GOP Senators Shut Down Immigration Deal Until Border Crisis Is Solved

"Illegal aliens apprehended by Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents" (United States government work) by U.S. Customs and Border Protection

On Friday, Republican senators indicated that discussions about possible immigration deals to illegal immigrants would be off the table until the Biden administration resolves the ongoing crisis at the southern border.

GOP Senators indicated that the topic related to giving illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship would not be discussed until the crisis at the southern border is addressed.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa asked, “How can you pass an immigration bill when you have an open border?” He continued, “if they want to accomplish anything on immigration and I want to help them, it would be securing the border.”

Grassley also added, “You’ve got to stop the bleeding before you can take care of the problem.”

Grassley is one of the Republican Senators who made a trip to the south Texas border. He is also one of the lawmakers in the White House who showed the real picture of what is happening at the border and expressed the horror of the mounting crisis. 

Meanwhile, the Biden administration and Senate Democrats have been considering pushing the proposal of an eight-year pathway to citizenship for all illegal immigrants in the country. This is in connection with the broad immigration proposal that the Biden administration is currently looking at. 

At present, said the proposal would need the support of at least 10 Republicans for it to be passed from the Senate. 

However, Republicans have blamed the Biden administration for reversing Trump-era policies that deter migrants from storming the U.S. borders. Republicans have also refused to support the package introduced in the Senate, the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021.

With the spiraling crisis at the borders, even those Republicans who are labeled as the most open to immigration reform packages are pouring cold water on its changes as the influx of migrants at the border is still rising dramatically.

Graham said on Friday, “I’ve voted for every comprehensive immigration bill that ever came out of the U.S. Senate. It is impossible for me to sit down with Dick Durbin and negotiate any solution to people already here because if you legalize one person until you’ve fixed this problem, you’re going to have a human tsunami.”

He added, “If you want to talk about immigration reform, we’re prepared to, we have a crisis at the border. We have to understand, again, listening to what the folks on the ground are telling us and making sure that we have policies to secure this border.”

Graham continued, “You cannot possibly have a credible immigration reform proposal in Congress until you fix this crisis down here.”

However, Democrats seem to be on track to go ahead and pass two smaller immigration bills. First, bills to grant DACA recipients and second, illegal immigrant farmworkers pathways to citizenship recently passed the House. Neither bill would seem likely to pass the Senate with the crisis ongoing.

On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of senators met to discuss the possible legislative solution to reform the country’s immigration system. The meeting was held one day before the first press conference of Biden, where he was repeatedly asked about the influx of migrants at the border.