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2024 Border Bill

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  • 2024 Border Bill

    A place which is stand alone to discuss the pending Border Bill and its road to "maybe" becoming a law.

    Just to remind all, the Border Patrol Union endorsed Donald Trump in 2016 & 2020.

    As conservatives balk, U.S. Border Patrol union endorses Senate immigration deal

    The National Border Patrol Council, which endorsed Donald Trump for president in 2020, said the new bipartisan bill "will drop illegal border crossings nationwide."

    Feb. 5, 2024, 4:45 PM EST
    By Julie Tsirkin
    WASHINGTON — As conservatives in Congress have blasted the new bipartisan border agreement for not going far enough, the legislation earned a key endorsement on Monday: the labor union that represents U.S. Border Patrol agents.

    The National Border Patrol Council — which represents more than 18,000 agents — said the bill would “drop illegal border crossings nationwide and will allow our agents to get back to detecting and apprehending those who want to cross our border illegally and evade apprehension.”

    It's a significant statement of support from a group that endorsed former President Donald Trump in 2020 and has repeatedly railed against President Joe Biden’s handling of the border.

    “While not perfect, the Border Act of 2024 is a step in the right direction and is far better than the current status quo,” Brandon Judd, president of the council, said in the statement. “This is why the National Border Patrol Council endorses this bill and hopes for its quick passage.”

    Just last week, Judd attended a House Republican roundtable in the Capitol entitled “The Impact of the Biden Border Crisis” and slammed the Biden administration for having “destabilized our Southwest Border.”
    What’s in the Senate’s proposed border security package

    FEB. 5, 202405:20

    In less than 24 hours since it was released, the Border Act of 2024 has been ripped apart by Republicans, primarily in the House, who railed against the bill. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and his leadership team called the legislation a “waste of time," warning that it is “dead on arrival” in the House if it passes the Senate.

    On the other side of the Capitol, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., praised Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, the top GOP negotiator of the bill, and urged his colleagues to carefully consider it.

    Still, multiple Republican senators have already said they will not support the legislation as-is and it is unclear if it can get the votes to pass.

    On Monday afternoon Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., set up a procedural vote on a $118 billion national security supplemental bill, which includes the border legislation as well as funding for the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East and aid for the Indo-Pacific region. The Senate is expected to take an initial, procedural vote on the package on Wednesday.

    In the statement released on Monday, Judd said the bill would “give U.S. Border Patrol agents authorities codified, in law, that we have not had in the past.”

    Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona independent who helped negotiate the border deal, called the Border Patrol union’s endorsement “great news.”

    “These men and women are on the frontlines of the border crisis — and they know what it takes to fix our broken system," she wrote on X.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  • #2
    The GOP Base Wants the Fight Instead of the Victory
    By flip-flopping on the border, congressional Republicans delivered to their constituents.

    QUEMADO, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 3: Ronald Solomon sits with Donald Trump merchandise he sells at the “Take Our Border Back Convoy” rally on February 3, 2024 in Quemado, Texas. Several attendees gathered at the Cornerstone Children’s Ranch to listen to speakers discuss topics like the U.S.-Mexico border, gun rights, and the Biden administration’s policies. (Photo by Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images)

    THE BORDER BILL CIRCUS IS THE LATEST demonstration of a bedrock reality of today’s Republican party: It does not exist to achieve political outcomes. Its chief function is fan service. Once you understand that, it becomes hard to think of the GOP as a political party at all.

    Political parties can serve as social clubs, identity markers, and entertainment, but those are secondary qualities. Their chief function, dwarfing all others, is to achieve political goals. If members of a political party cease to be concerned about achieving political ends, then the organization has become something else. Massive group therapy? A pyramid scheme? I’m not sure. But the border bill fandango strongly suggests that Republicans no longer care about outcomes.

    The overriding concern of GOP voters, according to polls and to elected Republicans, is immigration. In the ranty precincts of the right, they believe that the southern border is open; that criminals, terrorists, and drug dealers are crossing en masse; and that Democrats are allowing this on purpose to import a whole new electorate that will outvote—and in time “replace”—legacy Americans and keep Democrats in power. Among less febrile Republicans, the argument is that while legal immigration is good for the nation, we are swamped by illegal border crossers and must get control of a border that is out of hand.

    Whichever version of the immigration argument they favor, every Republican who truly cared about solving the “crisis at the border” would presumably favor a bill that would have tackled—or at least ameliorated—the problem right now. In October, a group of senators including Shelley Moore Capito and Todd Young sent a letter to the president warning that 169 people on the terrorism watch list had been apprehended in the preceding ten months. “Our southern border is a matter of deep national concern and insecurity,” they wrote. “With rising violence and economic crises around the world pushing many people towards our borders, the record levels of illegal crossings and the spike in Border Patrol apprehensions of individuals matching the U.S. terror watchlist are alarming.”

    In early January, a sixty-member delegation of House Republicans traveled to Eagle Pass, Texas. They were enraged, they said, by the fentanyl coming across the border.

    In reality, fentanyl is mostly smuggled by American citizens, not would-be asylum seekers. Ninety percent of seizures occur at legal border crossings and interior vehicle checkpoints. In recent years, just 0.02 percent of people arrested for crossing the border illegally had any fentanyl in their possession.

    Speaker Mike Johnson thundered that “One thing is absolutely clear: America is at a breaking point with record levels of illegal immigration. And today, we got a firsthand look at the damage and the chaos the border catastrophe is causing in all of our communities. The situation here and across the country is truly unconscionable.” Rep. Mark Green, who this week announced his retirement from Congress, claimed that the FBI director, Christopher Wray, had testified that members of Hamas can “just walk right in.” But as the New York Times clarifies, Wray said no such thing. Rather, he explained in response to a tendentious question that he could not 100 percent guarantee that none of those who evaded the border patrol (“getaways”) were members of Hamas.

    While the risk of terrorists crossing the southern border is not zero, the Cato Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh has shown that the southern border is not a common vector for terrorists attempting to enter the United States.

    But let’s assume for the sake of argument that most Republicans are unfamiliar with Nowrasteh’s research and fully believe the Mark Greens and Mike Johnsons of their party who claim that we are being overrun by terrorists and foreign drug smugglers, to say nothing of immigrants “poisoning the blood” of real Americans.

    Would they not be outraged by their elected officials’ decision to tank a border bill that would achieve many of their objectives? The base has not been shy about accusing Republican leaders of cowardice and betrayal over much less. Yet on this issue, supposedly the one they feel most passionate about, they are tamely accepting that GOP congressmen and senators passed up a unique opportunity to get much tougher enforcement just in order to give Trump a campaign issue?

    Well, some might explain, the average Republican voter thinks that if Trump is re-elected, they will get even better (i.e., harsher) measures to keep immigrants out. But that is false.

    The only reason the Democrats are willing to agree to a lopsided border deal that gives Republicans 80 percent of what they demanded and get nothing in return (like a path to citizenship for Dreamers) is because Democrats are worried that the issue hurts them with voters—and since Republicans linked support for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan to border security, Democrats would have to bend.

    But that political calculation goes out the window if Trump is re-elected. Democrats would not have any incentive to compromise.

    Now, it’s possible that Republicans will win a Lyndon Johnson-sized landslide and not have to worry about what Democrats would agree to in 2025. They’d have a huge majority in the House and a filibuster-proof Senate. Possible, yes—just as it’s possible that I will be invited to play the cello with the National Symphony Orchestra.

    So if GOP voters believe that illegals are flooding into the country to our sorrow and that we are in danger daily from infiltration by terrorists, how can they accept that Republicans would choose to continue this “unconscionable” status quo a day longer than necessary—much less the years it will likely take before another deal is possible? And if the Republican party is a political entity, don’t voters have a duty to understand political realities, including that this was a unique moment to achieve their cherished objective?

    But if the party doesn’t exist to solve political problems, if instead it exists only to “fight,” then the voters’ passivity makes sense. The GOP doesn’t need to get control of the border, merely to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas. Lauren Boebert released a triumphant video after the (second) impeachment vote boasting that “Just now we impeached Secretary Mayorkas who has endangered our country by deliberately handing over control of our southern border to the cartel. Now that’s delivering for the American people!”

    No, that was a gross misuse of government power against an official who even the GOP’s favorite legal advisers had said did nothing to merit impeachment. Besides, it was a pointless, empty gesture since the Democrats control the Senate and will certainly acquit him (as he deserves).

    The show is everything. Results don’t count, only the fight.
    “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”