OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Republicans are tearing into Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for a Democrat-led $118 billion border security bill that was unveiled on Sunday.
In addition to allowing the Department of Homeland Security to temporarily close the border to the majority of migrants if there are an average of more than 5,000 attempts to cross over seven days, the proposal would restructure the asylum system with quicker and more stringent enforcement.
Along with humanitarian aid for civilians impacted by the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine, it also includes billions in aid for Israel, Ukraine, and other allies.
McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, pushed last year for changes to border policy to be part of the national security funding bill to get past House Republicans’ resistance. He stated that the Senate needs to “get ready to act” and that the proposed legislation offers “direct and immediate solutions to the crisis” at the border.
“America’s sovereignty is being tested here at home, and our credibility is being tested by emboldened adversaries around the world,” he said in a statement. “The challenges we face will not resolve themselves, nor will our adversaries wait for America to muster the resolve to meet them.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that the legislation’s first procedural vote would take place on Wednesday.
However, several influential Republicans swiftly opposed the bill, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, who deemed it to be “dead on arrival.”
“I’ve seen enough,” Johnson wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created… If this bill reaches the House, it will be dead on arrival.”
I’ve seen enough. This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created. As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, “the border never closes.”
If this bill reaches the House, it will be…
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) February 5, 2024
Let me be clear: The Senate Border Bill will NOT receive a vote in the House.
Here’s what the people pushing this “deal” aren’t telling you: It accepts 5,000 illegal immigrants a day and gives automatic work permits to asylum recipients—a magnet for more illegal immigration.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 5, 2024
Any Republican voting for this Senate America last open border amnesty bill must be paid off by foreign interests and is acting as a foreign agent.
What an embarrassment!
Shame on them!! https://t.co/pNo3cXSCWO
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) February 5, 2024
The differences in Trump’s handling of the border compared to Biden’s is palpable.
Statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) show that in December 2020—the final month of President Donald Trump’s presidency—the USBP allowed 17 foreign nationals to enter the country.
The USBP released 191,142 aliens into the United States in December 2023, the most recent month for which statistics are available under Biden.
Put another way, during the last month of Trump’s presidency, the USBP released 0.009 percent more aliens into the country than it did during the previous month of Biden.
That is, 11,244 more aliens were released under Biden than under Trump. That’s a flash flood, not a typical increase.
According to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Biden administration allowed a total of 2 million foreign nationals to enter the country in fiscal year (FY) 2023.
Additionally, the CBO estimates that there were 750,000 “got-aways,” or people who crossed the border but escaped capture.
This provides a general idea of what is causing this crisis: for every three individuals who were caught crossing the border but managed to escape, there were eight—almost three times as many—who were apprehended in between ports of entry or found to be inadmissible there but were nevertheless allowed to enter the country illegally.