© 2024 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
Enough border photo ops! GOP governors need to fight the interior invasion
Rex Wholster/Getty Images

Enough border photo ops! GOP governors need to fight the interior invasion

Republicans could take concrete steps to discourage illegal aliens from coming — starting with making illegal immigration a state crime.

Yes, the Lankford-Biden immigration bill to codify the invasion into law is dead. But we still have an uncodified invasion that is transforming our country into a primitive cesspool.

It isn’t enough merely to oppose a bill that pours lighter fluid on the fire. We need policies that will douse the flames. Fortunately, Republicans still have ample power to leverage against the invasion if they so choose.

If Republican governors were serious about securing the border properly, they would demagnetize their own states.

While Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) was right to block Oklahoma Republican Senator James Lankford’s compromised immigration bill in the House and to push for impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, let’s not lose sight of the fact that the power of the purse is the most effective weapon in checking Joe Biden’s malfeasance. With the federal government’s funding slated to expire on March 1 and March 8, Johnson has one last chance to harness the popular sentiment against the invasion and refuse to fund the Department of Homeland Security until it stops.

Along with waging a federal funding fight, states can add to Johnson’s leverage by enacting their own immigration policies to demagnetize their own borders. Much has been said about the unity of Republican governors behind Greg Abbott in Texas over the past few weeks. That support, however, has amounted to little more than photo ops at the border with no concrete plans to cut off benefits to illegal aliens, to say nothing of organizing a state-based deportation program.

The invaders don’t remain at the border. They fan out to all the states. If Republican governors were serious about securing the border properly, they would demagnetize their own states. Yet very few red states are even considering legislation similar to laws passed by Texas and Florida.

For example, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem made a high-profile pilgrimage to the border last week, which included the usual photo ops and cable news interviews with tough talk against Biden. She even delivered a speech to a joint session of her legislature updating lawmakers on what she saw at the border. But what is the point of a speech if not to drive support for specific legislation?

Still, despite South Dakota’s very quick legislative session, there is no sense of urgency on the part of Noem or her allies in legislative leadership to push any bills banning employment of illegal aliens (which is quite robust in her state’s agriculture sector) or outlawing the transport of illegal aliens into the state.

The same can be said for most other GOP governors.

If Republican governors followed their words with deeds, they’d be able to solve the immigration problem overnight. Do they want illegal aliens in their states or not? Here is what they can do this month to either demagnetize their borders or at least keep illegal aliens out of red states:

Make illegal immigration a state crime: Texas has already criminalized illegal entry into Texas, and Florida has criminalized the transport of illegal aliens. Every red state should pass these bills this session and even go a step farther by criminalizing illegal aliens’ presence in the state. Either way, we need to place several statutes on the books making illegal immigration a state crime.

Leverage criminal penalties against voluntary deportations: Once illegal immigration, transportation, or at least illegal re-entry becomes a state crime, then states have leverage to threaten illegal aliens, if caught, with prison time. As a means of leveraging prison time against self-repatriation, states could set up diversion courts similar to what we have for drug offenses. Illegal aliens could be given the choice of a year in prison for committing a crime or time served if they agree to leave the country.

Obviously, if an illegal alien commits a serious crime against a citizen, justice dictates that the person stays in prison. But illegal aliens are often arrested for crimes like driving without a license or drunk driving. Most of those people remain in the country indefinitely because the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau refuses to deal with them.

Under the Biden administration, there has been a 71% decline in ICE arrests of illegal aliens charged with drunk driving. In general, there has been a 67% decrease in deportation of all criminal aliens. Now Biden is threatening to reduce deportations even further. Although this problem is the fault of the federal government, states could encourage illegal aliens to leave the country by holding prison sentences over their heads.

Cut off their ability to work: What none of these GOP governors will tell you is that they have no interest in getting rid of illegal aliens simply because corporate agriculture and other industry lobbyists will not permit it. We all know that if red states actually enforced laws against working without a permit, illegal aliens would avoid those states.

Clamp down on labor contract organizations: Part of the package that illegal aliens get from the smugglers is a guarantee of under-the-table employment from labor contract organizations that work with the cartels to pay off the smuggling debts. This is straight-up human trafficking, yet employers of big farms and factories work with these recruiting and staffing companies to import illegal workers. States need to hold them liable for working with these organizations, in addition to passing mandatory E-Verify checks.

We constantly hear that Republicans lack control over immigration policy. But they do have the majority in the House, a filibuster-enabling minority in the Senate, and control of half the states. They could engage in a knock-down, drag-out fight over the budget while states implement a shock and awe campaign to coordinate demagnetization laws just like they are coordinating photo ops at the border. The problem is not simply the Democrats’ recalcitrance. It’s because the Republican Party has, let us say, a complicated relationship with illegal immigration.

Want to leave a tip?

We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Want to join the conversation?
Already a subscriber?
Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz

Blaze Podcast Host

Daniel Horowitz is the host of “Conservative Review with Daniel Horowitz” and a senior editor for Blaze News.
@RMConservative →