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Some Democrats Running Away from Biden Border Policies

Some Democrats distancing themselves from Biden policies in campaign ads.
Border Patrol agents conduct pat downs of migrants who crossed the southern U.S. border illegally. U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border Patrol agents conduct pat downs of migrants who crossed the southern U.S. border illegally. U.S. Customs and Border Protection

By: Bethany Blankley | The Center Square

Earlier this month, news reports suggested Democrats were preparing to launch an “aggressive new immigration strategy” ahead of the election, The Center Square reported.

Included in the strategy was an attempt to pass a so-called bipartisan border security bill advanced last week by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, which failed.

Within a few months of the November election, some Democrats are distancing themselves from President Joe Biden’s border policies even as he is expected to advance an executive action next month on the border.

Six Senate Democrats and independents joined Republicans to block the so-called Senate border security bill last week in a 50-43 vote. The vote was procedural to allow the bill to be heard.

Joining Republicans opposing the motion were Democratic Sens. Corey Booker (NJ); Alex Padilla and Laphonza Butler (Calif.); Ed Markey (Mass.); and independent Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), and Bernie Sanders (Vermont). Three Democrats also didn’t vote: Sens. Joe Manchin (W.V.); Bob Menendez (NJ); and Elizabeth Warren (MA).

Two of the bill’s sponsors who previously championed it, Sens. James Lankford (Okla.), and Sinema, voted against the motion.

Sinema said both sides were blaming each other and playing “political theater.” When they first tried to bring the bill up for consideration and her Republican colleagues opposed it, Sinema said they were “all talk and no action.” After Schumer tried to get the measure through, she said her Democratic colleagues chose “more political theater instead of real efforts to solve this crisis. All talk and no action goes both ways.” The failed vote was a “show vote,” she said, “to point the finger back at the other party.”

Schumer also blamed Republicans for the border crisis, saying on X, "It’s been 106 days since Donald Trump and the Republicans blocked the strongest, most comprehensive border security bill in a generation. And they still don’t have any plan except exploiting the border for Trump’s political gain.”

President Joe Biden said, “Congressional Republicans do not care about securing the border or fixing America’s broken immigration system. If they did, they would have voted for the toughest border enforcement in history,” referring to the Senate bill.

Despite the claims made by the president, Lankford, Sinema, and many others, the Senate bill largely does the opposite of what they claim, The Center Square reported. The bill wouldn’t cap illegal border entries to 5,000 a day; would codify and expand the Biden administration policies over which at least 25 state attorneys general have sued; amend federal law to expand illegal entry, which incentivizes “fraud families,” human smuggling and other crimes, officials have explained. Texas officials have also pointed to how it would codify mass migration and nullify state sovereignty.

With more than 11 million border crossers and escalating crime associated with them rising since January 2021, the border crisis remains one of the top issues for voters ahead of the November election.

Poll after poll shows it’s a top concern among voters, “on which the Democrats try hardest to distance themselves from their own party,” and “a major Biden weakness,” The New York Times reports. Still, the president is preparing to issue executive action on the border, which he could sign as early as next month, Politico reported.

Several reports also have pointed to some Senate Democrats running for reelection who are distancing themselves from Biden’s border policies.

In one race, U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nevada, says in a political ad that she promised “to do what is right for Nevada, not my party leaders. I won’t walk the party line and I never have.” She cites examples of standing up to the Democratic Party “to support police officers and get more funding for border security.”

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, distances him from Biden in a political ad, saying, “Jon Tester worked with Republicans, fighting to shut down the border … and he fought to stop President Biden from letting migrants stay in America."

Senate Republicans have warned about increased terrorist threats due to Biden administration policies, arguing they hope voters will hold their Democratic colleagues responsible in November, The Center Square reported.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also has placed the blame for the border crisis on the president. "President Biden inherited the most secure border with the lowest illegal immigration since last century,” he maintains. “With the stroke of a pen, he proudly ended those secure border policies and opened the border to more than 11 million illegal immigrants from more than 150 different countries – including known terrorists, murderers, and rapists.”

Instead of securing the border, he is also trying to stop Texas from securing it, Abbott says.

“President Biden attacks Texas for simply doing what Congress compelled him to do,” he said, referring to ongoing lawsuits with the administration over enforcing existing law.

“Texas is building a border wall, installing hundreds of miles of razor wire and buoy barriers, and deploying thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and Department of Public Safety troopers [to the border]. Operation Lone Star is working, and President Biden would do well to follow our lead, or get out of the way.”

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