How Trump Turned Republicans Into The 'Open Borders' Party

@FromaHarrop
Border Wall

Section of steel fence along US--Mexico border

Donald Trump has called on Republicans to kill a bipartisan deal that would give the president emergency powers to shut down the border when illegal crossings get out of hand. He's thus helped President Joe Biden turn one of his political liabilities into a strength.

"If given that authority," Biden said without hesitation, "I would use it the day I sign the bill into law."

The bill has teeth. The border could be closed if illegal entries exceed 5,000 over a five-day average. Over the last four months, that number has been breached on all but seven days.

There's a lot more in this serious plan for ending the chaos at the border. Trump wants that chaos to continue as a campaign issue.

And the emasculated Republican-run House seems poised to obey Trump's command that the broken border stay broken.

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah correctly labeled Trump's attempt to sabotage the bill as "appalling." Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, another Republican who supports the deal, would agree.

"This bill focuses on getting us to zero illegal crossings a day," Lankford said on Fox News. "There's no amnesty. It increases the number of Border Patrol agents, increases asylum officers. It increases detention beds so we can quickly detain and then deport individuals." The legislation also raises the number of deportation flights and makes asylum claims harder to get.

Republicans have for months refused to grant funding for Ukraine and Israel until security at the southern border was tightened. The negotiated package would include military aid for those two countries and Taiwan, plus humanitarian assistance for Palestinians.

Trump wants the border mess to continue so he can campaign on it. But while some brave Republicans are defying the ex-president for the good of the country, Trump continues to emasculate less courageous members of his party.

House Speaker Mike Johnson jumped at his orders, saying the proposal is "dead on arrival," though the bill was yet to be released. He also wrote in a letter to House Republicans that "public opinion polls show the country has overwhelmingly sided with us on this issue."

Well, that may have been true until last week, when Republicans seemed interested in restoring stability at the border. How things have changed.

If Republican lawmakers do kill the deal, the slim Republican House majority could soon turn into a Democratic majority. Trump has a proven record of helping Republicans lose elections.

No amount of demagoguery can cover what they're doing. The public is too highly engaged on this issue to not see the extraordinary game Trump is playing and the weakness of the Republican lawmakers. And, as it happens, Biden is better at politics than he is.

It looks as though Trump has three wishes come November. The first, already stated, is that the U.S. economy collapses. That's quite unlikely at this time of cooled inflation, full employment, and record stock prices.

The second wish, obviously, is for massive disorder at the border. That he would so openly call for developments that would hurt America is a wonder to behold. What Trump's third demonic wish will be remains to be revealed — perhaps the collapse of Ukraine as a carefully wrapped gift to Vladimir Putin.

As for immigration, America ultimately needs a fine-tuned program that recognizes the need for new workers — how many and with what skills — all the while protecting the pay and benefits of the native-born and immigrants here legally. But first the border must be secured.

Biden vows to do that if the political opposition doesn't stop him. The political opposition is throwing away one of its most potent issues. Republicans have turned themselves into the party of open borders.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

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