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Don’t Derail Inflation Reduction Act with Unrelated, Cruel and Failed Trump Immigration and Border Policies

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Douglas Rivlin: “Democrats should remain united and see this bill across the finish line in the face of cynical GOP tactics to thwart this landmark legislation.”

Washington, DC – The Inflation Reduction Act is transformative legislation that will fight climate change, promote economic fairness, increase healthcare security, and reduce prescription drug prices.

Yet upcoming votes in the U.S. Senate are likely to be roiled by Republican poison pill amendments on unrelated immigration and border provisions. The purpose of these is to divide Democrats in hopes of derailing legislative progress on the Inflation Reduction Act. If enacted, they would codify cruel and failed Trump policies.

As a host of recent voices remind us, the Trump immigration approach was a disaster – characterized by cruelty, chaos and failures:

  • Stuart Anderson writes in Forbes on the spectacular failure of Trump policies to reduce unauthorized entry and what  immigration could look like under a second Trump term: 
    • “During the Trump administration, between FY 2016 and FY 2019, apprehensions at the Southwest border (a proxy for illegal entry) increased from 408,870 to 851,508—a rise of more than 100 percent. While the Covid-19 pandemic caused apprehensions to decline for several months starting in March 2020, by August and September 2020, apprehensions had resumed at the approximate level of illegal entry seen during the same months in FY 2019. In short, Donald Trump’s policies failed to reduce illegal immigration and were enacted at a great human cost, particularly for parents and children separated at the border.”
    • “Title 42 is supposed to be a public health measure but has been used to prevent many people from applying for asylum. The policies have boosted Border Patrol apprehensions and encouraged people to enter unlawfully, often multiple times, likely making the border more problematic.”
    • “In 2021 and 2022, America saw the negative results of Trump’s immigration policies, with an estimated 2 million immigrant workers missing from the U.S. labor force blamed for reducing U.S. economic output and contributing to inflation. Another four years of similar policies would likely produce more negative results, potentially longer term, if enacted by legislation.”
    • “Since the start of FY21, 49% of all border encounters have been single adults from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador—1.7 million in total. In 93%(!) of cases, those encounters led to a rapid expulsion back to Mexico under Title 42.”
    • “The data tells the story of a single man who tried and failed to cross the border SEVENTY-ONE times in 2021—and was expelled under Title 42 every time…So there you have it. I can think of no better example of Title 42’s failure as a border management tool than a middle-aged guy being expelled 71 times under Title 42 in a six month period before he finally either gave up, succeeded, or had something worse happen to him.
  • The Cato Institute’s David Bier reports on Customs and Border Protection expelling thousands of children to Mexico to fend for themselves in the wee hours of the morning in the most dangerous cities in the world: 
    • “In the dead of night, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is expelling thousands of immigrant infants and toddlers into Mexican border cities that the U.S. State Department says are too dangerous for American tourists. New statistics obtained via a Cato Freedom of Information Act request show that as of May 31, CBP had used its Title 42 ‘health’ authority to expel 30,806 children ages 3 and under—with about 41 percent of these expulsions occurring at midnight or later…’At 1 a.m. they left us at the bridge in Juárez. I asked them why they would throw us to the streets at night with children, and an agent said, ‘That’s your problem, that is not my problem.’”
    • “The United States has never needed people like it needs them now. Birth rates and labor market participation are down, and job openings have never been higher, yet the U.S. government policy toward immigrants has not adjusted.”

 According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice, 

“The Inflation Reduction Act would be a big step forward for America and Americans and should be enacted. Democrats should remain united and see this bill across the finish line in the face of cynical GOP tactics to thwart this landmark legislation.

We cannot allow this historic investment to be derailed or loaded down with unrelated policies on immigration and the border that together seek to codify the end of asylum and re-institute the cruelty and chaos of Donald Trump and Stephen Miller. Democrats should not take the Republican bait to vote for immigration and border policies that Republicans are falsely framing as successes. The reality is that every policy Trump and Miller crafted made things worse at the border and Democrats have no business helping extend or codify them.”