Border balances

To the Journal editor:

The migration bottleneck at the southern border centers on those seeking asylum, a legal method of entry into the United States.

Unlike refugees, asylum seekers must first be on U.S. soil or port of entry in order to request asylum. After one year of being granted asylum, an immigrant can apply for permanent residency (uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-and-asylum).

The president sets the maximum number of refugees allowed into the country. In contrast, the number of immigrants that can request and be granted asylum is, by law, unlimited (americanbar.org/news legalities of asylum).

Immigrants who avoid ports of entry and cross into the U.S., whether on the northern shore of the Rio Grande or on the northern border of Minnesota, can still legally request and gain asylum. In 2022, asylum was granted to 25,519 migrants (dhs.gov Refugees and Asylees Annual Flow Report).

Republicans claim that it would be easier to secure the border if they had a Republican president (thehill.com 4412413). In contradiction, during Trump’s first two years in office, while Republicans held a majority in the Senate and House, they chose to do nothing on immigration reform.

Instead, Trump added roughly 400 miles of wall to the 1,900 mile long southern border at a cost of $15 billion. The wall was breached over 4,000 times in 2022 alone (cato.org border wall breach).

In 2023, there were 189,402 asylum seekers at our northern border with Canada (nbcnews.com rcna126329). Will Republicans spend over $100 billion to wall in the 5,525 mile long northern border? They could demand that Canadians pay for it.

A bipartisan immigration deal was recently reached in the Senate (committee) and backed by President Biden, who proposed adding $20 billion for border security. Trump, who holds no political office, denounced the accomplishment.

Most Republican legislators then execute a 180 degree turn and fell in line with their nefarious golden calf, placing more value on having an immigration problem rather than improving upon it.

“He (Trump) doesn’t want us to solve the border problem because he wants to blame Biden for it,” said Republican U.S. Sen. Romney (thehill.com 4429211 Jan. 25).

Immigration law can be adjusted by Congress to better handle recent trends. We must first, however, remove those Republican obstructionists who rather place party politics, again, over doing their jobs, finding common ground and accomplishing something that best serves the American people.


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