Fund the Wall before Any Other Immigration Legislation

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Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate have suddenly found the time and energy to pass a quick legislative fix to end the practice of separating parents from children when they cross illegally into the country – but they apparently do not plan to act on any real illegal immigration fixes, such as funding the border wall.

According to reporting by The Washington Examiner’s Susan Ferrechio, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, is working with other GOP senators on a bill that would allow families who enter the country illegally to remain together at immigration facilities at the border as they await adjudication. The Trump administration has said a court decision requires family separation as adults are prosecuted.

Cornyn’s bill would eliminate that requirement, and speed up court hearings for people seeking admission into the country, which can take months.

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“The answer to this current situation is a solution that allows us to both enforce the law and keep families together,” Cornyn said Tuesday. “They don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has said he talked to Trump about the idea, and said it could move as quickly as this week.

“It could be an amendment on a spending bill this week. It could be a standalone bill,” Cotton said.

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., told reporters he wants to pass a bill with Democratic support, which is the only way any bill could pass in the Senate.

In the House, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a close Trump ally, has authored a measure similar to Cornyn’s. The Meadows bill ensures minors who cross the border are not separated from a parent or legal guardian while in the custody of immigration officers. It would also “ensure the safe and expeditious return” of unaccompanied minors to their home countries unless they have a legitimate asylum claim.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said he also plans to introduce a bill that would expedite the review of asylum cases and double the number of immigration judges from 375 to 750 reports Ferrechio.

The rush to make life easier for illegal border-crossers is apparently a higher priority for the Republican establishment’s Capitol Hill “leadership” than fixing our broken immigration enforcement system and stopping illegal border crossing because there is still no commitment on their part to fund the border wall and pass the legislation to implement President Trump’s four pillars of immigration reform.

Indeed, as our friend Rachel Bovard reported in a recent column featured in Real Clear Policy, “Ryan has found a way to take some of the pressure off the DACA question without enacting any substantive reforms.”

Left undone, noted Ms. Bovard, are campaign pledges by President Trump and dozens of House Republicans to defund sanctuary cities, build a wall along the southern border, and strengthen immigration enforcement at the border and throughout the country.

Congress, under the “leadership” of Ryan and McConnell, has foregone key opportunities to act.

In March, Congress passed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that not only failed to address critical immigration issues, but actually prohibited Trump from building a wall.

Moreover, observed Bovard, the leadership in both the Senate and the House blocked amendments to the legislation, muting efforts by the principled members of their party (and the people they represent) to weigh in on border security, sanctuary cities, and other measures.

Our good friend Laura Ingraham had it right when she said during a segment on her show, “The Ingraham Angle”, “We can’t house kids the same way we house adult criminals, obviously, and sadly, you violate our laws, you’re running afoul of the U.S. criminal system, and criminals are separated from their children all the time.”

“As long as we have one veteran on a street tonight, we shouldn’t be spending money on illegal immigrants in the United States. I’m sorry. We’ve got to catch them and take them back to their home country,” Ingraham concluded.

If the GOP hopes to retain any shred of credibility on immigration, Capitol Hill Republicans need to keep their promises, starting with building the wall on our southern border before passing any bills to make illegal alien detention more like a summer camp than it already is.

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