After generations of inaction on immigration, America is being held hostage by hard-line House Republicans who refuse to compromise, including my opponent, Rep. Jack Bergman.
Sixty Republicans grandstanded with a border visit this week. Their mission appeared to be purely political posturing. They gained no substantial new information or insights. Meaningful, bipartisan discussion was absent.
Democracy works through cooperation and negotiation. House GOP leadership refuses to do either. Instead, they wage war with Democrats. Unacceptable.
Democrats and Republicans agree we have an immigration and border crisis. Neither party wants open borders. We differ on solutions, including the Republican Secure the Border Act of 2023 (HR2), passed by the House without one Democrat vote. I have addressed my concerns here.
Inaction is neither safe for the national security of the United States nor for the migrants and asylum seekers.
The Senate is moving forward in a bipartisan way – Democrats and Republicans. Why can’t the House?
President Biden requested $13.6 billion in emergency funds to hire 6,000 immigration and border security employees. We need border patrol agents, asylum officers, immigration judges, improved technology to detect fentanyl, and community grants to help with the cost of migrants. Until Congress develops a comprehensive plan, these are necessary interim steps.
Republicans in the House rejected the effort.
Immigration courts are a disaster. They are underfunded and understaffed. Most cases take five years to be heard. Unauthorized border crossings are surging, yet House Republicans proposed spending cuts that would decrease Border Patrol by 2,000 agents.
The House GOP is scared. If they make border concessions, they will lose Donald Trump’s support. Trump is exacerbating these divisions to prop up his presidential campaign. Trump’s immigration plans for 2024 are even more radical.
Extreme MAGA House members indicated that they are willing to shut down the government unless Democrats meet their uncompromising demands. They are willing to risk our national security and economic growth to create more photo ops versus working on solutions.
Immigration has been an unaddressed problem for generations. It is time to move forward.
The US needs workers in every facet of our economy. Michigan’s 1st District needs agricultural, construction, hospitality, and healthcare workers. Representative Bergman’s clear lack of concern for the needs of our businesses is shameful.
To solve serious issues, leaders must reject partisan politics, bickering, and power brokering. Democracy depends on compromise.
Our immigration and border security is in a crisis. The situation on our border is also a humanitarian crisis. Both need urgent, careful, and humane bipartisan action and serious leadership.