After weeks of anticipation and speculation, the text of the Senate's "border security" deal was finally released on Sunday evening. Despite prior assurances from Senators Kyrsten Sinema and James Lankford that leaked information was inaccurate, the bill turned out to be just as concerning as expected, and even worse in some regards.
The bill's focus on Ukraine funding dominated the first part of the text, with an additional $60 billion designated for the Eastern European nation. However, in exchange for this generous allocation, what do American citizens receive? As we delve deeper into the bill's contents, it becomes clear that the answer is not a secure Southern border.
One of the most widely criticized provisions of the bill, which had been leaked in the week leading up to its release, states that the "border emergency authority" will not be triggered until 5,000 illegal immigrants are "encountered" at the border. This number equates to roughly 1.8 million illegal entries a year, meaning that the provisions for automatic deportation will not come into effect until a staggering amount of people have already entered the country illegally.
And there it is… what Sinema and Lankford swore wasn’t in the bill.
It guarantees that up to 1.8 million illegal aliens can come over our border before it’s an emergency pic.twitter.com/i05pNH29YV
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) February 5, 2024
But what happens in the meantime? The bill stipulates that single adults would be detained, while families would still be eligible for catch-and-release policies. Furthermore, minor children would be released into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. This provision creates a strong incentive for individuals to claim to be part of a family unit, knowing that they will not be detained and will likely be released into the US.
Puts far left DC district court in charge pic.twitter.com/sU8VKtvkXh
— Mike Howell (@MHowellTweets) February 4, 2024
The legislation also proposes changes to the asylum process, aiming to drastically reduce processing times from several years to just a few months. However, the authority to decide asylum claims would be shifted from judges to the Biden Administration's United States Citizens and Immigration Services department - a concerning prospect for those seeking fair and unbiased decisions.
Additionally, the bill maintains "parole authority" for Haitians, Venezuelans, Cubans, and Nicaraguans, a policy that has been heavily abused in the past and contributes significantly to the ongoing illegal immigration crisis.
Not only does this bill codify 1.5 million illegal border crossings into law, but the "border emergency" that automatically gets implemented at 5,000 crossings per day in a week can be overturned by Joe Biden.
And in case 1.5 million illegals isn't enough, it also locks in green… pic.twitter.com/pZRV4iymph
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 5, 2024
But perhaps the most unsettling aspect of the bill is the fact that it grants President Joe Biden the sole authority to override emergency provisions that supposedly kick in after 5,000 illegal entries. This effectively renders the threshold meaningless, as the president can simply deem it "not in the national interest," allowing him to override the provisions and keep the border in its current state.
Furthermore, the bill designates the far-left United States District Court for the District of Columbia as the sole authority to decide on any constitutional challenges to the bill. This means that even the few positive provisions included in the bill are at risk of being stripped away by judicial interference.
More: The border shutdown authority has limits on how many days it can be in place, and its allowable use drops each year. pic.twitter.com/aBzxP30xgG
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) February 5, 2024
It is evident from the reactions of Democrats, such as Senator Chris Murphy - who proudly assisted in negotiating this deal - that the bill is heavily biased and ultimately weakens any attempts at securing the border.
To summarize, Ukraine receives a substantial sum of money, while the provisions for border security are weak, temporary, and can be easily overridden by the president. To make matters worse, the bill places limitations on how long these emergency provisions can even be in place, effectively rendering them useless.
In light of these critical flaws, it is unsurprising that the Democratic Party has responded positively to the bill. However, for the sake of American citizens and the integrity of the country's borders, it is crucial that this bill is promptly rejected and sent back to the Senate with forceful demands for significant improvements. As an election year looms, it is the duty of lawmakers to prioritize the safety and security of the nation and its citizens.