Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author

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Opinion

Why Republicans will never shut down US-Mexico border

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Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author

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A group of Republican senators expressed “grave concerns” to President Biden over his recent executive order that would provide a path to citizenship to approximately 500,000 people who have been in the country for a decade or more and are also married to United States citizens. The GOP lawmakers argued that Biden’s immigration relief “directly contravenes the laws Congress has passed” and “will exacerbate the ongoing border crisis.”

Watch the above video as Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette argues that when Republicans talk about border security, they almost always lie.


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You see, Republicans don’t really care about securing the U.S.-Mexico border any more than Democrats care about the welfare and safety of migrants. In both cases, that’s just political rhetoric, served up to drum up votes from the base. In the case of Republicans, calls to close the border quickly descend into fear-mongering with a dash of racism. It’s familiar and grotesque, but the nativist wing of the GOP eats that slop up.

Still, let’s not forget, there’s another wing in the Republican Party, the business wing, and it also has considerable sway because it controls most of the political contributions. That’s why the GOP is never, never going to try too hard to shut down the border. It would rather just wave people in, secretly and discreetly. As an aside, the White House doesn’t have the power to seal the border anyway. That’s a fantasy advanced by Republicans, and also now more recently, Democratic President Joe Biden, who recently signed an executive order promising to do just that.

But the real reason that Americans can’t shut down the border and the real reason that Republicans have no desire to see that happen, no matter what they tell the pitchfork-carrying mob, is that our country cannot survive without a steady flow of cheap and dependable labor.


Interested in opposing perspectives? Have a look at how our other contributors view this issue from across the political spectrum:

Star Parker: Biden’s immigration policies all for show.

Newt Gingrich: On immigration, Trump will have a mountain to climb.

When Republicans talk about immigration, they almost always lie. For instance, here’s what you need to know about the GOP and its professed goal of security, the US Mexico border, one of these things doesn’t care about the other. You see, Republicans don’t really care about security, the US Mexico border, any more than Democrats care about the welfare and safety of migrants. In both cases, that’s just political rhetoric, served up to drum up votes from the base, in the case of Republicans, calls to close the border quickly descend into fear mongering, with a dash of racism. It’s familiar and grotesque. But the nativist wing of the GOP eats that slop up. Still, let’s not forget, there’s another wing in the Republican Party, the business wing, and it also has considerable sway because it controls most of the political contributions. That’s why the GOP is never, never going to try too hard to shut down the border. It would rather just wave people in and secretly and discreetly. As an aside, the White House doesn’t have the power to seal the border. Anyway, that’s a fantasy advanced by Republicans, and also now more recently, Democratic President Joe Biden, who recently signed Executive Order promising to do just that. But the real reason that Americans can’t shut down the border and the real reason that Republicans have no desire to see that happen, no matter what they tell the pitch for caring mob is that our country cannot survive without a steady flow of cheap and dependable labor. That’s our addiction, immigrant labor. We need immigrants to care for our children, look after our elderly, cook our meals, clean our homes, cut our lawns and all the rest. And we’re not sticklers about how these laborers entered the country. Right now our most reliable dealers suppliers are countries in Latin America, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, closing down the border, even if it were possible with which it isn’t, would put a serious squeeze on businesses big and small, in turn, that might prompt the owners of those businesses, the employers to call up their local Republican lawmaker and shouty eight words guaranteed to break a politician’s heart. Hey, buddy, I’m stopping payment on the check. Now, that’s a definite attention getter for any elected official. They fear that and they know if they go too far, their money will dry up. They’ll get bounced out of office, and then they’ll have to go find real jobs like the rest of us. So all this huffing and puffing is just smoke and mirrors. Republicans like to talk tough and beat their chests and make all these meaningless declarations about how they’re going to close this and shut down that. But Republicans don’t mean it. They can’t afford to mean it. They can’t afford to do half of what they threatened to do to discourage migration, because their sugar daddies and big business won’t let them. They’re now allowed to be the hard assets they pretend to be the only authentic and genuine hard asses on immigration are Democrats often to their detriment. Look at the record of recent presidents and what they did to curb immigration, who militarize the US Mexico border and signed a bill that made it easier to deport people and harder for them to return. A Democrat Bill Clinton, who deported 3 million people and put refugee kids from Central America in cages, a Democrat Barack Obama, and now who put a limit on migration from four countries, Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua and who has set in motion a plan to make asylum a thing of the past. A Democrat Joe Biden. Come on Republicans, you guys are slacking. You love catching up to do until then who are you kidding? Talk is cheap. Threats are even cheaper. You’re actually just a bunch of softies on immigration. Everybody knows that. It’s not because you love Mexicans, heaven forbid. It’s because you love power and money. And immigrants protected your access to both

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