Republicans, Democrats clash over border security

Republicans accuse Democrats of not doing enough at the border. Democrats accuse Republicans of wanting to make cuts.
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 5:51 PM CST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Senate Republicans who recently visited the southern border say they are concerned about human trafficking, drug trafficking, and illegal immigrants. But Senate Democrats accuse the House GOP of threatening cuts that will impact border security.

Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) led an all-female delegation to Del Rio, Texas last month. On Wednesday she touted a new bill she wants to pass called the Stop Taxpayer Funding of Traffickers Act. It would block human and drug trafficking offenders from receiving government benefits.

“We heard how the cartels kidnap young women and girls to be exploited for sex and labor,” she said, adding, “...currently even after offenders are charged with federal drug and human trafficking offenses many of them continue to live in government housing and receive other government benefits.”

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) joined Blackburn at the Republican press conference. He too has introduced legislation that he believes will help secure the border. It would reform the asylum system.

The asylum system allows some migrants, such as those who have suffered persecution, to remain in the country while their paperwork is processed.

Graham believes the system can be abused.

“We need to make sure you can’t apply for asylum in the United States and never be deported. 90% of the claims are denied. But people keep coming cause most of them never leave. They never show up for the hearings,” Graham said.

President Joe Biden visited the border in January. During his State of the Union Address, he urged Congress to support his plan for comprehensive immigration reform and border enforcement.

“If we don’t pass my comprehensive immigration reform, at least pass my plan to provide the equipment and officers to secure the border,” he urged his Republican critics.

Meanwhile Senate Democrats accuse House Republicans of putting border security funding in danger. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) believes proposed GOP government spending cuts would jeopardize 3,000 custom and border agents plus $640 million in border security.

“We hear a lot from the other side about border security on the one hand and then on the other hand they want to slash it,” Schumer said.

On Thursday, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy plans to lead a Republican delegation on a trip to the southern border.