MEHLMAN: If The GOP Takes Congress In November, They Will Have A Mandate To End The Border Crisis

(Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

Ira Mehlman Ira Mehlman is the media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
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Barring a miracle of biblical proportions, the Biden administration’s disastrous record on – well, there are actually too many issues to name – will result in the Democratic Party losing its slim majorities in both chambers of Congress.

By default, Republicans are almost certain to be in charge of the legislative branch of government in 2023 and will have to demonstrate to the American public that they are up to the task of remedying the countless crises wrought by the Biden administration.

One of those crises is the self-inflicted mess at the border. Even White House spin doctors haven’t found a way to blame Putin for that one. President Biden and his hand-picked Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, did it all by themselves with Democrats on Capitol Hill marching along. As the minority party, Republicans have been able to rail against the administration’s blatant subversion of our immigration laws and the grievous harm that is being inflicted on the country, but little else. That will all change in the 118th Congress, when Republicans take control, and with it, the power to exercise aggressive oversight, control of the purse strings, and the ability to advance legislation.

This time, Republicans will have no excuses for not taking bold steps to secure our borders, end asylum abuse, prevent this and future administrations from subverting our laws, and even overhaul our archaic legal immigration policies. Unlike past squandered opportunities to fix our immigration system, they will assume control of Congress amid an unprecedented crisis that has galvanized public opinion like never before. Preparation for meaningful action in 2023 must begin now.

A broad coalition of policy groups, former high level Trump administration officials and former members of Congress have circulated a comprehensive plan to the leadership-in-waiting of the 118th Congress. Given the magnitude of the Biden immigration disaster – some 2.8 million migrants encountered entering the country illegally since the onset of his presidency, about 1.2 million of whom were released. And that number does not even include the 700,000 who eluded apprehension. With the way things are going at the border, the American public has no appetite for trade-offs. Republicans will have an opportunity to focus exclusively on immigration reforms that safeguard the interests and security of the American people and ignore the inevitable ransom demands to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.

The “flagship” immigration reform bill outlined by the coalition – of which the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a leading member – would have an immediate impact on addressing the crisis at the border. Unlike inflation, the surge of illegal immigration actually is transitory: It was created by deliberate policies implemented by the Biden administration and can be tamed by well-crafted legislation and congressional oversight of a rogue president.

Among the key provisions of legislation that the coalition is urging the new leadership to put forward on Day One of the 118th Congress include:

  • A statutory mechanism to immediately expel migrants illegally crossing our borders.
  • Ending asylum abuse by requiring migrants to seek protection in the first safe country they reach.
  • Rewriting statutes that actually encourage migration of unaccompanied minors, and override court settlements that require that families traveling with minors be released within 20 days.
  • Completing construction of effective border security fencing.
  • Limiting presidential power to parole entire classes of foreign nationals to enter the country.
  • Restricting prosecutorial discretion to remove it as the catch-all excuse for limiting immigration enforcement.
  • Mandating full re-implementation of Migrant Protection Protocols, otherwise known as Remain in Mexico.

The breadth of the coalition demanding immediate action on immigration enforcement in the 118th Congress is unprecedented and reflects a growing recognition that the Biden administration’s lawless policies adversely affect a broad range of public interests. In just 16 months in office, Biden’s policies have undermined national security, public health, public safety, exacerbated the opioid crisis, and imposed even greater fiscal burdens on taxpayers.

The American public has had enough. If the midterm elections return control of Congress to Republicans, as the polls indicate, they will have a clear mandate to take decisive action to end the Biden border crisis. The American public will expect them to deliver.

Ira Mehlman is media director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in Washington D.C.