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GOP Views Immigration as Political Issue to Run on Rather than Policy Issue to be Resolved

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Speaker Mike Johnson and Senator Ron Johnson the Latest GOP Examples of Prioritizing Politics Instead of Solving Problems at the Border

Washington, DC 2024 seems to be picking up where 2023 left off, with leading Republicans making clear they view immigration and border policy as a political issue to run on rather than a policy issue to be resolved. 

  • Tomorrow, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) will lead a delegation of 60 Republicans to the border for another in the GOP’s string of politicized photo ops. They will no doubt gloss over the fact that he and his do-nothing allies are blocking billions of dollars for border security and aid to U.S. cities receiving migrants sent by anti-immigrant Republican Governors. They will likely find time, however, to once again , shout out that the border is “open,” which only  further lures people to employ smugglers to come to the U.S.
  • Meanwhile, as Newsweek highlighted, “Republican Senator Ron Johnson is leading efforts to block a deal on border security, the Wisconsin congressman (sic) recently said, adding that voters should be the ones deciding on the issue. Talking on Fox News’s The Ingraham Angle … [Sen. Johnson said] he’s been ‘pretty well leading the efforts to slow this process down.’ … ‘The problem we have is that we’re negotiating with an administration and Democrats in the Senate who want an open border.’”

The following is a statement from Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“Speaker Mike Johnson would rather cross the country for a political photo op at the border than cross the Capitol to work on bipartisan solutions on fixing our immigration system and delivering needed funding and resources to the border and cities across the country. The political theatrics reveal not a good faith partner, but a GOP guided by a cynical politics of fear and division that comes at the expense of the American people and our allies abroad.

Even the lopsided Senate negotiations that include a host of extreme asylum and immigration changes in exchange for Ukraine aid don’t seem enough for Donald Trump’s MAGA allies in the House and Senate, such as Speaker Mike Johnson and Senator Ron Johnson. It’s because they view immigration and the border as a political issue to keep hammering throughout 2024 rather than a policy issue worthy of forging serious solutions. 

This is not a negotiation between two sides seeking solutions, this is gamesmanship designed to delay and divide and likely get to ‘no.’ Don’t forget, Republicans have already filibustered aid to cities and money for managing the border that could help right now. As we kick off an election year, Republicans again seem poised to move the immigration goalposts to set up a blame game that points fingers at Democrats when bombs rain on Kiev or when buses of migrants sent by Republican Governors go unhoused.”

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