Newsmax Sen. Lankford: WH Isn’t Offering Enough on Border Deal

December 12, 2023
Newsmax Sen. Lankford: WH Isn’t Offering Enough on Border Deal

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Read the full article on 

Sen. James Lankford, the Republicans’ lead negotiator working on an agreement to tie border security in with funding for Ukraine, said Sunday that while President Joe Biden has signaled he’s willing to work on an agreement to stem the numbers of migrants entering the country, his administration’s plan isn’t enough.

“The problem is, the administration is trying to be able to figure out how to be able to slow down a little bit of the flow,” the Oklahoma Republican said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “We had 12,000 people, for instance, on Tuesday of this last week that crossed the border illegally. They’re trying to figure out some way to say we’ll do a few thousand less but not stop the flow.”

Biden’s initial $105 billion proposed bill combined money for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, along with a request for funds to help with security at the U.S.-Mexico border.

However, Senate Republicans are blocking the bill when it comes to funding for Ukraine unless it includes broad changes in border policy to drastically cut the number of migrants entering the country.

“This started with the Biden administration saying that we need to do a national security package that has Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan, and the border and they immediately came out and said we need more than funding,” said Lankford. “The push and pull is a political push and pull.”

But the nation is concerned about the border, as “we have had the highest number of crossings of any September ever, the highest October ever, the highest November ever. We had the highest single day this last week. It is spiraling out of control. All we’re trying to do is say what tools are needed to be able to get this back in control so we don’t have the chaos on our southern border.”

But rather than decreasing the numbers to only some, “we have to figure out how to manage asylum,” Lankford added. “Right now, people come in and say, I want to request asylum. There are so many people and the cartels know it and the smugglers know it. They can throw thousands a day. There’s no way to process that, and it’s years before they’re processed and released in the country.”

The United States must figure out how to manage capacity, but “as we’re saying we’ll screen 1,000 [for asylum] and then release everyone else into the country, the cartels know that, and everyone coming will just pay the cartels and know they will be released.”

Meanwhile, House Speaker Mike Johnson has been saying that the House will not pass a supplemental package that doesn’t include HR 2, the Republican-passed bill that makes changes to immigration law by imposing limits on asylum eligibility while requiring employers to verify employment eligibility for new workers.

But Lankford Sunday denied that Johnson is giving him a “red line” on the measure.

“The House Republicans laid out a good proposal, thorough, covered a lot of issues, had no Democrats, obviously,” said Lankford. “We’re not going to get 20-30 Democrats in the Senate or a Democrat White House to sign it.

“It doesn’t mean we sit and do nothing. We have to solve the crisis. With tens of thousands plus this last week crossing every day, half a million in the last two months, we can’t say we’re going to do nothing.”

Lankford also said a report that he is proposing a new expulsion authority, similar to the use of Title 42 during the Trump administration, is “not accurate.”

“There are several things I have proposed on that, some things I haven’t,” he said. “I would say we have to deal with the capacity issues. A restaurant or a theater has a capacity issue. So do we.”