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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Rejected border security proposal missed opportunity for bipartisan action

Republicans reject recent immigration policy reform, resuming long-existing deadlock on border control
Maizong Vang

The U.S. Senate in February released a $118 billion proposal regarding foreign aid and border security. Of this proposal, more than $20 billion was dedicated to improvement of homeland security, according to The Hill. The bipartisan bill was to be a step forward for Democrats and Republicans after a long impasse over border security.

The border security deal would increase barriers to entry for migrants claiming asylum and raise the Department of Homeland Security’s power to deport immigrants, according to The Hill. The highly conservative nature of the bill would naturally invite criticism from Democrats and immigrant rights activists. But ironically, the bill was scrapped without a second glance by Republican representatives themselves.

For Republicans, the bill was a rare chance to write the strong immigration policies they campaigned for into law. Why then was this proposal — which Congress correspondent Lisa Desjardins referred to as “once-in-a-generation” in a PBS interview — received so poorly by the right?


Media literacy is becoming increasingly important as partisan divides widen

Republicans like Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) claim to have no faith Democrats will work to enforce border security. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) also voiced his dissatisfaction with the proposal via a statement on X, blaming President Joe Biden for the nation’s border crisis.

It isn’t new for Republicans to be extremely vocal about their concerns over the nation’s border security. But it is also clear they overlook the complete impact immigration has on the U.S.

According to the Wisconsin Examiner, 80% of labor on Wisconsin’s dairy farms is conducted by immigrants, most of which are living in the U.S. without proper documentation. In fact, leaders in the dairy industry tell the Examiner that despite seeking various avenues, it has been impossible for farmers to fill these roles with local labor.

It seems as though Sen. Johnson forgets barring immigrants would lead to the likely collapse of his own state’s trademark industry.

A study conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union found immigrants further benefit the American economy by taking on the roles of business owners, taxpayers and consumers — all of which lead to the creation of new jobs. Clearly, migration is responsible for a portion of economic productivity it is rarely, if ever, given credit for.

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While it is important to recognize the benefits of immigration, it is also necessary to consider the strain lax border policies place on public programs. Just last fall, a USA Today article reported a post-Covid 19 surge in asylum-seekers overwhelmed cities with insufficient housing and assistance resources, resulting in inhumane conditions for immigrants and stress on surrounding neighborhoods.

It is simply irresponsible for the nation to accept more immigrants than can be reasonably supported. In fact, just recently, the result of overwhelming illegal immigration over southern borders has resulted in the shipment of migrants to cities in the northeast.

Rather than passing around migrants from state to state — stripping them of their possessions and dignity in the process — it would be far more responsible to enforce immigration policies that can truly provide asylum to migrants experiencing inhumane conditions in their home countries.

In Wisconsin, the labor of people living in the U.S. without proper documentation keeps the dairy industry running, but is reciprocated with an alarming frequency of physical injury, lack of worker’s compensation and inhumane working conditions — all of which is kept secret due to fear of deportation, according to a ProPublica article.

It is important Wisconsin learn to care of its current migrant population before providing even more asylum seekers with a cold, inhumane embrace. The bipartisan policy proposal might have provided an opportunity — though maybe not the perfect one — to instill stricter border policy while still focusing on asylum provision and foreign aid.

Another risk associated with the constant blasting of anti-immigrant propaganda is the development of a cold and resentful atmosphere towards immigrants who already live in America. According to the Immigration Policy Center, white supremacy and hate crimes against Latinos have resulted from the political controversies over immigration control. By using extremist language and sparking constant political arguments over the issue, lawmakers are shaping a negative stereotype against migration, the very foundation of our country’s origins.

For instance, in a social media post, Speaker Johnson dumped the blame of America’s fentanyl crisis, human trafficking, socioeconomic burdens and even the killing of American citizens on unlawful immigration. Using such drastic language is bound to result in a hateful atmosphere for minority groups. Politicians must be careful and recognize that the livelihoods of minority groups are directly affected by the use of hateful rhetoric.

State GOP proposal encourages reconciling of political dysfunction

While it might not have been the perfect solution for an issue as complex as border control, the Senate’s policy proposal was a rare opportunity for both parties to finally move past their differences and step towards a resolution for one of the most hotly debated issues in the nation.

It is frustrating for Republican lawmakers to dispose of the very legislation they have been fighting for. It is time to finally move past partisan differences and focus on the betterment of the nation. It seems like the Democrats are ready to compromise — it’s time Republicans meet them in the middle. In the meantime, lawmakers can focus on reshaping the rhetoric and extremist campaigns against migration.

Aanika Parikh ([email protected]) is a sophomore studying molecular and cell biology.

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