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'Hard No' to Any Immigration Bill Until Biden's Border Crisis Is Controlled

Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times via AP, Pool

As Julio mentioned yesterday, President Biden told Fox's Peter Doocy that he would not visit the Southern border during his trip to Arizona because there are "more important things going on." That is undoubtedly the president's view of the historic border crisis and humanitarian disaster he's created. He likely does not wish to see with his own eyes, or really even think about, what his indefensible policies have wrought – including chaos, dysfunction, and record-setting deaths. It seems as though literally anything and everything is "more important" to Biden than the catastrophe at the border, which he has never once visited over the course of the decade in which he's served as vice president and president. As I noted earlier in the week, the best spin the White House can come up with is that he once drove near the US-Mexico boundary as a senator and candidate, 14 years ago. And his current chief spokesperson couldn't even keep that straight. President Empathy truly doesn't care, and his smirking ambivalence has likely only deepened after his party suffered only historically-mild losses in the recent elections. 


He absolutely means this: 

On the subject of the border crisis, Matt recently highlighted rumors and reports about discussions around a potential immigration deal being led by GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. He quoted this except from the Washington Post:

A white paper laying out this Tillis-Sinema blueprint is circulating on Capitol Hill, congressional aides and advocates plugged into the talks tell me. Though the details are in flux, here’s a partial list of the major items it contains: Some form of path to citizenship for 2 million dreamers. A large boost in resources to speed up the processing of asylum seekers, including new processing centers and more asylum officers and judges. More resources to expedite the removal of migrants who don’t qualify for asylum. A continuation of the Title 42 covid-health-rule restriction on migrants applying for asylum, until the new processing centers are operational, with the aim of a one-year cutoff. More funding for border officers. The idea behind this compromise is this: It gives Democrats protections for 2 million dreamers and beefed up defenses of the due process rights of some migrants. It gives Republicans faster removal of migrants who fail to qualify for asylum to prevent them from remaining in the country, a continued restriction on applications for the next year and more border security. 


In theory, this could be an appealing package to someone like me, a longtime "squish" on immigration policy. I've previously supported a legislative DREAM Act (as opposed to President Obama's legally-dubious executive action) and some form of path to legal status (but not necessarily citizenship) for a substantial number of people living in the country illegally. Some modest and limited amnesty allowances in exchange for more resources for processing asylum claims – the vast majority of which are not granted – in addition to an extension of Title 42 expulsions, plus more funding for border officers, isn't an awful package. In theory. But we aren't living in theory. We are living through the worst border crisis in modern American history, fueled directly and intentionally by a callous and ideologically-blinkered group of extremists in the Biden administration. This president and his MIA "border czar" vice president are directly and prominently complicit.  

These are not normal times. The crisis has raged on for the better part of two years, and the people running the executive branch have both precipitated it and are actively causing it to get worse. I have absolutely zero appetite for anything that even has the faintest whiff of an amnesty right now. The last thing we need right now is to incentivize further illegal immigration. The only things Republicans should be willing to discuss at the present time are enforcement-only solutions and measures. Period. Only when this crisis is brought under control in a serious way, and enforcement improvement can be clearly and sustainably demonstrated, should anything else come onto the table. Years from now. Legislative bargains in which enforcement (often relatively tepid-to-toothless) is paired with amnesty-style accommodations often guarantee the need for more such accommodations in the future, with enforcement never seeming to get fully serious and effective. Enough. What is happening at the border is a national disgrace and an affront to our national sovereignty, national security, and the rule of law. Until enforcement is beefed up in meaningful and lasting ways, and the crisis is corralled, no Republican – including well-intentioned and compromise-oriented ones, which is what I believe Tillis to be – should even glimpse at any sort of comprehensive agreement. Hard no. Fortunately, it looks like some GOP aides are throwing cold water on the likelihood of this going anywhere, anytime soon: 


In the meantime, asylum claims (again, most of them bogus) could and should be processed while the illegal immigrants in question remain in Mexico as they wait. It's an easy improvement to make; that plan was working rather well under the Trump administration, and it could be promptly re-instituted if the Biden team cared to do anything constructive or useful. Finally, since I mentioned one of my Fox News colleagues above, I'll leave you with this note regarding a small professional update: 

I'm also grateful to our Townhall Media audience. It has been a pleasure writing for you for more than a dozen years now, both in instances of agreement and disagreement, and I hope to continue to do so for a long time to come. Thank you.

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