The meeting was hosted by the 147-member Republican Study Committee, a group of traditionalist conservative lawmakers who also recently met with other Trump administration officials, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The group met with former Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday.
Immigration policy is rapidly emerging as a primary motivator for conservatives in the Biden era. The promise of more lenient and humane policies has generated confusion and fears of a massive influx of migrants at the border. The opening of an immigration center for minors has provoked reproaches from the left and accusations of hypocrisy from the right. And Republicans, including Miller, have criticized the ambitious 357-page immigration plan introduced on behalf of the president last Thursday by Senator Bob Menéndez (DN.J.) and Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), In terms apocalyptic.
“It is the most radical immigration bill ever written, drafted or presented in the history of this country,” Miller said during an appearance on Fox News. “Is awesome”.
The Biden bill, which would provide a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, incorporates many provisions endorsed by Republicans in the past, as well as by business groups today. But it leaves aside the investments in border security that have generally attracted support from the Republican Party, suggesting to many in Congress that it was a messenger measure designed to fail.
The dream of a global immigration solution has eluded presidents dating back to George HW Bush. Barack Obama tried and failed spectacularly when the moderate Republicans in the Senate withdrew their support; even Trump repeatedly tried to push negotiations on Capitol Hill during his tenure, including a doomed effort led by senior adviser Jared Kushner, though he eventually became dependent on executive orders and shadowy regulatory changes to enact a restrictive immigration agenda.
The Biden White House has said his plan is a starting point for future negotiations and an opportunity to hit the “reset button” on an issue where lawmakers have not made significant bipartisan progress in decades.
“The reason why we have not succeeded in getting immigration reform to the goal is not due to lack of will,” Menéndez told a news conference. when the bill was introduced last week. “It is because time and time again, we have become overcommitted and capitulated too quickly to the fringe voices that have refused to accept humanity and the contributions of immigrants to our country and dismiss everything … as ‘amnesty.’
From Biden The push to dismantle Trump’s immigration policies comes at a time when the Republican Party is seeking trouble, beyond cultural foci, to unify the grassroots and cheer on Republican voters. Beyond Trump’s comments, panels at CPAC this weekend in Orlando, Florida include “The Looming Humanitarian Crisis at the Border” and “Sold Sales: The Devaluation of American Citizenship.”
For Trump, hardline immigration rhetoric is a form of political comfort food, a subject he has returned to time and again, since his famous campaign ad speech at Trump Tower, when he branded Mexican asylum seekers. as “criminals” and “rapists”, in their calls for a complete ban on Muslim immigrants until “representatives of our country can find out what the hell is going on.” Some of his early actions as president were aimed at restricting immigration to the United States. Others, like the ending of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, were ultimately undone by legal challenges.
Although he lost the presidency, Trump’s approach to immigration has remained the dominant thread within the wider GOP.. Several conservative groups have cited the Covid-19 pandemic as a reason for keeping immigration front and center, accusing the Biden government of allowing Central American migrants to reach the country even as they push or contemplate national and international travel restrictions to stop the spread of the virus.
“One of the most scandalous things was when the Biden administration launched a Florida travel ban and new national testing requirements, while at the same time allowing Central American migrants to enter without testing,” said RJ Hauman, director of government relations. of the restrictive group Federation. for US immigration reform. “Talk about a terrible idea and an even more difficult sale.”
And yet, polls show that the majority of the country supports immigration reform. Overall, 65 percent of Americans support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States, according to a February Quinnipiac poll. And even more – 83 percent – support that undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children stay in the country and apply for citizenship.
“There is absolutely no public opinion in the world that says the immigration plans of Stephen Miller and Donald Trump are a positive outcome for the Republican Party,” said Todd Schulte, president of FWD.us, an immigration advocacy group. . “The human consequences of those policies have been dire and the political consequences for the Republican Party have been outright dire.”