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While Senate Border Negotiations Continue, House GOP Makes Clear Their Political Motivations

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Wall Street Journal editorial board: “Some House Republicans would rather have the issue in November than a policy victory now.”

Washington, DC — Over the weekend, much of the attention to immigration and border issues focused on supposed progress in the Senate/White House negotiations and chatter about forthcoming bill text. Yet the key point we’ve been emphasizing hasn’t changed – most Republicans, especially most House Republicans, want immigration and the border as a political issue to run on, rather than a policy issue to be resolved. So no matter what the Senate and White House may negotiate, it won’t be enough to bring a majority of Republicans on-board. Caving in on extremely important policies to block asylum for those fleeing persecution or deal away crucial border management tools, may ultimately not yield anything for Democrats because the other side is not bargaining in good faith.

Witness this weekend’s take from one of the ringleaders of the House GOP’s Freedom Caucus, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who tweeted: “There is a Senate negotiated border ‘deal’ dropping Wednesday. It will not be good. #NoSecurityNoFunding”

Meanwhile, the impending sham impeachment of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is further evidence of the broader dynamics and motivations. That the House is planning to impeach the lead executive branch negotiator helping forge a Senate/White House deal isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of a potential legislative breakthrough that will navigate the shoals of the House GOP. Instead, the impeachment effort itself is evidence that Republicans want to keep up a relentless messaging focus on immigration and the border at the expense of sensible policy or anything resembling compromise.

Even the Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote this weekend: “Some House Republicans would rather have the issue in November than a policy victory now.”

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

“Democrats and other observers should be clear-eyed about several fundamental dynamics as negotiations proceed. One, on immigration, Republicans don’t want to secure the border or manage arrivals, they want to exploit the border as an issue and scare voters in an election year. And two, this GOP consensus to focus on the politics of immigration at the expense of all else distracts from Republican opposition to challenging Putin and defending Ukraine. 

Following the January 6 anniversary and given the larger battle of democracy vs. authoritarianism, the consequential question of ‘whose side are you on?’ remains essential to elevate and focus on.”