Blue Heron in flight

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Border Security

Everybody in both parties knows that we have an immigration and border control problem in this country. Unfortunately neither party has the political will to fix the underlying issues and the antiquated laws in our immigration system. 

Big business and certain sectors of our agricultural community know that they need to import foreign manpower but don't like to acknowledge it, preferring to pretend the problem does not exist and maintain the status quo. Left wing progressives think it is our job to let everybody have amnesty, no matter what harm it does to our country. It is a sad fact but we can't feed the entire world. And many people claiming political violence and oppression in their home countries really just want a better standard of living, not that you can blame them.

The answer has to lie somewhere in the middle.

On February 4th, a bipartisan group of Senate legislators, which included Krysten Sinema (then D, now I) and James Lankford (R) came up with a bill which they worked long and hard on. 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators have come out with a carefully negotiated $118 billion compromise that pairs tens of billions of dollars in wartime aid for Ukraine with new border laws aimed at shrinking the historic number of people who have come to the U.S. border with Mexico to seek asylum.

Why did the bill fail? Because of opposition from the titular leader of the Republican party Donald Trump, who worried that the aid to Ukraine would hurt his pals in Russia. He didn't want a compromise solution to be enacted under Joe Biden's watch.

The Oklahoma Senator Lankford, was forced by politics to vote against his own bill. See Abandoned by his colleagues after negotiating a border compromise, GOP senator faces backlash alone.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just before the Senate voted Wednesday to kill the border deal he spent the last four months negotiating, Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford climbed a set of marble stairs outside the chamber and joined his wife in the visitors’ gallery.

As the Republican quietly watched from a floor above, briefly the outsider after defending his legislation in a last Senate floor speech, fellow negotiator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona was down on the floor excoriating the Republicans who had abandoned Lankford, one by one, after insisting on a border deal and asking him to negotiate a compromise on one of the country’s most intractable issues.

“Less than 24 hours after we released the bill, my Republican colleagues changed their minds,” said Sinema, a former Democrat turned Independent. “Turns out they want all talk and no action. It turns out border security is not a risk to our national security. It’s just a talking point for the election.”

I rarely agree with the soon to be departed Arizona Senator but she nails this one. Border Security is a hot button issue, a real issue to be sure but also one that triggers serious atavistic emotions about invaders threatening the nest.

No way we can solve that one under the other party's watch. And give up such a great talking point? So much easier to complain that the other party isn't getting anything don while you gum up the wheels.

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