‘The Border Never Closes’: Hot Takes Deliver Cool Reception Of Bipartisan Senate Bill
Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, talks with reporters after Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., attended the Republican senate luncheon in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, November 1, 2023.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Within the first couple hours of the Sunday release of a Senate bill coupling border security reforms with aid for U.S. allies, such as Ukraine and Israel, critics quickly began to highlight the words of one of the legislation’s architects as a reason to reject the 370-page measure while Republicans leaders in the House warned it would be “dead on arrival.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), a negotiator for Democrats, posted a thread to X sharing a list of “key elements” of the compromise that came out of a months long effort that sought to answer the call of President Joe Biden’s roughly $106 billion national security supplemental request and satisfy a Republican push for an overhaul of the immigration system that people in both major parties acknowledge needs to be shaken up.

One post in the thread, featuring Murphy’s fifth point out of 10, said, “A requirement the President to funnel asylum claims to the land ports of entry when more than 5,000 people cross a day. The border never closes, but claims must be processed at the ports.” It adds, “This allows for a more a more orderly, humane asylum processing system.”

The phrase “The border never closes” quickly began to take hold among the $118 billion package’s early detractors on the GOP side of the Senate, which has 49 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and three independents. One of the independents, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), helped put together the bill.

“‘The border never closes’ is a good summary of this bill, and of Joe Biden’s policy,” said Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH).  “I can understand why Chris Murphy supports it. I cannot imagine why any Republican supports this atrocious proposal.” Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) also highlights the post, saying, “THE BORDER NEVER CLOSES. The words of bill author [Sen. Chris Murphy] … Again — this is not a border security bill.”

The lawmaker who has spearheaded the talks for the Republicans, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), released a three-page summary that broke down the various provisions for border security enshrined in the legislation. According to the document, the bill deconstructs the “catch-and-release fiasco,” imposes “immediate” consequences for illegal crossings, provides $650 million to build and reinforce miles of border wall, and change up the asylum system.

Lankford also took to X to push back on of criticism about previously leaked section concerning 5,000 migrants, which some naysayers, including Donald Trump Jr. and Arizona Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake, equated to “mass amnesty” and allows up to 1.8 million to 2 million illegal immigrants into the country a year.

“The Border Emergency Authority has been the most misunderstood or maybe just misrepresented parts of the bill. Some people have said it would mean 5,000 people a day are coming into the country every day. That is absurd and untrue,” Lankford said.

“The emergency authority is not designed to let 5,000 people in, it is designed to close the border and turn 5,000 people around,” he added. “The Border Emergency Authority only lasts 3 yrs to force this Admin to shut down the border & to give time for the next POTUS to hire more agents & more officers. After three years, the emergency authority expires because we should have regained full control of our border by then.”

Democrat and Republican leadership in the Senate voiced support for the legislation, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who said the measure “has direct and immediate solutions to the crisis at our southern border” and called on the Senate “carefully consider the opportunity in front of us and prepare to act.”

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) indicated he plans to act quickly on the bill, saying he will take the “first procedural step” on Monday to get it passed in the Senate and have the first vote scheduled for Wednesday. Sixty votes will be needed for the legislation to make headway, a threshold detractors hope to keep from breaking.

Whether the bill, which also has support from the Biden administration, manages to make it through the Senate, the compromise’s supporters already face a hurdle among Republicans in command of the House who vowed on Sunday that the legislation will not pass, let alone get a vote in the chamber, while some vouched for the border security bill they passed last year that Schumer has refused to bring up for consideration.

“I’ve seen enough. This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created,” said House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA). “As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, ‘the border never closes.’ If this bill reaches the House, it will be dead on arrival.”

The compromise bill is slated to be considered in the Senate this week as the House aims to tackle a “clean, standalone” bill to send more aid to Israel and potentially vote on articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who helped devise the Senate legislation, for his handling of the border crisis.

Former President Donald Trump, who is the GOP frontrunner as he campaigns for a second term in the White House, has said on Truth Social he opposed the Senate deal “unless we get EVERYTHING needed to shut down the INVASION.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘The Border Never Closes’: Hot Takes Deliver Cool Reception Of Bipartisan Senate Bill