Guest Commentary / February 26, 2019

Democrats Promised to Listen to Immigration Experts — They Lied

Last month, the Democrats promised to listen to the experts on immigration policy. They’ve already broken that pledge.

By Derryck Green

Last month, the Democrats promised to listen to the experts on immigration policy. They’ve already broken that pledge.

During a recent closed-door meeting of the conference committee tasked with crafting border security legislation, the Democrat representatives reportedly refused to be briefed by a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official.

According to the Washington Times, the official was planning to tell the congressional negotiators that “the limits they’re pondering to immigrant detention, proposed by Democrats, would lead to 30,000 people being released back onto the streets, including thousands of migrants with criminal records.”

While they eventually backed down from their position, agreeing to about 40,000 detention beds, the Democrats were clearly attempting to sabotage the negotiations by limiting the number of detention beds available for illegal immigrants detained by immigration authorities. 

President Trump had asked for 52,000 beds, but the Democrat proposal envisioned reducing the number of beds to just 35,520, which ICE officials warn would force the agency to release tens of thousands of dangerous criminals.

Cutting the number of detention beds was nothing more than a backdoor attempt to impose de facto open borders, and it would have directly undermined the efforts of our ICE and Border Patrol agents who risk their lives to protect American communities.

A threat of this magnitude should have gotten the rapt attention of every Member of Congress in the room — but the Democrats were committed to dismissing the agency’s concerns from the start.

“Limiting the number of ICE detention beds is a way of controlling the Trump administration’s cruel immigration policies,” a Democrat aide told the Times. “If history is a guide, there has to be some compromise on both beds and border infrastructure and we are working to ensure there is a workable glide path downward on beds.”

Of course, this deliberate effort to undermine the agency’s ability to fulfill its mission directly contradicted the Democrats’ own vows to support "smart, effective border security solutions" and to “ask the experts” about the effectiveness of President Trump’s border security proposal. 

As we now know, the Democrats never seriously intended to solicit input from the border security experts. From the very beginning of this debate, they’ve deliberately ignored the pleas of ICE and Border Patrol officials who support the President’s immigration agenda while disingenuously claiming that border walls are unnecessary and ineffective.

Sadly for America, the Democrat Party’s stunt proves that their commitment to obstructing President Trump outweighs their desire for real border security or ensuring the safety of American citizens.

Derryck Green is a political commentator, writer, and a member of Project 21 — a National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives.

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