Sen. James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, has proposed a border plan that would ultimately benefit President Joe Biden’s efforts to import more migrants and hinder former President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration. This plan includes a “trigger” authorization that would only curb immigration once a certain number of illegal arrivals are reached. Rosemary Jenks from the Immigration Accountability Project argues that this trigger would override existing emergency laws that allow the president to shut down the border at lower levels of illegal migration. Jenks believes this would weaken immigration laws and prevent Trump or any other president from effectively addressing the issue.
Here is where I see the issues.
Mandatory detention requires detention space. The Biden administration has 30,000 beds and won't be able to increase that within this fiscal year. Once those 30,000 beds get filled, they will release people right to the street again. Also,…
— John Fabbricatore (@JohnE_Fabb) January 27, 2024
Lankford and Sen. Thom Tillis, who supports increased labor migration, argue that the trigger is a crucial feature of the proposal. They suggest that it would provide new authorities for future presidents and give them the capability to shut down the border when overwhelmed. President Biden himself has expressed support for this new emergency authority. However, Trump and many Republican senators oppose the plan for fear that it would result in open borders and an uncontrolled influx of migrants. Trump labeled it a “horrible betrayal of America.”
The trigger authorization in Lankford’s proposal also helps protect Biden’s parole programs, which are used to import job-seeking migrants. Approximately 80,000 migrants are being brought in per month through these programs. Critics argue that the trigger, even if activated, would not significantly impact the number of migrants admitted. CBS reports that there would be a limit on the number of days each year the trigger could be invoked, meaning the vast majority of migrants would still be welcomed. Thus, the combined effects of parole programs, legal immigration, and the trigger would result in a massive demographic change and potentially overwhelm American society.
The proposal also fails to place limits on migrants who claim they would face torture if sent home, allowing them to live and work in the United States. Though Lankford’s plan includes provisions to tighten asylum rules, critics argue that the “Convention Against Torture” rules are easier to meet and offer loopholes for migrants to remain in the country. Additionally, the plan narrows the detainment law to only single men and does not address the issue of labor-trafficking smuggling.
Rosemary Jenks strongly opposes the Lankford proposal, as she believes it will do more harm than good. She argues that it normalizes record-breaking illegal immigration, fails to address parole abuse, and does not offer real fixes for the asylum system or implementing the Safe Third Country rule. Jenks suggests that the plan aligns with the Democrat wish-list and ultimately harms the interests of American citizens. Meanwhile, Lankford defends his plan, highlighting its focus on increasing the number of border patrol agents and detention beds, ending catch and release policies, and improving the asylum process. However, he admits that parole remains an issue that needs to be addressed.
In the end, the Lankford proposal aligns with Biden’s immigration goals and aids in the importation of migrants, hindering the efforts of Trump and others like him to control illegal immigration. Critics argue that this plan fails to prioritize the economic well-being of American citizens and downplays the negative impact of unchecked migration on wages, housing costs, and job opportunities. The debate surrounding this proposal reflects the ongoing divide between Democrats and Republicans on immigration policies, with both sides advocating for their preferred solutions while aiming to address national security concerns.