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Senate Border Bill Codifies Biden Border Policies

author Published by Jared Culver

If one thing is certain today, it is that President Biden’s border policies have been a disaster. He came into power rescinding policies like Remain in Mexico and expanding parole for aliens entering the United States illegally. With each policy step he takes, border numbers increase. As the numbers increase, more states and localities declare a state of emergency. Polling shows the American people overwhelmingly disapprove of these policies. Yet, Senator James Lankford and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have crafted a border bill that turns destructive Biden policies into the law of the land. 

After months of hiding legislative text, the American people and Congress finally were delivered language on Sunday night (with the first vote scheduled Wednesday). While the press and the bill’s drafters hail it as a grand compromise, reading the text makes it difficult to determine where the compromise took place. 

When reading this legislation, it is easy to see what President Biden and the Democrats achieved. President Biden’s current catch and release policy (that defies statutory mandates) is codified into law, virtually repealing expedited removal in the process. Additionally, the bill codifies President Biden’s regulation empowering low level asylum officers (with no required legal experience) to award asylum to aliens unilaterally. Senator Lankford does not stop there, he also grants President Biden the power to automatically grant employment authorization to aliens entering illegally. 

If you’re keeping score, those are all things President Biden is currently doing or wishes to do. Bizarrely, this bill supposedly focused on border security, also includes provisions expanding legal immigration. Senator Lankford thinks this is the moment to give out 50,000 more green cards per year for 5 years and give employment authorization to adult children of H-1B holders. Apparently, the Senate could not miss a chance to rob John Q Public for the sake of their donors.

Meanwhile, stated Republican priorities of closing the loopholes driving the crisis and reining in abuse of executive authority are nowhere to be found. The Flores loophole that exacerbates catch and release of migrants is untouched. Unaccompanied alien children (UAC) who are being exploited by employers are abandoned to their fate. The unlawful abuse of parole authority is similarly left in place for Biden to abuse. 

These border bill negotiations began with Republicans negotiating from a position of H.R. 2, which had passed the U.S. House of Representatives. H.R. 2 ended catch and release, closed loopholes in asylum/UAC/Flores, mandated E-Verify, and required construction of border barriers. With the negotiations over, Republicans seem lucky to have not given away their first born. 

Needless to say it is both remarkable and dumbfounding that the United States Senate would respond to such a clear and present danger at the border with such weakness. Mayors and governors of states across the country are calling for closure of the border. Instead, the Senate, like President Biden, sees a future of managed decline. They believe that enforcing immigration law is either immoral or impossible, and Senator Lankford’s bill is further proof, if any is needed, that current political leadership cannot be trusted to provide security to the American people.

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