Central American migrants sit on top of the border wall on the beach in San Diego during a gathering of migrants living on both sides of the border, Sunday, April 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
I had an open mind when I saw that some compromise had been reached on border security funding earlier in the week. Sure, there was never going to be money for the wall or changes to asylum laws in the thing, but perhaps it would at least be funding targeted at more beds, facilities, border patrol agents, and other resources needed to handle the surge in illegal immigration.
Then the details came out and I was reminded this is the Republican party we are talking about. As it stands, this looks like a near total surrender on the issue and will do almost nothing to relieve the strain on CBP as the attempt to enforce our immigration laws on the border.
Here’s a write-up on some of the highlights.
It’s all about refugee resettlement: The lion’s share of the bill, $2.88 billion, is for HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. In other words, the funding is all for resettling the very people that the bill was supposed to deter. Republican defenders of the bill will suggest that they have no choice; otherwise, things will get even more chaotic. But let things get “more chaotic.” It’s time the American people see the full scope of what is going on. Moreover, unlike illegal immigrants released by DHS, those sent to HHS are permanently resettled in our country, making it very hard to deport them. Also, thanks to a provision in the February omnibus, which the same apologists also said we had no choice but to pass, ICE is prohibited from using alien information provided to it by HHS for deportations.
Yes, you read that right. Well over half of the funding has nothing to do with border security at all. It will instead go to resettling refugees throughout the United States. And perhaps that’s a perfectly fine goal if these refugees have legitimate claims. But how does that help CBP handle the influx that has completely overwhelmed them?
It gets worse though.
The remaining funding for DHS is entirely for humanitarian aid for illegal aliens, not a dime for deporting or for a media campaign in Central America dissuading would-be immigrants from coming here, as Obama proposed in 2014.
One of the ways to relieve the strain would be more agents to carry out deportation orders on those with false claims. This bill gives none of that and essentially nothing for enforcement at all.
While some funding is allocated to care for children brought in by illegal immigrants (again, not a bad thing by itself), not a single dime can go to increasing the number of beds available. Yes, you read that right. The Democrats still won’t allow CBP to make the necessary increase in beds to house these people. A lack of facilities is the number one issue right now that CBP is dealing with at the border and Republicans got absolutely nothing done on it.
Actually, I’m struggling to see what Republicans got at all in this bill. It reads like a Democrat priority list with nearly everything the CBP have asked for omitted. This is the best they could do? Or is this the best they were willing to fight for amid a possible budget battle? Given that some of what’s in the bill came at the request of the administration, they aren’t off the hook here either.
In fact, this bill is more likely to incentivize further illegal immigration than deter it.
But what the hell, let’s throw $4.5 billion at the problem with lots of perverse incentives to make the crisis worse, make no changes to laws, and wash our hands of it!! That’ll do it! https://t.co/irPxSk0Nlv
— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) June 21, 2019
This is why so many right-leaning voters have no faith in their party, but what’s perhaps even sillier is that the House Democrats will likely reject this sweet-heart deal anyway.
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