01.26.2024 0

Congress mulls border deal while Biden undermines Texas’ sovereignty in Mexican standoff on southern border

By Robert Romano

Amid the backdrop of Texas’ decision to continue deploying the Texas National Guard to secure the southern border with razor wire, specific to Eagle Pass crossing of the Rio Grande at Shelby Park, following a Supreme Court ruling on Jan. 22 that lifted an injunction on the Border Patrol by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to remove the razor wire, Congress is presently considering legislation that would reportedly address the chaotic situation on the southern border — by making it worse.

On X.com (formerly Twitter) on Jan. 25, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) described the legislation in the works as normalizing the current, unabated flow of illegal immigrants, stating, “This border bill is not designed to fix the problem. It normalizes 5,000 people a day coming in—that’s over 1.8 million a year. That’s called an invasion.”

Although the legislation’s provisions have not been made public, if true, that’s a non-starter for the U.S. House of Representatives, with Cruz stating, “This has 0 chance of passing the House,” linking to a Fox News report entitled “Senate border bill to allow 5,000 migrants a day before Title 42-type limit starts.”

The legislation would create a Title 42-like authority to refuse entry into the country but only if entries exceeded 5,000 a day, according Fox News’ Adam Shaw: “A border proposal still being hammered out by Senate negotiators would include a Title 42-type authority that would only be mandated if numbers at the southern border exceeded 5,000 migrant encounters a day…”

Additionally, reports Shaw, “Linked to that would be a Title 42-style expulsion authority to quickly remove migrants at the border similar to the COVID-19-era authority. Multiple sources said that the use of that authority would be mandated only if there was a 7-day rolling average of above 5,000 encounters a day. Daily encounters between 4,000 and 5,000 would allow for discretionary expulsions, and any single day where there were over 8,000 encounters, expulsions would be mandated even if the 7-day average was lower. Those expulsions would also be exempted from judicial review.”

Currently, there have been more than 6.3 million southern border encounters since President Joe Biden took office in Jan. 2021, according to the U.S. Border Patrol, the most ever.

All this would be linked to a $100 billion supplemental of foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel, of which a mere $14 billion would reportedly go to the border, per Shaw: “The Biden administration is seeking over $100 billion in funding, including $14 billion for the border. But Republicans have demanded limits on migrant releases into the interior, including the use of parole, and negotiators have been attempting to find a compromise.”

So, what began as a negotiating point, that if the Biden administration wanted to send more money to Ukraine and Israel, there should be additional border security has morphed into, if there’s going to be more border security then there must be additional allowances for mass illegal immigration. It’s a poison pill.

In the meantime, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has declared the Senate deal dead on arrival in the House, stating on X.com on Jan. 13, “Absolutely not.”

At press conference on Jan. 24, Sen. Cruz called it a “stinking pile of crap.”

So, there might not be much happening in the way of a national resolution to the crisis on the southern border via Congress, putting the ball back in Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R-Texas) court, who remains on a tour of India.

On Jan. 24, Abbott issued a statement declaring to mass illegal immigration an “invasion,” saying, “The failure of the Biden Administration to fulfill the duties imposed by Article IV, § 4 has triggered Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which reserves to this State the right of self-defense. For these reasons, I have already declared an invasion under Article I, § 10, Clause 3 to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself.”

This prompted the Biden administration to give Texas until Jan. 26 to let the Border Patrol remove the razor wire as tensions have mounted, with some calls by Democrats for President Joe Biden to federalize the Texas National Guard and the Republican Governors Association issuing a statement on Jan. 25 in solidarity with Abbott, who may be teeing up an appeal to the Supreme Court for Texas to be able to secure their own border if Washington, D.C. won’t do it.

Given that context, any hopes for a deal on the border in Congress may have just faded away in the sands of the Mexican standoff on the southern border. Stay tuned.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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