Senator James Lankford (R-OK) has been actively promoting a potential border deal, striving to win over his Republican colleagues in both the Senate and the House.
However, the deal, still not finalized, has sparked considerable disagreement and controversy within GOP ranks.
Lankford, the principal GOP negotiator, intensified his efforts this Wednesday.
According to The Hill, Lankford led a critical meeting of the Senate GOP and also spoke at the Republican Study Committee’s (RSC) weekly luncheon. The RSC is known for representing the largest faction of House conservatives, a group that traditionally holds strong views on immigration policies.
The surge in Lankford’s diplomatic efforts is strategically timed, just days before the anticipated release of the bill. The GOP’s decision to rely on the Oklahoma Senator’s negotiation skills is a significant gamble, given the contentious nature of the proposals involved.
According to FOX News, the deal that Lankford has been negotiating with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer includes several highly divisive elements:
- A substantial increase in green cards, adding 50,000 more per year.
- Provision of work permits to adult children of H-1B visa holders.
- Immediate issuance of work permits to every illegal alien released from custody.
- Government-funded legal representation for certain Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) and aliens deemed mentally incompetent.
- Allowing the entry of 5,000 immigrants per day into the U.S. or 150,000 per month.
- Restricting parole for individuals who enter the country illegally between designated ports of entry.
These proposals, particularly the increase in green cards and the daily allowance of thousands of illegal immigrants are seen by many as a stark departure from traditional Republican stances on border security and immigration control.
Critics argue that such measures could burden public resources and potentially compromise national security.
Furthermore, the inclusion of taxpayer-funded legal aid for certain groups of aliens is a contentious use of public funds, sparking debates over the prioritization of resources.
The backlash from conservative circles and the wider Republican community signals a tough road ahead for Senator Lankford.
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) expressed strong opposition to the Senate Amnesty Bill on his social media account, describing it as a “nightmare.”
He criticized the bill for granting legal status to illegal aliens who have exploited the system and violated the law.
“The Senate Amnesty Bill is a nightmare. It gives legal status to illegal aliens who have gamed our system and broken our laws. It rolls out the red carpet for 5,000 illegals EVERY DAY, forever. It’s hard enough to stop the far-left’s state-sponsored invasion of our Southern Border, and it’s even harder when you’re pulling Senator Langford’s daggers out of your back. I oppose the Senate Amnesty Deal and will work to see its defeat,” Gaetz wrote.
The Senate Amnesty Bill is a nightmare.
It gives legal status to illegal aliens who have gamed our system and broken our laws. It rolls out the red carpet for 5,000 illegals EVERY DAY, forever.
It’s hard enough to stop the far-left’s state-sponsored invasion of our Southern… pic.twitter.com/emBhzSfXVj
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 13, 2024
Similarly, Representative Dan Bishop (R-NC) voiced his disbelief and concern on social media.
“How could this even be imagined?! 5,000 a day is 150,000/mo. The unprecedented threshold breached in January 2021 after the post-election ramp-up. Lankford proposes to institutionalize the crisis-level flow? As a “border security” proposal?”
How could this even be imagined?! 5,000 a day is 150,000/mo. The unprecedented threshold breached in January 2021 after the post-election ramp-up. Lankford proposes to institutionalize the crisis-level flow? As a “border security” proposal? https://t.co/JtwTWHlzSI pic.twitter.com/yhJVoeBKd3
— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) January 13, 2024
In a related development, Jackson Lahmeyer, the founder of Pastors4Trump, has initiated a petition aimed at recalling Senator Lankford. This move reflects a growing discontent among certain groups with Lankford’s stance and actions regarding the proposed immigration reforms.
“Join me in signing the RECALL JAMES LANKFORD petition: jacksonlahmeyer.com/recalljameslankford”