WASHINGTON – It should be very evident by now that not all negotiating parties share the same goals or incentives in the ongoing Senate talks to legislate unprecedented immigration restrictions. We want to draw attention to two specific proposals that, rather than address the shared goal of alleviating pressure on the border by facilitating orderly entry through legal channels, are intentionally designed to worsen the situation at the border in 2024.
“What has become increasingly clear as part of their latest list of demands, some Senate Republicans are not only requiring a set of policies that would be the foundational tools for a second Donald Trump presidency — and a rhetorical affirmation — but they are also forcing through specific policies designed to create more chaos at the border and worse politics for Democrats in 2024,” said Todd Schulte, President of FWD.us.
Not all policies work the same. Not everyone has the same incentives in these negotiations. We want to highlight 2 specific policies that Democrats must understand that — beyond being awful policy mistakes that would harm people for decades — are a massive political trap that will make a Trump presidency more likely:
Demand #1: Effectively eliminate humanitarian immigration parole authority, a foundational tool used by every president in the last 70 years to provide relief for individuals who are fleeing danger or persecution.
Roll back Biden administration’s progress in building legal pathways that reduce chaos: The Biden administration this year used its clear parole authority to create safe parole pathways for certain countries — Ukraine, Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Venezuela — resulting in thousands of people safely entering the U.S. and being greeted by American sponsors every month. Unauthorized border crossings from these CHNV pathways have plummeted between 50%-95% for these countries — huge progress that would be undone.
Block the Biden administration from processing people via the CBPOne app at ports of entry, further pushing more people to pay cartels to help them cross the border between ports.
Eliminate other parole authorities critical to the Administration’s ability to process people without having to jail everyone, including families seeking asylum.
Demand #2: A “border shutdown trigger.” Mandating the use of a Title 42-like authority to impose a moratorium on all immigration into our country at the U.S.-Mexico border. This shutdown would be triggered by the number of encounters reported across the entire southwest border, as per press reports. Only after an undisclosed shutdown period, and if encounters decrease below some amount, would the border “open up.”
This operational approach is practically unfeasible. If the border is fully closed, individuals in desperate situations will inevitably wait. When encounters eventually drop, those who have been waiting, but previously denied, will contribute to a surge in encounters once again. This would create a system trapped in a constant boom and bust cycle, defined by looming fear and confusion, and revered by those that want to fearmonger over the border in perpetuity.
Todd Schulte concluded: “The details matter when it comes to writing the biggest immigration restrictions in either 30 or maybe 100 years in a matter of days. The operational and political challenges around forced migration are real. There are critically needed solutions. But gutting parole and turning every week into “Border Week” on the campaign trail is a lose-lose-lose. These policies will spur more chaos in 2024, increase the opportunities for demagoguery around the border, and eliminate the most critical tool for building orderly immigration channels for decades.”