Tim Scott

Sen. Tim Scott

Since President Joe Biden took office in 2021, congressional Republicans have hammered him with claims of a border crisis and lies that Democrats want open borders. But as they continue to demand more border security, most of the same GOP lawmakers are pushing a bill that could slash funding for it by 22 percent.

“On Joe Biden’s watch, illicit fentanyl poisoning is wreaking havoc on American families. The Biden administration’s reckless open border policies have created a national security, public health, and humanitarian catastrophe. We MUST secure the border #BidenBorderCrisis,” tweeted Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) on Thursday.

“President Biden’s open border policy is an attack on every county in America,” South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said a day earlier, as he entered the Republican presidential primary. “A nation without borders is a nation devoid of law and liberty. Restoring hope in the future of America starts with securing our border.”

Both were among 43 Senate Republicans who signed a May 6 letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer endorsing demands by their House GOP counterparts that significant spending cuts be paired with any move to avert a catastrophic default on the national debt.

“The Senate Republican conference is united behind the House Republican conference in support of spending cuts and structural reform as a starting point for negotiations on the debt ceiling,” they wrote in the letter.

On April 26, with no Democratic support, House Republicans passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act, which would cut all programs in the federal budget by 22 percent, with no adjustments for inflation. The bill contained no language exempting veterans’ benefits, the Social Security Administration, or the agencies responsible for border security.

Zephranie Buetow, an assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, on March 19 sent a letter to Connecticut Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro, the ranking member of the House Committee on Appropriations, in which she said that those proposed cuts would harm national security:

The entire Department and the critical services we provide would be impacted, including but not limited to the following:

  • A reduction in CBP frontline law enforcement staffing levels of up to 2,400 agents and officers;
  • A reduction in our Department’s ability to prevent drugs from entering the country;
  • Cuts in federal assistance to state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners for disaster preparedness; and
  • Reductions in TSA personnel that would result in wait times in excess of 2 hours at large airports across the country.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced on May 11 that the Biden administration was rebooting its asylum process following the end of the COVID-19 national health emergency and urged comprehensive immigration reform.

He told reporters: “Our current situation is the outcome of Congress leaving a broken, outdated immigration system in place for over two decades, despite unanimous agreement that we desperately need legislative reform. It is also the result of Congress’ decision not to provide us with the resources we need and that we requested.”

In the previous Congress, most GOP lawmakers voted repeatedly against laws that contained funding for the border security they demanded.

In 2021, 30 Senate Republicans and 200 House Republicans voted against the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which included $430 million for Customs and Border Protection to spend on “the construction and modernization of land ports of entry and equipment and fixtures for operations” and $3 billion “for critical investments in CBP’s Border Patrol stations and land ports of entry.”

Last year, 29 Republican senators and 200 GOP representatives opposed an appropriations package containing $6.3 billion for security operations at the nation’s northern and southern borders.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

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Ignoring Border Reality, Fox Blares Racist Immigration Rhetoric

Laura Ingraham

Fox News obsessed over the prospect of an imminent, “catastrophic” migrant “invasion” in the days leading up to the May 11 expiration of Title 42, a pandemic-era policy that allowed U.S. authorities to swiftly turn migrants away at the border. Network hosts warned that the border had been “effectively abolished,” and that migrants who received a “free pass” would be “saying hello to a suburb near you.” The Biden administration, they warned, was acting “intentionally” in ending the policy as it sought to carry out its “goal” to “fundamentally change America” by importing new “Democratic voters.”

This analysis was wrong – not that that’s deterred the Fox hosts who offered it. Migrant flows have actually declined since Title 42 lapsed, in part due to specific policies the Biden administration enacted that drew criticism from migrant advocates for restricting asylum claims. But Fox hasn’t changed course, and is continuing to sound the alarm that migrants are a threat to their viewers and that the Biden administration is at fault.

Immigration is the issue that best captures how Fox coverage seeks to keep viewers in perpetual fear of what they see on the screen. At its most sinister, the network promotes the white supremacist “great replacement” conspiracy theory that a globalist cabal is browning America for nefarious electoral purposes. But on a daily basis, its aim is to ensure that the audience feels that the country is under siege from migrant hordes and that the Democrats are at fault – even when reality contradicts their commentary.

Some at Fox have responded to their failed predictions by ignoring the unfavorable numbers and sticking to their script.

“Everybody knows that Democrats support liberal immigration policies and they like open borders because they want votes, and their donors want cheap labor,” Fox prime time host Laura Ingraham said a few days after Title 42’s expiration. “The only force capable of closing the floodgates is an angry and frankly energized American electorate.”

Host Sean Hannity likewise maintained after Title 42’s expiration that “the borders are wide open” and that President Joe Biden is “aiding and abetting lawbreaking.”

Others at Fox highlighted individual crimes allegedly committed in the United States by migrants and the prospect of terrorists captured at the border as additional reasons for viewers to stay scared.

“New reports suggest that there’s plenty of reasons to be concerned about who’s coming across the southern border,” anchor John Roberts said at the top of a “straight news” segment. After correspondent Bill Melugin detailed reports that several individuals on the terror watchlist as well as an individual previously convicted for manslaughter had been taken into custody near the border, Roberts summed up: “Bad people still hungry to get into the United States.”

On Fox & Friends Tuesday, the hosts stressed the downside of Title 42’s expiration, with Pete Hegseth arguing that cartels abusing migrants waiting in Mexico was a sign of “a Biden border crisis absolutely out of control.”

The willingness of Fox hosts to promote any story that casts migrants in a bad light, no matter how far-fetched, can blow up in their faces. The network ran with the New York Post’s May 13 report that migrants had displaced 20 homeless military veterans “evicted” from two New York state hotels. Fox personalities highlighted the “disgraceful treatment” of veterans and their replacement by a “flood of illegal immigrants” – then the story was exposed as the result of a hoax.

Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent recently noted that the right’s “fantasy that the border is constantly in chaos has become a marker of MAGA identity.” That illusion could not be sustained without the careful and constant efforts of outlets like Fox.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.