Immigration group highlights 'landmine' in border agreement

Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chad Groening, Jody Brown (

MS-13 gang member tatoosAn immigration enforcement organization explains why the tentative border deal working its way through Congress "is not worth making policy worse" just to add 55 miles more of border barriers.

The bipartisan congressional bargainers formally completed a border security pact late Wednesday. President Donald Trump isn't saying if he will accept the 1,768-page agreement (legislation + explanation), but he has stated he isn't fully happy with the fact it would fund far less border fencing than he wants: 55 miles at a cost of $1.375 billion rather than the 215 miles at a cost of $5.7 billion that the White House demanded in December. Republicans have described it as a "down payment" on Trump's campaign pledge of a barrier along the southern border.

Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), describes the agreement as "kind of a mixed bag."

"The $1.375 [billion] is wholly inadequate, but at least Nancy Pelosi can no longer say she opposes [the barrier] on moral grounds," he allows. "Once you've taken that step to approve even very limited funding for it, you can no longer make the argument that this is morally objectionable.


"It just exposes the fact that ... it is politically objectionable for her."

In this interview with OneNewsNow, Mehlman said it's worth pointing out that this deal doesn't include any kind of amnesty provision in it, which is something the Democrats had pushed for. "They were demanding that there be some kind of DACA deal included in this and apparently there is not," he stated yesterday. "They had called for a reduction in the number of detention beds. That apparently is not going to be part of the deal."

However, in a tweet earlier today, FAIR highlighted what it describes as a "landmine" in the text of the agreement. Sec. 224, it says, outlines "a de facto amnesty for anyone near a UAC [unaccompanied alien child]. This will exacerbate the border crisis and threaten public safety, as many MS-13 arrests have been UACs."

That section, says FAIR, "turns unaccompanied minors into [a] Golden Ticket for parents ... relatives/sponsors can't be removed from the U.S."

Because of that, says the group, adding 55 miles of new barriers is not worth making current policy worse.

Pass it to find out what's in it?

While the measure makes its way through Congress, Sandy Rios, director of governmental affairs for the American Family Association, is concerned lawmakers will insert language not only preventing a barrier from being built, but blocking President Trump from using other funds to finish the project.

Sandy Rios"Here's the deal: They're pressing for a vote tonight in the House and the Senate," she stated this morning on American Family Radio. "There's no way that people can read this bill [before a vote]. This is what happened with Obamacare and countless other bills since then.

"Remember Nancy Pelosi famously saying let's pass it and then we'll see what's in it? This is the point to which we have come in the United States Congress."

Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates

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