Senator Ricketts’ Weekly Column:
Senator Ricketts’ Weekly Column: Biden’s Border Bill Doesn’t Get the Job Done
President Joe Biden claims he needs new legislation to secure our southern border. That’s just not true. President Trump brought border crossings to a 45-year low. He used the same laws currently available to Biden. Biden is just playing politics and refusing to do his job. He has not been serious about negotiating real solutions to keep Americans safe.
As I’ve said repeatedly, any border legislation must force Biden to secure our border. A border bill will need to stop his mass parole of illegal aliens. It must end the national security and humanitarian crisis he created. The bill the Senate considered this week didn’t get the job done. That’s why I voted no.
The Senate bill wouldn’t have stopped him or any other president from abusing the law. It still would allow Biden to grant mass parole to illegal aliens. Last year, Biden gave parole to 1.2 million people. Under Presidents Trump and Obama, an average 5,600 people were paroled per year. The bill also would have expedited work permits for those who receive parole. These expedited work permits would only incentivize more illegal immigration if we don’t end Biden’s abuse of parole first.
Additionally, the bill would have given President Biden the power to waive a border emergency. Given his track record, we know that Biden will choose to do nothing to protect the border if he has that option. On the first day of his presidency, Biden reversed the successful border policies of the Trump administration. This created the current crisis. I couldn’t support a bill that rewards and enables such behavior.
I also opposed the bill’s taxpayer-funded bailout of sanctuary cities. These cities refuse to enforce our immigration laws. Nebraska taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for the failed policies of Democrat-run cities and states like Chicago, New York, and California.
The bill would have also given the power to determine who gets asylum to Biden bureaucrats. These bureaucrats often favor open borders. The Biden administration has shown they’ll abuse any power they think they have. Congress shouldn’t pass a law handing them more power on asylum.
Finally, the Congressional Budget Office has not given us a cost estimate for the bill. Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer forced a vote five days before it was expected. This is yet another example of how terrible Schumer is at his job.
The federal government has a fundamental responsibility to secure our borders. President Biden continues to refuse to do his job. Congress needs to take meaningful action that will force his hand. This bill didn’t do that. Still, we can and must keep working for a better deal.
Countless Nebraskans reached out to my offices to share their concerns on this bill. The message was clear: action on the border must force Biden to do his job and secure our border. I couldn’t agree more. While there were good things in the bill we considered, it just didn’t get the job done.
My team and I are here to serve you. Contact us anytime by phone at 202-224-4224 or on my website at www.ricketts.senate.gov/contact.