‘It Isn’t Xenophobic’: Fetterman Encourages Border Security Talks
Senator John Fetterman, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, speaks during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023.
(Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) urged fellow Senate Democrats to “engage” in border security talks with Republicans as the number of migrants entering the United States soars.

The comments were published on Thursday, less than 24 hours after GOP senators blocked a $111 billion supplemental funding bill as they demanded that an immigration overhaul be coupled with the national security measure.

“I hope Democrats can understand that it isn’t xenophobic to be concerned about the border,” Fetterman told POLITICO, alluding to those who argue there is racism in the enforcement of immigration laws. “It’s a reasonable conversation, and Democrats should engage.”

Citing the nearly 270,000 encounters at the southwest border last month reported by federal officials, Fetterman said, “Honestly, it’s astonishing. And this isn’t a Fox News kind of statistic. This is the government’s.” He added, “You essentially have Pittsburgh showing up there at the border.”

Senate Democrats seek to answer President Joe Biden’s supplemental funding request — which includes money for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and even bolstering border security — but they have clashed with Republicans who insist on significant immigration reforms such as asylum limits.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who has taken charge of the negotiations for the Democrats, decried what he called “hardline demands to shut down the border” by the Republicans. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), his GOP counterpart in the talks, said, “We cannot work to secure other nations while our own border remains a massive national security risk.”

As of Thursday evening, negotiations between the parties appeared to get back on track after Republicans made a counter-offer. And Biden has signaled openness to making “significant compromises” when it comes to the border.

In the POLITICO interview, Fetterman reportedly did not state any particular concessions that he’d entertain, saying he did not want to “paint myself into a corner.” But he did reject any effort to crack down on “Dreamers” or illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children — a group that includes his wife Gisele Fetterman — and he called a border security bill that passed the GOP-led House earlier this year an “OnlyFans wish list” for Republicans.


Still, Fetterman pitched himself as “perhaps the most pro-immigration member of the Senate,” and said, “I haven’t met anyone that can have a really crisp, cogent solution or easy solution on, ‘Well, what do you do when you have roughly a city similar in size of Pittsburgh coming up to the border?'”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘It Isn’t Xenophobic’: Fetterman Encourages Border Security Talks