Yesterday I explained why the pending border bill drawn up by Nancy Pelosi’s House Democrats should be considered dead on arrival. It’s true that the Senate is working on their own version (and who knows if they could actually resolve the two by the end of the week), but that one is lacking in many areas as well. Now it sounds as if the President has had a chance to take a look and he’s equally disappointed in what’s being cooked up. Word out of the White House has it that Trump is already threatening to veto it if they manage to put it on his desk. (Associated Press)
The White House is threatening to veto a $4.5 billion House bill aimed at improving the treatment of migrant families detained after crossing the U.S. southern border, saying the measure would hamstring the administration’s border security efforts and raising fresh questions about the legislation’s fate…
In a letter Monday threatening the veto, White House officials told lawmakers they objected that the House package lacked money for beds the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency needs to let it detain more migrants. Officials also complained in the letter that the bill had no money to toughen border security, including funds for building Trump’s proposed border wall.
“Because this bill does not provide adequate funding to meet the current crisis, and because it contains partisan provisions designed to hamstring the Administration’s border enforcement efforts, the Administration opposes its passage,” the letter said.
Not mentioned in the letter from the White House is the poison pill buried in the House bill that instructs the government to advertise to all migrants that if they bring a child with them (even if they are lying and trafficking somebody else’s child) they will be immune from immigration enforcement action. That’s hardly the only rotten thing in this bill, but it’s one of the worst. We would be essentially codifying a very bad loophole into law.
As far as all the spending goes, this is yet another case of the Democrats “offering” everything they want but being willing to put “not one cent” (as Pelosi likes to say) on the table for any Republican concerns in return. All of the measures in the bill are focused on improving conditions for illegal aliens crossing the border and being detained. No problem there, since conditions clearly need improvement. But what are we supposed to do? It sounds as if we’re being told to just fund all of the Democrats’ priorities now and maybe they’ll get around to providing more immigration judges, additional CBP officers and funding for wall construction later.
Sorry, but we’ve played far too many games of Lucy and the football with Democrats before. There is no pool of goodwill left at this point to place that sort of trust in them. If they want a deal, the President has been very clear in terms of what he’s asking for, and none of it is unreasonable. The Democrats used to be very big on talking about a “comprehensive immigration bill.” Well, this particular exchange can be made comprehensive as well. We’ve seen what Pelosi wants and the GOP (and Trump) are close to being ready to give it to her. Now put border security measures in there to balance it out and you’ll have a deal.
And if the Speaker wants to stick to her “my way or the highway” routine on this one, I say fine. Hit the highway and go take your Independence Day break. Perhaps cooler heads will prevail when you return.