a 1929-style stock market depression. We’ve actually seen what, a dozen all-time stock market highs? They don’t, he can’t run against Biden on the economy. So instead, he’s running against Biden on dementia, and he’s running against Biden on the border.

 

Now, the truth is, the truth is that since Joe Biden became president, Department of Homeland Security is removing a higher percentage of the arrested border crossers than it did under Trump. The reality is that in absolute terms, the Biden DHS is removing three and a half times as many people per month as they did under Trump. The reality is that the crisis is mostly a manufactured crisis.

 

Should people follow the law? Of course. Does DHS have every right to deport people who are here illegally? Absolutely. But the way we’re really going to deal with this issue is number one, going after the companies that are hiring undocumented workers; Number two, going after overstayed visas, which are never mentioned; Number three, dealing more quickly and effectively with asylum claims; And number four, dealing with the reasons people are trying to come here in the first place, which is problematic economic situations in their home countries.

 

If all of this or any of it is taken care of now, how does Trump keep running against Biden on the chaos at the border, when Republicans got the bill they wanted to fix it? So that is why, to circle all the way back to the beginning, that is why Republicans are now threatening to torpedo the very bill they said is necessary and that Democrats need to work with them on. It’s brazen, cynical politicking. And nobody benefits from it, other than maybe Republicans who get themselves reelected.

 

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