Republicans’ Historical Pattern of Abandoning Bipartisan Immigration Deals

In a familiar pattern, a bipartisan immigration deal collapsed in the Senate this week as Republicans, swayed by former President Donald Trump’s influence, chose to thwart it. This breakdown mirrors a longstanding trend in immigration politics where bipartisan compromises, struck by both Republicans and Democrats, unravel when they come to fruition. Agreements were reached in 2006, 2013, and 2018, encompassing citizenship pathways for undocumented immigrants and border security. However, each time, Republicans retreated, decrying “amnesty” for illegal aliens.

The recent deal altered the narrative, offering Republicans enhanced border security without committing to a pathway to citizenship. Instead, they proposed a military aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Despite Republicans negotiating the deal, they promptly distanced themselves from it.

Jorge Loweree, Managing Director of Programs and Strategy at the American Immigration Council, suggests that advocating for stricter immigration policies and exploiting fears, is politically expedient. This tactic contrasts with demanding a fairer process for non-U.S. citizens.
The historical backdrop includes Senate-approved bills in 2006 and 2013, which stalled in a Republican-controlled House. In 2018, a bipartisan agreement emerged but faltered after Trump’s unexpected negative statement, revealing the complex dynamics.

The proposed immigration plan this week leaned more towards Republicans, omitting typical pathways to citizenship. While speeding up asylum claims, it made deportation easier and introduced emergency authority for summary deportations.

The bill’s central Democratic prize was financial aid for Ukraine, a point of contention for far-right Republicans. Despite progressive opposition, the conservative U.S. Border Patrol union endorsed it. Trump, however, lobbied senators to abandon the deal, aiming to deny Biden a victory.
Republicans, opposed to the bill, falsely claimed it offered “amnesty.” Ultimately, the Ukraine border bill faced a filibuster and failed this week.
The influence of Trump over Republicans, coupled with the politics of immigration, has hindered compromise. Despite claims of institutional challenges, critics argue that Republicans’ loyalty to Trump has been the primary factor.

As the immigration landscape changes, marked by a record influx of migrants at the southern border in 2023, Republicans’ stance remains rigid. Sen. Marco Rubio points to a massive migration event, emphasizing the need for border provisions.

After the bill’s demise, the Senate considers foreign aid separately. Republicans, now seeking to reintroduce border provisions, face a strategic challenge as Democrats leverage the failed bipartisan bill in their favor.

As the issue becomes more complex, Democrats find an opportunity to shift the narrative and highlight Republicans’ refusal to engage in bipartisan solutions, potentially influencing the upcoming elections.

Source: MSN