January 25, 2024

Border Policy

A divided Supreme Court on Monday allowed Border Patrol agents to resume cutting for now razor wire that Texas installed along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border that is at the center of an escalating standoff between the Biden administration and the state over immigration enforcement. The 5-4 vote clears the way for Border Patrol agents to cut or clear out concertina wire that Texas has put along the banks of the Rio Grande to deter migrants from entering the U.S. illegally.” AP News

“Senate negotiators were laboring Monday to win wide support for a deal on border policy as they entered what could be a pivotal stretch for a painstakingly negotiated compromise that could open the door for Republican votes to replenish U.S. wartime aid for Ukraine…

“The proposal would toughen the asylum process with a goal of cutting the number of migrants who come to the southern U.S. border to make an asylum claim. The group has mostly reached agreements on policy changes, but on Monday was working with Senate appropriators to determine funding levels for the programs.” AP News

See past issues

From the Left

The left accuses Republicans of refusing to compromise on immigration for political gain.

“In a conference call [last] week, [House Speaker Mike] Johnson told his colleagues that Congress cannot solve the border crisis until Donald Trump or another Republican is president again, Punchbowl News reported. Which seems to give the game away: Rather than resolve a telegenic crisis, Republicans apparently plan to keep it going to mobilize their base ahead of the election…

“‘After congressional Republicans spent years elevating the border crisis, calling it an invasion and rightfully pushing for immediate action, the House Republican position is now basically ‘Let’s wait for Trump’ — even though he may not get elected and definitely couldn’t pass a border bill,’ an unnamed Senate Republican aide told Punchbowl…

“Other GOP officials have said as much on the record, too. ‘There are some that are saying, ‘Hey, we don’t want Biden to actually get credit for doing anything on the border, because obviously, he’s made a huge mess,’’ said Lankford, the lead Republican negotiator in the Senate.”

Catherine Rampell, Washington Post

“Trump, as he did in 2018, is doing his best to scuttle any potential deal that might rob him of his signature issue. He’s demanding that Republicans do not what’s best for the country, or even the party, but for him… But rejecting another border deal is not without risk for Republicans. The public is beginning to see that it’s House Republicans who are blocking any movement on border control…

“Senate Republicans, to their credit, are taking the issue seriously and doing what responsible leaders do – negotiate. House Republicans should do the same, or risk the ire of voters who see through their tactics.”

Patricia Lopez, Bloomberg

Regarding the Texas case, "The Constitution says explicitly that states must yield to federal law, and that they must permit federal officials to perform their duties when those officials’ actions are authorized by federal law. And there’s simply no question that federal law permits border patrol agents to approach migrants entering the United States, even if they do so on non-public land…

“Among other things, federal law explicitly gives border patrol agents the power, without first obtaining a search warrant, to ‘have access to private lands, but not dwellings, for the purpose of patrolling the border to prevent the illegal entry of aliens into the United States.’ So this case is a slam dunk for the federal government. And the only thing that should be surprising about the Court’s Monday order is that some of the justices dissented.”

Ian Millhiser, Vox

From the Right

The right argues that Biden’s policies are to blame for the border crisis.

The right argues that Biden’s policies are to blame for the border crisis.

“It’s no coincidence that the president has started talking tough on the border straight after Donald Trump’s thumping victory in Iowa… ‘No, it’s not,’ he said when asked by a reporter whether the border was secure. ‘I haven’t believed that for the last 10 years, and I’ve said it for the last 10 years. Give me the money.’…

“But it doesn’t take money or bipartisan amnesty deals to halt the border invasion. It takes an executive order reinstating Trump’s border protections that Biden dismantled on day one. That’s why millions of illegal migrants are flooding into the country…

“He invited them in. He spelled out his plans during the 2020 election campaign: ‘What I would do as president is… immediately surge to the border all those people who are seeking asylum.’ Well, that was one promise he kept.”

Miranda Devine, New York Post

Trump should go to the border in Texas… Just the other day, Joe Biden said there was no crisis at the border. His approval rating on the issue is around 22%. The only fight Biden has in him for the border is fighting Texas’s efforts to secure it…

“Trump, going to the border, would force the issue onto a national press reluctant to cover the issue. It is an issue that a majority of voters agree with Trump about. It highlights a fundamental weakness of Biden’s tenure in office. It is a complete win.”

Erick-Woods Erickson, Substack

“No matter how tightly the border is controlled, there is still the problem of the many illegal migrants already here. They need to support themselves, and work is the easiest way to do that. That is presumably why negotiators are reportedly looking at speeding up the process to award work permits for people already in the country…

“This should be utterly unacceptable for Republicans. Migrants are flocking to the United States to find jobs. If they know they can get them once they get inside the country, they will continue to come. That in turn puts constant pressure on the Border Patrol to catch them and keep them out. Cutting the incentives for illegal migration is the prerequisite to successfully stemming it…

“Refusing to allow these migrants to work legally puts the burden on governments to care for them. That’s not popular, which is probably why state and local governments want the work permits. Having to foot the bill for migrants forces governments to make a choice: Do they pay for housing and caring for illegal migrants, or do they pay for the services their citizen voters want? That’s a choice they should have to make, and the likely outcome is that many migrants will have to return on their own to their homeland.”

Henry Olsen, National Review

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