Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Monday said he would oppose the Senate’s pro-migration border bill unveiled on Sunday, listing several issues with the legislation, including thousands of extra green cards per year “for no apparent reason” and aid to Gaza without any safeguards to ensure it will not be used for anti-America purposes.
“I’ve reviewed the bill, I don’t think it will solve our border crisis, and might make it worse. I will oppose it,” Cotton announced.
“Joe Biden created this crisis by design. He can and should reverse his open border policies today,” he continued before listing some of his specific issues with the bill, which was negotiated by Sens. James Lankford (R-OK), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ).
“The bill gives Secretary Mayorkas the right—for the first time—to grant asylum claims (and thus American citizenship) to illegal aliens at the border without review by the immigration courts, which will be a massive pathway to rubber-stamping amnesty,” he began, highlighting the fact that the measure also codifies catch-and-release under “alternatives to detention” for any illegal who merely says they “intend” to apply for asylum or another protection.”
The bill actually creates another magnet for illegal immigration, he continued, as it gives work permits to asylum seekers “as long as they pass an initial screening by liberal bureaucrats.”
“This will be a huge magnet for more illegal immigration,” Cotton observed, adding that the bill also grants “50,000 extra green cards per year for no apparent reason and entirely unrelated to border security.”
It also “guarantees new, government-funded lawyers for illegal aliens,” he wrote, adding that the legislation also does nothing to limit “Biden and Mayorkas’s abuse of immigration parole, allowing them to continue abusing parole and issuing work permits to any illegal alien who they claim has an ‘urgent humanitarian reason’ to stay.”
Cotton also said the bill provides “humanitarian” aid to Gaza but without adequate safeguards to ensure the money is not used for “anti-American purposes.”
“While the bill does include needful defense measures, especially replenishing our munitions stockpile, these parts can’t outweigh the problems with the bill,” Cotton said.
“Congress should separately and immediately take these steps to rebuild our military and defense industry,” the senator added:
I’ve reviewed the bill, I don’t think it will solve our border crisis, and might make it worse. I will oppose it.— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 5, 2024
Joe Biden created this crisis by design. He can and should reverse his open border policies today.
Here are a few of my concerns:
The bill codifies catch-and-release under so-called “alternatives to detention” for any alien who says they *intend* to apply for asylum or another protection.— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 5, 2024
The bill grants 50,000 extra green cards per year for no apparent reason and entirely unrelated to border security.— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 5, 2024
The bill also guarantees new, government-funded lawyers for illegal aliens.
The bill also would send billions of dollars of non-military, “humanitarian” aid to Gaza and elsewhere without adequate safeguards that it won’t be used for anti-American purposes.— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 5, 2024
He is far from the only Republican senator who has publicly spoken out against the bill. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), became the first member of Senate GOP leadership to publicly announce opposition to it Monday morning.
“I can’t support a bill that doesn’t secure the border, provides taxpayer funded lawyers to illegal immigrants and gives billions to radical open borders groups. I’m a no,” he said:
I can’t support a bill that doesn’t secure the border, provides taxpayer funded lawyers to illegal immigrants and gives billions to radical open borders groups. I’m a no.— Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) February 5, 2024
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has also made it clear that the bill would be dead on arrival if it reaches the House.