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On Immigration and the Border, GOP Wants a Political Issue and a Perpetual Crisis

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Washington, DC Key observers are highlighting the incoherence and cynical politics underlying Donald Trump and House Republicans’ likely opposition to any immigration and border agreement.

As Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice stated: “The priority for House Republicans is to first and foremost demonstrate their fealty to Donald Trump and have immigration and the border as a perpetual ‘crisis’ to exploit politically. All else, including addressing the crisis they incessantly decry as an imminent existential threat to the nation, is secondary.” 

Below, find an array of recent commentary and analysis from key observers:

  • Catherine Rampell, in her Washington Post column “House Republicans try to blow up the border deal they claim to want,” writes: “Crisis! Invasion! A national security and humanitarian catastrophe! GOP politicians have been shrieking about the U.S.-Mexico border since President Biden took office. Yet when offered the chance to beef up security there, House Republicans refuse. It’s an election year, after all. And when it comes to immigration, the problem is much more valuable than its cure.”
  • Dan Pfeiffer, “The Republicans Actually Want a Border Crisis,” assesses: “Opposing this deal — whatever it is — is not some negotiating ploy to get a better deal. I don’t know what’s in this deal and I doubt I would like much of it, but from the Republican perspective, this is the best deal they could get. As Johnson presumably understands, nothing to the right of this deal can pass the Senate or be signed by Biden … If a bipartisan deal is reached in the Senate and Mike Johnson follows through with his Trump-influenced pledge to kill it, Democrats should hammer Republicans for putting politics over border policy.”
  • Jen Psaki on her MSNBC show: “If Trump is successful in tanking this deal, Democrats should not let voters forget. Trump’s fearmongering about immigration will continue and voters will need to be reminded that Republicans had a chance to do something about border security and Trump wouldn’t let them.”
  • Eugene Robinson, in his Washington Post column, “House Republicans are practicing political nihilism,” notes: “If House Republicans refuse to fix the border crisis, nobody will be able to deny the obvious: The GOP is more interested in nursing grievances and stoking anger than actually solving problems. That’s exactly what Donald Trump has trained them to do … Partisanship is one thing, but what Republicans are practicing is something very different. It is political nihilism. It’s not about enacting policies or fulfilling responsibilities but, rather, about accentuating voters’ fears, anxieties and resentments — and doing whatever Trump wants them to do.”