Republicans Propose Immigration 'Compromise' in Attempt to Fully Surrender at the Border

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

For all the good changes that have happened in the Republican Party over the last few years in regards to strategy and being willing to fight, there are still some establishment members who are desperately hanging onto various delusions. Sen. Thom Tillis is one of them.


With the border being completely overrun, Tillis has proposed an immigration “compromise” that adds up to a full-scale surrender. First, here are the details, and then we’ll get into why I say that.

A bipartisan group of senators will meet Thursday to discuss options for passing immigration legislation this year.

“The idea is to get as many bipartisan bills we can find that have goals that will add up to 60,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, referring to the Senate’s threshold for passing most legislation.

Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) will meet with Durbin Thursday. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) may also attend. All are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which handles immigration policy…

…“We’re in a crisis here, we’ve got headwinds, we’ve got the threat of a recession,” he said. “This is the time to maybe set politics aside a little bit and get good policy in place so we can do our part to lessen the burden that people are feeling here in the country.”

Tillis said measures that could form the basis of a deal include a pathway to citizenship for so-called Dreamers — young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children — border security upgrades, and a guest-worker program to alleviate labor shortages in industries like restaurants.


Some might have read my headline and thought that I was going to come here and shoot down the idea of any immigration reform. That’s actually not my argument here. A rigorously enforced guest worker program is actually needed right now. There are too few workers in low-end jobs and it’s helping drive up inflation for normal Americans. Such a program would need to be scalable, though. When wages drop too precipitously and Americans are having trouble finding work, that would be the time to pause any such program.

Is that how it would be structured? Of course, not. Rather, it would be a free for all with no enforcement and become permanent no matter the job situation in the country. Moving past that, regarding DACA, it is an illegal program. To codify such law-breaking would only increase the flow of illegal immigration and make the problem worse. That Tillis and his buddies are even thinking about proposing that is insane.

Lastly, while port of entry and border security upgrades are absolutely necessary, they would need to be on an astronomical scale to make a difference. Does anyone think Democrats are going to agree to a border wall? Or tens of billions in new security measures? Don’t hold your breath. Any agreement would come with a middling amount of border security in exchange for Republicans giving up all the leverage they have.

And that brings me to my last point. Any “deal” that doesn’t include asylum reform should be dead on arrival. This may upset some people on the right, but we are way past the point of border security alone fixing the problem. It doesn’t matter how high you make the wall or how many agents you put on the Rio Grande, if our broken asylum continues to be a magnet for fraudulent claims that gain free entry into the country, nothing is going to change. Economic migrants must be immediately deported in order to stem the flow.


In short, this would be a terrible compromise for Republicans to make. One, DACA should be off the table, and it’s essentially just Democrats buying votes knowing that’s a heavily liberal group. Two, a guest worker program is needed and could be coupled with border security, but not reforming the asylum process amounts to a full-scale surrender. If Republicans want to lose in November, getting involved in this garbage is how they lose. Unfortunately, this is classic GOP.


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