Washington, DC — Republicans continue to characterize that they are pushing for “border security” measures in the supplemental funding negotiations. For example, as Senator John Thune (R-SD) stated in a Senate floor speech this week: “Senators Graham, Lankford, and Cotton have been working to craft a set of border security measures…” Too many media outlets and observers have been parroting this framing, using “border security” as the short-hand description of what’s being discussed.
Yet the details and policy specifics of what is supposedly on the table are a far cry from so-called “border security” – and in fact would eviscerate the asylum system, creating more chaos, and restrict legal parole programs that create more safety, orderliness, and border security.
According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice: “What is being discussed by Republicans is not ‘border security,’ but a grab bag of Trump and Stephen Miller policies that would gut asylum and add to chaos and disorder and cruelty at the border, including by restricting the promising legal parole programs that create safe, legal and orderly pathways for migration. Don’t be fooled by the bait and switch. When Republicans say ‘border security’ they mean reduced legal immigration and more people who are forced to cross the border between ports of entry, which is the exact opposite of what we need.”
Additionally, read the following voices on why what’s being discussed is a far cry from “border security”:
- Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, “How Trump is wrecking hopes for a ‘reasonable’ Ukraine deal”: “[T]he demands from Tillis and his fellow Republican leading the talks, Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, are not reasonable at all — they’re following Donald Trump’s playbook. Under the guise of seeking more ‘border security,’ they’re insisting on provisions that would reduce legal immigration in numerous ways that could even undermine the goal of securing the border.”
- Doris Meissner, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, told Sargent, “Canceling parole would significantly heighten the pressures on the border and the numbers of migrant crossings. ‘It’s the opposite of what’s needed to strengthen border security.”
- Andrea Flores, Vice President for Immigration Policy and Campaigns at FWD.us and a former White House official said on a press call this week, “Democrats understandingly and rightfully should support border security and a more orderly border; those are all important democratic values for voters. But that is not what they are getting here.” Flores also characterized the Senate negotiations as “centering around anti-immigrant policies that were already tried and repeatedly failed to reduce pressure and chaos at the border.”
Access the press release with speaker quotes and audio recording of immigration experts’ press call held earlier this week HERE