Op-Ed: Republican Lawmakers Should Refuse to Entertain Any Discussion on Immigration Until Border Security Measures Are Implemented. Full Stop.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Republicans in the Senate and the House must stop entertaining ideas for immigration reform for the time being. No discussion of these matters will be beneficial to the nation until the ongoing illegal immigration problem is addressed in a serious manner.

We need border security reform before we need immigration reform.

To put it simply, the GOP needs to grow a pair and refuse to engage with Democrats on matters concerning immigration until they can reach an agreement that results in heightened border security and other measures to decrease the number of illegal aliens crossing the U.S. border. In fact, anyone who is represented in the Senate or House by Republican lawmakers must urge them to take this approach.

Two of the Democrats’ immigration issues have passed through the House and now the matter is to be debated in the Senate. Last Wednesday, the upper chamber finally had a meeting on immigration reform legislation, but it is unclear whether the Democrats’ proposals will be passed.

Some Republicans have indicated that they would rather wait until after the migrant crisis at the southern border is resolved before moving on to other immigration decisions. “You’ve got people all over the map, but I think if we really want to get something done then I think we’re going to have to try to show we’re working on what’s happening at the border right now,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) to Politico.

Other Republican lawmakers have already taken a seemingly similar stance to the approach outlined above. Politico reported:

The meeting came as senators from both parties acknowledged that a path forward on a comprehensive immigration bill is unlikely, particularly with the surge of migrants arriving at the border. And while Democrats have long pushed for legislation to offer permanent legal protections to undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children, Republicans are making it clear that they won’t support anything without additional border security.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), said the meeting was “a good first discussion” and that he believed everyone was “genuinely interested.”

Cornyn told Politico that he would like to see reforms to the asylum process that would result in asylum seekers getting in front of immigration judges immediately instead of having them remain in the United States while they await court dates. However, the lawmaker indicated he was not optimistic about actual reform. He said, “comprehensive immigration is never going to work.”

Last week, Cornyn, along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) led a delegation of their GOP colleagues to the border to assess the situation. “This is a humanitarian crisis, this is a public health crisis,” Cruz said. “The illegal immigrants who are being released, they are testing positive for COVID-19 at a seven times higher rate than the American population, and it is a national security crisis.”

Here’s the bottom line: Republican lawmakers who believe they can come to an immigration reform agreement with Democrats that involves robust border security might mean well, but they are sorely mistaken. If they think the left is going to seriously consider measures that would drastically decrease the number of illegal immigrants trying to enter the country, then I have some prime beachfront property in Nebraska that I would like to sell them on the cheap.

It seems that GOP lawmakers are making a similar mistake to that of President Ronald Reagan, who granted amnesty in exchange for Democratic promises of strengthened border security. We know how that turned out, right? The Democrats were lying the entire time; they never intended to implement policies designed to curb illegal immigration.

A skunk never changes its stripe, right?

Instead of dealing with Democrats on immigration reform, the Republicans’ strategy should be to force them to come to the table on border security. They should send the message that Democrats will most certainly not get what they want when it comes to their proposals on reform, until they first pass legislation to put policies into place to decrease illegal immigration. And yes, that would include mandatory E-Verify, along with other programs that remove incentives for people to cross the border illegally.

Moreover, the GOP should continue holding out on immigration reform until the White House actually begins enforcing the measures that Congress passes. Otherwise, Biden will slow-walk the implementation of these laws. Republicans need to draw a red line on this issue, instead of trying to reason with people whose goals are far different from what the country wants.

Let’s face it, hard-left Democrats do not want to prevent illegals from entering the country; they want the electoral advantage that mass immigration can bring them. However, moderate Democrats representing purple districts and states would be more amenable to such a proposition. While they may want to find a solution for the illegals who have already been residing in the country illegally, they are not exactly against beefing up border security. These are the Democrats with whom Republicans should be willing to collaborate.

Will the progressive left cry “racism” and “xenophobia?” Of course they will. But who cares? Most Americans are in favor of increasing security at the border and do not favor open borders policies. Many might be willing to consider some of Biden’s measures, if they know that the U.S. is finally doing something about the flow of illegal immigrants coming into the country.

If you’re thinking: “But a lot of Republican lawmakers want open borders, too,” you’re absolutely right. But if rank-and-file Republicans pressure their representatives to adopt this stance, we will know which ones are not serious about illegal immigration. And guess what? The 2022 primaries are closer than we think.

If we want to see change at the border, it’s not just up to those who represent us in the legislature; it is up to everyday, conservative voters to pressure them to do what we elected them to do. Call or email your Congresspeople and your senators and tell them to cut off negotiations until we get border security.

If enough of us do this, it will send a message: Fight for border security, or start cleaning out your office. It is worth a shot, isn’t it? After all, these people are supposed to work for us, not the other way around.