Schumer’s bipartisan immigration ‘deal’ is a joke

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced over the weekend that the Senate would be revisiting the border “deal” that failed miserably back in February. This is a desperate political stunt during an election year.

The border crisis has become the single most unifying issue in American politics. Americans from all backgrounds — white, black, rich, poor, suburban, urban, Democrat and Republican — are horrified at the scenes of thousands of people overrunning the border. In the battleground states of Ohio, Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all seen as vulnerable Senate seats for Democrats, voters view immigration as a top issue. Democrats are seeing the same polls we are seeing — and they are panicking.

For the past three years, President Joe Biden has overseen an invasion of over 11 million illegal aliens into our country. Many are military-age males about whom we know very little, thanks to the lack of screening and vetting from the Biden administration. What we do know is that, increasingly, they are coming from all over the world — at least 25,000 Chinese nationals have entered our country since October 1, 2023. Just last week, two Jordanian nationals attempted to break into Quantico, a Marine Corps base in Virginia, one of whom is allegedly on the terrorist watch list. These are the types of criminals President Biden is allowing to stream across our borders.

As two Republican senators, we cannot sit idly by while Democrats mislead the American people about what this immigration bill would do. When negotiations for this supposed border compromise began, we were hopeful that Democrats had come to their senses and decided to secure the border. Unfortunately, this rushed “deal” was made behind closed doors without input from most Republicans. Not surprisingly, that bill killed itself in less than 24 hours — with most Republicans and five Democrats eventually voting against it.

Now, in an election year, the Senate majority leader is trying to hide his party’s appalling record on border security behind another vote on a broken bill that still does absolutely nothing to secure the border. In fact, it codifies an open border by allowing up to 5,000 illegal crossings per day before requiring the president to shut down the border. As far as we are concerned, one illegal crossing is too many; 5,000 is simply absurd. 

The bill would also codify Biden’s catch-and-release policies, as it actually requires illegal aliens to be released while they are being processed. The American people are just supposed to accept that millions of poorly vetted illegal aliens will continue to move into their communities, taking their jobs, overcrowding their schools and driving up rent prices, but now with the federal government’s explicit imprimatur.

The bill also spends $20 billion that we don’t have, further mortgaging our children’s future. It primarily spends the money, not to secure the border, but to more efficiently process and disperse illegal immigrants throughout America — the vast majority of whom do not have valid asylum claims. It doesn’t spend a nickel to complete the wall.

With this stunt, Democrats hope to hide the fact that President Biden does not need any additional authority to stop the border surge. What we actually need is legislation that would force the president to use the executive authority he has to secure the border — just as President Donald Trump did. This bill would actually weaken presidential authority by specifying that the president only has discretion to secure the border when daily encounters reach 4,000. If this bill became law, any president who attempted to secure the border before that ridiculous threshold is met would surely be hampered by endless court challenges.

Tonight, our Republican colleagues are taking to the Senate floor to force votes on serious legislation that would actually fix the problems at the border. One of the bills we will put forward is the Border Safety and Security Act, which requires the secretary of Homeland Security to completely shut down the border until the federal government has operational control of who is coming into our country. This bill is just one example of the many options Democrats could consider if they were actually serious about securing our border.

Instead, Democrats are using a broken bill to fool voters into thinking they are serious about border security. Don’t buy it. The American people don’t want a messaging exercise — they want to feel safe in their neighborhoods. If Sens. Tester, Brown, Rosen, Casey and Baldwin were listening to the concerns of their constituents, they would ditch Chuck Schumer’s border stunt and vote for our commonsense legislation to actually secure the border and protect American citizens.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville has represented Alabama in the Senate since 2021. Sen. Ron Johnson has represented Wisconsin in the Senate since 2011.