“The Cato Institute’s David Bier noted in a blog post earlier this month that the Biden administration has deported a higher share of border crossers than the Trump administration. Trump’s increased detention of migrants did not result in more removals.”
“Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma spoke on Wednesday about the political challenges he’s encountered while serving as the top GOP negotiator on a bipartisan border security deal.
In a speech shortly before the expected failure of the deal, Lankford bemoaned the fact that some fellow Republicans were objecting to the bill for purely political reasons.
“Some of them have been very clear with me,” Lankford said of his GOP colleagues, “they have political differences with the bill. They say it’s the wrong time to solve the problem. We’ll let the presidential election solve this problem.”
Lankford went on to say that a “popular commentator” — without naming any names — threatened to “destroy” him if he negotiated the deal during a presidential election year, regardless of what was in it.
“I will do whatever I can to destroy you, because I do not want you to solve this during the presidential election,” Lankford recounted the commentator saying.
“By the way, they have been faithful to their promise, and have done everything they can to destroy me,” he added.”
“The governors and Abbott claim that states have a “right of self-defense” under Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution (which guarantees that the federal government will “protect each [state] against Invasion”) and Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 (which allows states to “engage in War” if “actually invaded,” which Abbott says gives Texas the “constitutional authority to defend and protect itself”).
This argument misunderstands the long-established legal and practical definitions of an “invasion.” It also misconstrues the nature of unauthorized migration.
James Madison and other drafters of the Constitution, Abbott argued, “foresaw that States should not be left to the mercy of a lawless president who does nothing to stop external threats like cartels smuggling millions of illegal immigrants across the border.” But “those who cite Madison in support of equating immigration and invasion ignore the one time he directly addressed this very question,” writes the George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy, a group blog hosted by Reason. Madison did so in “the Report of 1800, which rebutted claims that the Alien Friends Act of 1798 (which gave the president broad power to expel non-citizens) was authorized by the Invasion Clause.”
“Invasion is an operation of war,” declared Madison. “To protect against invasion is an exercise of the power of war. A power therefore not incident to war, cannot be incident to a particular modification of war. And as the removal of alien friends has appeared to be no incident to a general state of war, it cannot be incident to a partial state, or a particular modification of war.”
“Every court that has reviewed the question” of what qualifies as an invasion has interpreted it as “an ‘armed hostility from another political entity,'” wrote the Cato Institute’s David J. Bier for Reason in 2021. In 1996, California made the same argument as Abbott, saying that the federal government had failed to protect it against an “invasion” of “illegal aliens.” But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rejected that: “Even if the issue were properly within the Court’s constitutional responsibility, there are no manageable standards to ascertain whether or when an influx of illegal immigrants should be said to constitute an invasion.” Besides, the 9th Circuit said, California ignored Madison’s conclusion in Federalist No. 43 that the Invasion Clause affords “protection in situations wherein a state is exposed to armed hostility from another political entity.”
This is where Abbott runs into another issue: Undocumented immigrants bear little resemblance to an invading foreign army. Despite the constant invocations of “military-age” men crossing the border (the fearmonger’s favorite way of saying “young men”), there has also been a historic influx of migrant families. Large groups of border crossers marching through the Sonoran Desert or trudging across the Rio Grande may make good footage for media outlets intent on fearmongering, but the overwhelming majority are coming here for economic or humanitarian reasons, not to commit crimes or sow chaos.”
“By and large, people are happy to go through the legal immigration process if the steps are clear and accessible—but right now, they tend not to be. It’s up to Congress to pass immigration reforms that recognize these realities. Abbott’s misrepresentation of the Constitution does nothing to help.”
“Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Thursday took aim at former President Trump for pushing Republican lawmakers to oppose a border deal so that he could use the issue to campaign against President Biden in the 2024 presidential election.
Romney told CNN’s Manu Raju he thought it was “really appalling” that Trump would try to prevent progress on addressing the surge in migration at the southern border.
“I think the border is a very important issue for Donald Trump,” Romney said. “And the fact that he would communicate to Republican senators and congresspeople that he doesn’t want us to solve the border problem because he wants to blame Biden for it is really appalling.”
“But the reality is that we have a crisis at the border, the American people are suffering as a result of what’s happening at the border, and someone running for president ought to try to get the problem solved as opposed to saying, ‘Hey, save that problem. Don’t solve it. Let me take credit for solving it later,’” Romney continued.”
““If someone is running for president and is trying to actively undermine governance, that’s bad,” Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., told USA TODAY. “Is it really better to have 10,000 people crossing a day illegally or 5,000? Clearly it’s 5,000. So somebody who is trying to defeat legislation, all in the name of running for office? That is irresponsible.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., acknowledged the new political challenges of linking Ukraine aid to border policy in the closed-door meeting Wednesday, according to reporting by Punchbowl. “We don’t want to do anything to undermine” Trump, McConnell reportedly said. “We’re in a quandary.””
“”Examining 100 years of Border Patrol apprehensions data finds none of the three U.S. periods with a significant decline in illegal immigration were due to enforcement policy,” found a May National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) report. Most recently, after the Biden administration introduced targeted sponsorship programs to benefit Venezuelans and nationals of three other countries, encounters with those groups fell by 95 percent between December 2022 and March 2023, according to NFAP. The Cato Institute, parsing data from Customs and Border Protection and other sources, found that ending the pandemic-era Title 42 order—which allowed federal immigration agents to immediately expel migrants—halved “successful covert illegal immigration.””
“If none of that is convincing, take it from federal immigration officials. “It would break the border,” one Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official told NBC News. A former DHS official warned that by mandating the detention of all border crossers, facilities might run out of space, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement might hypothetically “have to detain families instead of detaining a single adult male accused of rape.””
“It’s hardline measures and a lack of workable legal pathways—not the president’s “open border policies,” as many critics charge—that have made the border unmanageable. If lawmakers are serious about reducing pressures at the border, they should look to proven methods, such as expanding guest worker programs and private sponsorship schemes.
As the border discussions stand, these ideas aren’t on the table. Instead, decision makers in Washington have proven all too willing to embrace what could be long-lasting—and what would certainly be costly, inhumane, and ineffective—changes to the immigration system.”
“what didn’t happen to the labor market is one of the biggest lessons from the boatlift. It “had virtually no effect on the wage rates of less-skilled non-Cuban workers,” Card found, and virtually none on their unemployment rates either. “Rather, the data analysis suggests a remarkably rapid absorption of the Mariel immigrants into the Miami labor force.”
There’s a broad reason for this: The economy isn’t a fixed pie. As immigrants begin to consume in a new place, jobs will arise to address the increased demand. There’s a Florida-specific reason, too: “In the two decades before the Mariel Boatlift Miami had absorbed a continuing flow of Cubans, and in the years since the Boatlift it has continued to receive large numbers of Nicaraguans and other Central Americans,” wrote Card. “Thus, the Mariel immigration can be seen as part of a long-run pattern that distinguishes Miami from most other American cities.”
The Marielitos integrated into their new communities, founded businesses, and transformed local economies. The “long-run pattern” of welcoming that Card identified has continued not just in Miami, where 58.1 percent of residents are foreign-born, but across Florida. Immigrants have become a major force in the state. More than one in five residents is an immigrant; per 2022 data from the Florida Policy Institute, 77 percent of immigrant Floridians have been in the state for a decade or more.
Florida’s population growth has outpaced the national growth rate every year since the 2000s, and it became the country’s fastest-growing state in 2022, largely fueled by domestic and international migration. Its economic growth has also outpaced that of the U.S., with real gross domestic product growth coming in at 91.3 percent over 1997–2022, compared to the national rate of 73.6 percent.
It’s no coincidence that Florida’s economy has boomed as its population has grown. But now Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and other immigration restrictionists are embracing policies that aim to keep foreign migrants out, even as they hail the economic growth that newcomers have helped create. If they succeed in shutting the state’s doors, they could very well stifle the force that has powered so much of Florida’s success.”
“Abbott..signed another bill into law…Senate Bill 3 devotes $1.54 billion in taxpayer funds to the continued construction of the border wall—which comes in addition to the $1.5 billion worth of contracts the state has already devoted to building about 40 miles of wall in the last two years—and shells out some $40 million in funds for state troopers to patrol hotspots where illegal immigrants are likely to be.”