Senator Lankford Defends Controversial Bill Allowing Entry to Illegal Immigrants and Funding Two Wars Thousands of Miles Away

Screenshot: FOX News

Senator James Lankford appeared on Fox News Sunday regarding a hotly debated border security bill that has stirred controversy across party lines.

The bill, criticized for allowing entry to thousands of illegal immigrants and funding conflicts abroad, was a major point of discussion between Lankford and host Shannon Bream.

Bream dove straight into addressing the contentious rumors surrounding the bill, confronting Lankford with Senator Ted Cruz’s assertion that the bill would normalize an “invasion” level of 5,000 people crossing the border daily. This figure translates to approximately 155,000 illegal immigrants each month, amounting to an annual total of 1.8 million.

According to information obtained by FOX News reporter Bill Melugin, the deal includes:

— Mandatory detention of all single adults.

— Mandatory “shut down” of border once average daily migrant encounters hits 5,000. Importantly, this 5,000 number includes 1,400 CBP One app entries at ports of entry per day, and roughly 3,600 illegal crossings per day.

— How is that enforced? Once the 5,000 threshold is hit, a new authority is codified into law that requires Border Patrol to immediately remove illegal immigrants they catch without processing. They would not get to request asylum, they would immediately be removed. This includes removals back to Mexico, and deportations to home countries. This would be a *massive* change from current policy, which is that once an illegal immigrant reaches US soil, they must be processed via Title 8 and allowed to claim asylum. Under this new authority – they are not processed, and they are mandatorily immediately removed once the “shut down” threshold is reached.

— This “shut down” also takes effect is there are 8,500 migrant encounters in a single day.

— The “shut down” would not lift the next day. It wouldn’t lift until daily encounters are reduced to under 75% of the 5,000 threshold for at least two weeks. This means the “shut down” authority would not lift until two weeks of an average of less than 3,750 migrant encounters per day.

— Some family units will be released with ATD (Alternatives to Detention, ankle monitors etc).

— New removal authority to immediately remove all migrants who do not have valid asylum claims, which will be determined within 6 months rather than the years long process we have right now.

— Any migrant caught trying to cross twice during “shut down” phase would be banned from entering US for one year.

— US will need agreement with Mexico for MX to take back non-Mexican illegal immigrants. This hasn’t been ironed out yet.

Lankford countered, insisting that the legislation’s ultimate goal is to reduce illegal crossings to zero, claiming that there is no amnesty involved and that the bill would bolster border patrol resources, increase detention capacities, and streamline the asylum process to ensure swift deportations.

Lankford: Right now, there’s Internet rumors, which is all that people are running on. It would be absolutely absurd for me to agree to 5,000 people a day. This bill focuses on getting us to zero illegal crossings a day. There’s no amnesty. It increases the number of border patrol agents. It increases asylum officers. It increases detention beds so we can quickly detain and then deport individuals. It ends catch and release.”

“It focuses on additional deportation flights out. It changes our asylum process so that people get a fast asylum screening at a higher standard and then get returned back to their home country. This is not about letting 5,000 people in a day. This is the most misunderstood section of this proposal.

“Let me tell you briefly what it is. In the last four months, we’ve had seven days that we had less than 5,000 people. This is set up for if you have a rush of people coming at the border, the border closes down, and no one gets in.”

“This is not someone standing at the border with a little clicker saying, I’m going to let one more in. We’re at 4,999. And then it has to stop. It is a shutdown of the border, and everyone actually gets turned around. Okay, that’s the focus that we have right now: how do we actually intervene in this administration and turn people around, not let people in?”

The bill, as described by Lankford, includes mechanisms to shut down the border in the event of a surge in crossings. Bream pressed Lankford on the nuances of this mechanism, referencing reports that the border would close only after a rolling average of 5,000 crossings over a week, with a potential for reopening.

Bream: So, there may be some initial measurement. You get to that rolling, 5000 in a week, and then it’s zero from that point on. But there is some initial measurement. Our Bill Melugin is reporting that the number would dial back then to about 3750 a day at the border. And then, once you hit that for about two weeks, the gates would open again. Can you confirm or deny that?

Lankford: Yeah, again, it’s not gates opening. That’s a misunderstanding of the bill itself. It’s about how many we can process and actually deport. When you raise the standard for people coming across, when you increase the detention beds, when you increase deportation flights, you’re not letting people in. And people are thinking about how the Biden administration is running it now.

Right now, the Biden administration is allowing, for instance, 1500 people a day just to come to the ports of entry, get a work permit, and get released into the country. People coming between ports of entry get what’s called a notice to appear and get released in the country. All of that stops. We’re focused on how many people we can process quickly and then deport out of the country, not release into the country.

It would be absolutely absurd for anyone to be able to propose something to say, “We’re just going to slow the number of releases.” We’re focused on how do we actually enforce our border and get us back to zero people actually crossing the border illegally. Every administration has struggled to be able to get the authorities in place to be able to actually enforce our border.

The interview also touched on concerns from Senator Michael Bennet regarding immediate work permits for asylum seekers. Lankford defended the bill’s stance, stressing that only those who’ve gone through a strict evaluation and are likely to be granted asylum would receive work permits.

Shannon Bream also questioned Lankford about the rationale behind presenting an immigration and foreign policy bill during an election year. She pointed out that critics of the bill argue it would allow President Biden to claim a legislative victory despite him already possessing executive powers and laws at his disposal that are not being enforced.

Bream: A lot of Republicans are saying he has things [Biden] could use now, executive powers and laws that are not being enforced. So, why give him this in an election year? The cover of this deal that critics say is still going to let a lot of people in, but he gets to take a victory lap that he’s gotten something done.

Lankford: Yeah, well, it’s definitely not going to let a bunch of people in. It’s focused on actually turning people around on it. It is interesting. Republicans, four months ago, would not give funding for Ukraine, for Israel, and for our southern border because we demanded changes in policy. So, we actually locked arms together and said, ‘We’re not going to give you money for this. We want to change in law.’ And now, it’s interesting a few months later when we’re filing it at the end, they’re like, ‘Oh, just kidding. I actually don’t want to change in law because it’s a presidential election year.’ We all have an oath to the Constitution. And we have a commitment to say we’re going to do whatever we can to be able to secure the border.

The segment sparked reactions from conservative commentator Charlie Kirk and Donald Trump Jr.

Charlie Kirk wrote, “Senator Lankford stands by the bill! One of the best things to come out of this border debate is the DC Uniparty has admitted we have the logistical capability of closing the border. It’s a choice to leave it open to invasion. We must keep emphasizing this point.”

Donald Trump Jr. wrote, “This is total BS from this RINO. Lankford is cutting a deal with Dems to fund Zelenskyy with billions, while giving a mass amnesty to illegals. That’s why we oppose his shitty deal. Anyone who supports it deserves a primary. Why is it so hard to just secure the damn border???”

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma GOP party passed a resolution on Saturday to censure U.S. Senator James Lankford for his involvement in an outrageous border security deal with Democrats.

The resolution passed with immediate effect, states that the party will withhold all support for Senator Lankford until he ceases his involvement with the proposed legislation.


The post Senator Lankford Defends Controversial Bill Allowing Entry to Illegal Immigrants and Funding Two Wars Thousands of Miles Away appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

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