The rally was hosted by the 147-member Republican Study Board, a group of traditionalist Conservative lawmakers who also recently met with other Trump administration officials, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The group met with former Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday.
Immigration policy is quickly becoming one of the main motivators of conservatives in the Biden era. The promise of more lenient and humane policies has led to confusion and fears of a massive influx of migrants to the border. The opening of a migrant center for minors sparked criticism from the left and accusations of hypocrisy from the right. And Republicans, including Miller, criticized the ambitious 357-page immigration plan presented on behalf of the president last Thursday by Sen. Bob Menendez (DN.J.) and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), In apocalyptic terms.
“This is the most radical immigration bill ever to be drafted, drafted or submitted in the history of this country,” Miller said during an appearance on Fox News. “It’s breathtaking.”
The Biden bill, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, includes many provisions supported by Republicans in the past as well as by business groups today. But he leaves out the border security investments that have generally attracted GOP support, suggesting to many in Congress that this was a messaging measure designed to fail.
The dream of a catch-all immigration solution has eluded presidents dating back to George HW Bush. Barack Obama tried and failed dramatically when moderate Republicans in the Senate withdrew their support; even Trump has repeatedly sought to restart negotiations on Capitol Hill during his tenure – including a doomed effort led by Senior Advisor Jared Kushner – although he eventually became dependent on obscure executive orders and regulatory changes to pass a restrictive immigration program.
The White House Biden said his plan was a starting point for future negotiations and a chance to hit the “reset button” on an issue lawmakers have failed to make significant bipartisan progress on since. decades.
“The reason why we did not get immigration reform beyond the finish line is not a lack of will,” Menendez said at a press conference. when the bill was introduced last week. “This is because time and again we have compromised too much and capitulated too quickly in the face of marginal voices who refused to accept humanity and the contributions of immigrants to our country and reject everything … as one. ‘amnesty’.”
Biden’s The push to dismantle Trump’s immigration policies comes at a time when the Republican Party is looking for trouble, beyond cultural hotspots, to unify the base and enliven GOP voters. Beyond Trump’s remarks, panels at CPAC this weekend in Orlando, Florida include “The Looming Humanitarian Crisis at the Border” and “Sell Outs: The Devaluing of the American Citizenship.”
For Trump, sweeping immigration rhetoric is a form of political reassurance – a theme he has returned to time and time again, from his famous campaign announcement speech at Trump Tower, when he called the applicants Mexican asylum of “criminals” and “rapists” calls for a complete ban on Muslim immigrants until “the representatives of our country can understand what is going on.” Some of his early actions as president were aimed at restricting immigration to the United States. Others, like the end of the deferred action for children’s arrivals, were ultimately overturned by court challenges.
Despite losing the presidency, Trump’s approach to immigration has remained the dominant strand within the larger GOP. Several conservative groups have cited the Covid-19 pandemic as a reason to keep immigration at the forefront, accusing the Biden administration of allowing Central American migrants to arrive in the country even as they push or consider foreign and domestic 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 without testing,” said RJ Hauman, director of government relations at the restrictive group Federation for US Immigration Reform. “Talk about a terrible idea and an even more difficult sale.”
And yet polls show the majority of the country supports immigration reform. Overall, 65% of Americans support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States, according to a February poll by Quinnipiac. And even more – 83% – support the possibility for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to stay in the country and apply for citizenship.
“There is absolutely no public opinion in the world that says Stephen Miller and Donald Trump’s immigration plans are a net positive for the Republican Party,” said Todd Schulte, chairman of FWD.us, a immigration advocacy group. “The human consequences of these policies have been terrible and the political consequences for the Republican Party have been downright terrible.”