God bless U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, for trying to pull off bipartisan immigration reform in an election year.

As I’ve written before, there’s a hard truth in American politics: You don’t do border reform in an election year.

It can’t be done.

But here came Arizona’s senior senator, riding out of the sun-bleached desert, saying, “Nothing is written.”

The bipartisan plan would provide policy tools to dramatically slow record levels of immigrants pouring across the U.S.-Mexico border.

But the broad terms of the deal no longer make sense for Republicans.

Negotiators are essentially asking the Republicans to pay Joe Biden — with aide to Ukraine — to save his own hide.

Biden is currently staring into a 31-point approval rating abyss vs. Trump on the matter of who Americans trust most to manage the border.

Why would Republicans accede to more Ukraine aid, something Biden badly wants, while removing one of his key liabilities from the election?

With his border management, Biden has hoisted himself on his own petard. “Chaos engulfs the border and imperils Mr. Biden’s re-election hopes,” reports The New York Times.

So why pay him to solve one of his biggest problems?

That’s a lousy deal, Donald Trump said, before he pounded it into dust.

Afterward, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) privately signaled to House Republicans the deal has “no way forward” ... “it’s absolutely dead,” reported CNN.

So as it turns out, then, it is written. You don’t do border reform in an election year.

Through their resistance, Trump and congressional Republicans are saying the best border reform is a new president.

For three years Joe Biden has shown little or no interest in controlling the record flows of people coming across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Migrants poured into the United States, and this administration put out the Welcome Wagon for what National Review’s Noah Rothman reminds are the “pull” factors — “loud advocacy for pausing deportations, increasing asylum limits, and providing a pathway to citizenship for current illegal residents.”

From the beginning of the Biden White House to October 2023, America’s foreign-born population exploded by an average of 137,000 per month, noted Steven Camarota in Tablet magazine.

“(That’s) double the monthly average under Barack Obama and triple the rate under Donald Trump before COVID. If current rates continue, there could end up being some 12 million (migrant) encounters by the end of Biden’s first term — equal to the entire populations of New York City and Los Angeles combined.”

Democrats will try and fail to argue that Biden asked for the tools to shut down the border and the Republicans refused him.

One generally sensible left-of-center columnist is already testing that argument this week, calling the GOP “the open-borders party.”

That won’t hunt.

Just look at the bar graphs. When Obama and Biden are president, illegal immigration soars. When Trump is president, it dramatically sinks.

Nobody is fooled.

As it dawns on everyone that bipartisan reform is dead, an experiment will ensue.

We’ll see if Joe Biden actually has the ability — without a bipartisan deal — to slow the traffic at the border and clear the issue from the 2024 election.

If he does, he’ll prove he’s always had the capacity to dial back illegal immigration. He just didn’t want to.

As Kyrsten Sinema is wont to remind us, immigration reform is one of the most complicated issues in Washington.

And as current negotiations demonstrate, it is many times more complicated in an election year.

I give Sinema credit for trying.

We need people audacious enough to attempt the impossible, and she is the most audacious leader in Washington — pushing bipartisanship in a time when the rest of the country is spitting bile.

But electoral politics have barged into the room.

Democrats will argue correctly that it is cynical beyond belief for Republicans to put winning elections above meaningful border reform.

The obvious retort is this:

Why did it take an election year for Joe Biden to suddenly care about the border?

Phil Boas is an editorial columnist. Email him at phil.boas@arizonarepublic.com.

QOSHE - Bless Sinema for trying, but border is Biden's problem - Phil Boas
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Bless Sinema for trying, but border is Biden's problem

15 1
01.02.2024

God bless U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, for trying to pull off bipartisan immigration reform in an election year.

As I’ve written before, there’s a hard truth in American politics: You don’t do border reform in an election year.

It can’t be done.

But here came Arizona’s senior senator, riding out of the sun-bleached desert, saying, “Nothing is written.”

The bipartisan plan would provide policy tools to dramatically slow record levels of immigrants pouring across the U.S.-Mexico border.

But the broad terms of the deal no longer make sense for Republicans.

Negotiators are essentially asking the Republicans to pay Joe Biden — with aide to Ukraine — to save his own hide.

Biden is currently staring into a 31-point approval rating abyss vs. Trump on the matter of who Americans trust most to manage the border.

Why would Republicans accede to more Ukraine aid, something Biden badly wants, while removing one of his key liabilities from the election?

With his border management, Biden has hoisted himself on his own petard. “Chaos........

© Arizona Republic


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