Joe Biden’s border chief has a deal for the GOP: He will carefully cap illegal migration at one million a year if the GOP approves $61 billion for war in Ukraine, according to press reports.
The offer would double pre-2021 immigration numbers, but it is a “good faith offer,” said one of the four GOP negotiators told reporters.
“We’re at 11,000” illegal migrants per day or roughly 4 million migrants in a year, Sen. Thom Tillis told CBS on December 13, adding:
We’ve seen what the White House has sent over … We’ve got to get somewhere closer to … 2,000 [migrants] a day [or 700,000 a year], and let’s figure out how we get it done. But I think I’m going take it as a good faith offer, which is why I think we have to act in good faith and stay here [in Washington] until we get it negotiated.
Tillis is a long-standing supporter of the federal migration programs that deliver cheap labor to investors and companies.
He was picked by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to help negotiate a deal that would curb Biden’s mass migration in exchange for $14 billion to help quietly move migrants into American housing and jobs — plus roughly $61 billion for the war in Ukraine.
Tillis confirming @camiloreports re: WH concessions
“We’ve seen now what the WH has sent over.”
“I like the idea of having something like title 42”
Asked whether a deal was possible in the next 48 hours:
“In principle yes, in specifics no.” pic.twitter.com/1prF9sQyFi
— Alan He (@alanhe) December 13, 2023
But it is “not remotely possible” to get a deal done by Christmas, countered Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
“They’re using this to try to put something together — I’m not going take the bait,” Graham told PunchBowl News on December 14. Graham is another one of the four GOP negotiators and he is taking an unexpectedly pro-American stance in the talks.
The Washington Post reported on December 13:
After weeks of flagging negotiations, the White House has floated a proposal to allow border officials to expel migrants without asylum screenings on days when border crossings are particularly high, senators and aides said.
Key details remain to be fleshed out, including the number of migrant crossings that would trigger that new power. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who has been involved in the negotiations, said Wednesday that he believed the authority should kick in on days when crossings reach 3,000 or less, while some Democrats prefer a higher number of 5,000 crossings or more before agents can turn away migrants.
President Joe Biden is not part of the talks, despite GOP pleading.
Instead, the Biden deputy who organized and funded the migrant flood is leading the talks, according to the Post:
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has been a lead negotiator for the administration for weeks. White House Deputy Chief of Staff Natalie Quillian and Shuwanza Goff, director of the White House office of legislative affairs, joined the talks in a more substantive way this week, lending them momentum.
GOP House legislators are not part of the talks, even though they have refused to fund the Ukraine war until the White House agrees to their H.R. 2 border stabilization bill.
Mayorkas is also offering GOP Senators to expand the reach of the fast-track “Expedited Removal” process and to detain new arrivals. But these powers are already in the law, and Mayorkas has long ignored both because he is a pro-migration zealot.
The offer to cap the daily inflow of migrants is being portrayed as a souped-up Title 42 process established during the coronavirus crash. When Mayorkas was confirmed in 2021, he immediately reduced enforcement of Title 42 at the border, so allowing many more migrants into U.S. communities.
Since then, Mayorkas worked hard to maximize the government-managed flow of migrants into the United States, despite the huge economic damage to ordinary Americans. He has repeatedly stated that he sympathizes with migrants, not the Americans who want their border laws to be enforced.
“I am, to a great extent, aligned with the expectations” of the immigrant community, the Cuban-born Mayorkas told an elite audience at the Aspen Institute on July 19. He has also lamented his limited ability to supply U.S. employers with cheaper foreign workers. “Regrettably, our legal immigration system is not designed to meet the needs of employers here in the United States,” he said in March 2023.
Yet establishment media outlets are portraying Mayorkas’ offer as “harsh” or a “pretty major concession” — even though they would do nothing to stop the millions of migrants who walk over Mayorkas’ loopholes in the border.
The loopholes include Mayorkas’ multiple parole pipelines, his asylum loopholes, and his tacit support for “gotaway” migrants who sneak past the unfinished border war and over the unguarded portions of the wall.
“Republicans are not so much being asked to compromise as to conspire in Biden’s lawbreaking,” responded Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor. In an article for National Review, he wrote:
Not petty lawbreaking but rather a betrayal of the core security duties of the presidency that is destroying the social welfare and law-enforcement capabilities of America’s border states and major cities. Given how boiling angry much of the country is over this issue, I don’t understand why Republicans aren’t driving a much harder bargain.
The four GOP Senators in the talks reportedly include Tillis, Graham, Tom Cotton (R-AR), and James Lankford (R-OK).
The only GOP Senator with mainstream views about migration is Cotton. The other three Senators are deemed “moderates” in D.C. because they favor the long-standing federal policy of allowing companies to hire cheap foreign migrants instead of paying market wages to American citizens.
Tillis, for example, recently told reporters that he wants to preserve Mayorkas’ quasi-legal policy of annually awarding two-year parole visas and work permits to roughly 350,000 migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
The policy is slated to add roughly 700,000 wage-cutting, rent-boosting foreign workers to the U.S. labor market. It operates alongside the H-2A and H-2B visa programs which annually bring in more than 300,000 foreign workers for a wide variety of jobs across the nation.
But Graham — the founding member of the 2013 “Gang of Eight” amnesty — is taking a surprisingly pro-American stance in 2023.
“I will not go back to South Carolina and try to explain why I helped Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel and did nothing to secure our own border,” Graham told reporters last week. “I will help all of our allies, but we’ve got to help ourselves first,” he added.
That centrist position has been adopted by many other GOP Senators.
For the moment, Graham is shutting down Mayorkas’ offer and is rejecting the vote scheduled for next week by the Democrats’ pro-migration Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
“Another show vote on the supplemental —with inadequate or nonexistent border security measures — does not move the ball,” Graham told Punchbowl News. “I’m looking for outcomes, not timelines,” he said, adding, “There’s no legislative text.”