As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was attempting to pass a $4.5 billion emergency border funding bill, she ran into some resistance among some of her party members who thought the immigration system was broken and needed more than a financial bandaid to fix it.
One of those members was Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar who said shortly after a private meeting with Pelosi on Monday, “We cannot continue to throw money at a dysfunctional system. We are not just asking for simple changes to be made into this bill, but to go back to the drawing board and really address this from a humanitarian issue.”
Omar’s comments come amid years of immigration abuses and illegal crossings which have resulted in overwhelmed migrant detention facilities. As immigration officials continue to do their best at dealing with influxes of migrants, it should be remembered that Omar’s own party is the one which has: failed to fund the construction of a new border wall, failed to increase the number of beds made available at detention facilities, failed to close immigration loopholes that are being exploited by traffickers, and failed to increase the number of federal judges to hear immigration and asylum cases.
Vice President Mike Pence addressed the Democratic helplessness during an interview on “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
“We’re doing a lot with what the Congress has given us, but again Congress refused to increase the bed space in the last appropriations bill,” Pence said via RealClearPolitics.
“They continue to delay efforts on additional humanitarian support,” the vice president continued. “It could happen in 15 minutes if Democrats in Congress simply step up and agree to close the loopholes that we know human traffickers are using to exploit vulnerable families.”
“When the president declared a national emergency earlier this year, we were asking Congress in January to give us more bed space. Democrats in Congress refused,” Pence added via the report. “Congress continues- although Speaker Pelosi has indicated a willingness to look at- at a bill that would provide more humanitarian assistance. Over the next two weeks, we’re going to look to get those resources as well as close the loopholes. But look, we’ve- we’ve asked for more bed space, we’ve asked for more support. Our Customs and Border Patrol agents are doing a good job but the system is overwhelmed.”
"We cannot continue to throw money at a dysfunctional system," Rep. llhan Omar said about addressing the crisis at the borderhttps://t.co/37zfTwhSSx
— POLITICO (@politico) June 25, 2019
Pelosi’s effort came amid a goodwill gesture from President Trump to delay mass deportations for two weeks, adhering to the request of Democrats, to give them more time to negotiate a deal.
The congressional stalemate puts Trump in a precarious position if Congress fails, leaving him again with the choice of following through with raids to deport “millions” of undocumented immigrants or backing down.
Trump has issued hard-line threats before only to pull back after winning some concessions. He recently avoided imposing broad tariffs on Mexico by claiming victory after Mexico announced it would send thousands of troops to the border to try to stem the surge of Central American migrants.
Some Republicans applauded Trump’s latest move, saying the lingering threat of widespread immigration raids and deportations could finally convince Democrats to negotiate on long-stalled immigration talks.
“If it brings Democrats to the table I think that’s a pretty shrewd move,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “They seem to be totally impervious to any sort of persuasion or pressure, but I think it’s worth a try. At least he will have demonstrated his good faith.”
Democrats were quick to dismiss Trump’s red line, saying it’s just the latest in a string of immigration-related provocations that the president has floated only to retreat from at the last moment.