The 2022 midterms are over, but the results aren’t all determined (that’s another story).
It seems likely Republicans will control the House of Representatives with a slim majority.
The Senate is still up in the air.
Supposing the Republicans get control of one or both chambers, could they change the situation on the border?
Could congressional Republicans end or at least mitigate the Biden Border Rush encouraged and facilitated by the administration? [See: Do We Have an Open Border - Or a Weaponized Border?]
On the eve of midterms, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy made some relevant pledges about border policy in an interview with CNN.
McCarthy could be the next Speaker of the House or he could be replaced, but any Republican in charge of the House would face the same challenges.
Quoth McCarthy, “The first thing you’ll see is a bill to control the border first. You’ve got to get control over the border. You’ve had almost 2 million people just this year alone coming across.”
Hopefully McCarthy is serious about this, because taking on this challenge truly requires making it “the first thing."
“I think ‘Stay in Mexico’ you have to have right off the bat,” he said, referring to the controversial policy where migrants were forced to remain in Mexico while they wait for their immigration proceedings in the United States.
'Remain in Mexico' was one of several Trump border policies. Putting pressure on Mexico to reduce the flow of illegals crossing Mexican territory to get to the U.S. border was another.
On the influx of migrants at the border, McCarthy said “there’s a number of different ways” his majority will tackle the problem, but said Republicans would not put a bill on the floor to fix the broken immigration system until the border is secure.
This is troubling.
Rhetoric about a broken immigration system is used by pro-amnesty politicians. They mean that we need to get control of the border and then it’s okay to give amnesty to illegal aliens. Some Republicans are susceptible to this faulty reasoning.
Today’s Democrats, though, have moved beyond it. Now they don’t even want a secure border.
If McCarthy does wind up as Speaker of the House, immigration restrictionists would support anything he did to rectify the border situation. But they wouldn’t support an amnesty, which would make things worse.
Now supposing that even if Republican House and/or Senate leaders are determined to bring the administration to heel on border policy, it would not be easy.
Because, as the executive branch, the Biden administration can continue its policy by simply not enforcing the law.
The executive doesn’t have to change a law. It can just not enforce the law and achieve the same effect.
Look at what’s happening on the border right now!
So does that put us back on square one?
Maybe, maybe not.
It might depend on how determined Republican congressional leadership is to effect a change on the border. How determined are they to end the Biden Border Rush?
Congress needs to play hardball with the administration.
They should refuse to pass any sort of legislation before the border is dealt with.
And when I say “any sort of legislation," I mean anything.
No bills. No presidential appointments. No innocuous declarations about National Ketchup Day or whatever.
Nothing should be passed until the border is satisfactorily dealt with.
And certainly, no more aid for Ukraine, or any other foreign country, until our own border is secured and the invasion is ended.
If that means no legislation for the next two years, then so be it.
And, while they’re at it, they should initiate impeachment proceedings against Biden, Kamala and Mayorkas, specifically on the grounds of their border policies. Even if they can’t be removed, the hearings can educate the public.
When the next Congress is installed in January, Republicans need to prove that they are serious about protecting us from invasion across the border.
You can find more of Allan Wall's work at his website.