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Republicans Divided Over Illegal Immigration Surge, Trump Argues For Mass Deportations

On Sunday night, a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a $118 billion bill that will fund foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel.

The deal was reached after four months of negotiations between Democratic and Republican lawmakers. If made into law, the bill will be the first major overhaul of America’s immigration system in years.

The bill toughens border restrictions, supplementing the physical barrier. It increases the number of Border Patrol agents, asylum officers, detention beds, and deportation flights. It aims to deport individuals more rapidly while also cutting red tape around work restrictions for migrants, allowing them to contribute to society.

It also allows for the US border to be closed if, on any given day, there is a surge of migrants that overwhelms border security assets.

House Republican leaders, however, say they won't support the legislation even if it passes, arguing that it doesn't go far enough. Some Republicans, such as Niki Haley, however, believe that opposition to the bill comes more from a desire not to help President Biden in an election year.


According to US Border and Customs Protection, the number of illegal immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border has increased from just under 100,000 in 2021 to around 300,000 at the beginning of this year.

Around 10 percent of those crossing the US-Mexico border are Chinese citizens seeking to escape the economic downturn and political repression in their home country. For years, Chinese immigrants immigrated to the US with a visa that allowed them to visit, work, and study.

However, as relations between China and the US have worsened, the number of visas being given out has declined sharply, from 2.2 million in 2016 to 160,000 in 2022.

Since last year, Chinese nationals have become the fastest-growing group of people crossing illegally from Mexico into the US, with 37,000 being apprehended. That’s 50 times more than two years earlier.

Many of them have been able to use apps like TikTok to discover the best routes through America's borders, as well as to find gaps in the border through which to enter the US.

According to data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, around 36,000 Chinese migrants have been ordered to leave the country. They cannot, however, go back to China, which is notorious for not taking back its citizens.

This has led former President Donald J. Trump to stoke fears that the Chinese Communist Party is deliberately orchestrating migration to the US.

Mr. Trump has also made claims that Latin American governments are sending people they don’t want to the US. When asked on “Sunday Morning Futures” about an incident involving a group of migrants attacking police officers in New York, he said: “The heads of these countries are smart. They’re not sending the people who are doing a great job and that they love into the country. They’re sending people, for the most part, that they don’t want, and they’re putting them into caravans.” He also said that he was “100 percent certain” that increased immigration would result in terrorist attacks.

Since the beginning of his 2015 campaign for president, Trump has made a series of derogatory remarks about immigrants, referring to them as "rapists.”. Last year, he caused controversy by saying that immigrants were “poisoning the blood” of the country.

In the interview, Trump also spoke approvingly of the military-style mass deportations carried out under the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s.

“He was very strong on deportation because a lot of people were coming into our country illegally, and he started a big, mass deportation,” Trump said. “He dropped them very close to the border, and they came back. Then he dropped them 2,000 miles away, and they didn’t come back.”

Such rhetoric marks a significant policy shift to the right, with critics saying that mass deportations of the kind Trump is suggesting would be expensive and impractical. With illegal migrants having the right to due process under the US Constitution, as many as 10 million cases will have to go through the courts.

To make this policy a practical reality, Trump would have to throw aside the Constitution. A policy like this could easily go the way of Trump's proposed "Muslim ban," ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Rather than pursuing a policy of mass deportations, the US government could consider giving out more visas for migrants who want to come to the US legally. This would decrease the number of illegal migrants, reducing pressure on border security infrastructure and saving money spent on accommodating them.

The net cost of illegal migrants to the US is currently estimated to be around $150.7 billion annually, according to a 2023 FAIR study. Additionally, Trump and Republican leaders could support the $118 billion bill being passed to address the issue of illegal immigration.

Niki Haley, who is running against Mr. Trump to be the Republican presidential nominee, has accused Trump of “playing politics with the border.”. Trump has strongly opposed bipartisan attempts to address the issue of illegal immigration.

“He shouldn’t be getting involved, telling Republicans to wait until the election because we don’t want this to help Biden win,” she said in a CNN interview.

In a letter to colleagues on Friday, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson said that Senate legislation to address the border would have been “dead on arrival” in the House if rumours about the contents of the draft proposal were true. Mr. Johnson instead takes the stance that restarting construction of a US-Mexico border wall is the only way to resolve the “border catastrophe.”.

The political deadlock around the issue of border security demonstrates a hyper-partisan unwillingness from some on the Republican side to work with the Democrats in addressing the illegal immigration issue.


Until both sides are willing to compromise, it is unlikely that anything will change with regards to the border.

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