How much mass migration is enough for Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., and liberal Republicans who hail from solid red states? Well, they won’t say exactly how much, but they always want more.
Last week, the Trump administration announced a commonsense policy to lower the refugee cap for fiscal year 2020 to 18,000, given the record border flow this year and the historic backlog of one million people in immigration court, many of whom are claiming asylum. One would think that Republicans can at least unite behind that proposition, yet nine Republicans, led by Sen. James Lankford, joined with a group of Democrats in rebuking the administration for not electing to bring in more refugees this year.
“While I appreciate the administration’s focus on curbing illegal immigration and caring for asylum seekers, that doesn’t mean we should continue to reduce the admittance of refugees who are fleeing from persecution in their home countries to support these policies,” wrote Lankford in a statement last week.
Well, actually it does, Senator Lankford. You can’t triple- and quadruple-dip on the dime of American taxpayers who shoulder the burdens of the financial cost and social transformation of your open-borders policies. Let’s review the score:
- We’ve had almost a million people come to our border, several hundred thousand of whom have been settled into our communities at a huge cost to local governments.
- There is now a backlog of one million persons in immigration courts, quadruple the level from a decade ago. Asylum, if anything, is even more burdensome on the nation than refugees, because we don’t select or vet them; they simply show up on our doorstep.
- This past year, we’ve had 76,000 unaccompanied alien children (UACs) come to our border, an all-time record. They are settled just like refugees by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Historically, 70,000 was the typical number of refugees we’ve taken in per year. As such, whereas this year they’re not the traditional refugees from the Eastern Hemisphere, they have already come in the form of Central American teens, and that immigration has already chewed up the agency’s entire budget. Lankford should know, because Texas County, Oklahoma, a tiny rural county in the panhandle of his state, has been forced to take in one of the highest per-capita concentrations of UACs.
- Several hundred thousand people are here on Temporary Protected Status (TPS), even though their status should have expired years ago and Trump reneged on the promise to terminate it.
- There are also record number of applicants for U visas (victims of crime who are often perpetrators of crime or gang members themselves) and many other forms of humanitarian relief, from T Visas and Special Immigrant Juvenile status to VAWA and parole. Currently, there are 244,000 pending U visa applications, a 20-fold increase since the beginning of the Obama administration!
- Plus, we have record numbers of green cards handed out every year. Between green cards and long-term visas, there are 8 million new immigrants coming every year, unparalleled in our history. We have now reached a 100-year peak in the foreign-born population. Most of the immigration is not merit-based to benefit America but is ad hoc “humanitarian” migration to allow families to bring in other people from very impoverished countries.
- Then, of course, there are the estimated 3 million illegal aliens who are the ultimate refugees, costing taxpayers $130 billion a year.
So, Sen. Lankford, are you offering to cut a single one of these statuses before demanding we bring in more refugees? It is simply dishonest to isolate one category of our immigration system and ignore the many others. Why is the political class never looking out for the interests of American taxpayers or understanding the effects of mass migration on local communities?
Lankford’s statement links to a letter he sent the Trump administration in August signed by Republican Sens. Thune, Rounds, Murkowski, Collins, Blunt, Rubio, Gardner, and Portman, along with Democrat senators, demanding that we accept more refugees. But not surprisingly, they never asked for a specific number. That would raise the obvious question about our immigration system: How much is too much?
Also, why is it that there are so many solid red-state Republicans who are for open borders? Lankford is from Oklahoma; Thune and Rounds are from South Dakota; Blunt is from Missouri; and Portman is from Ohio. These are states Trump carried by a significant margin. Imagine Democrats from states Hillary carried by 20-30 points demanding a moratorium on immigration. But Democrats never dissent from the party’s platform, even when they are elected from Republican-leaning states.
Just last week, a number of the same Republicans voted against Trump’s emergency declaration and reprogramming of defense funding for the ultimate national defense at our border. They included members from Utah, Tennessee, and Mississippi.