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Gene Zitver: More partisan whining from Ben Cline on Senate border deal

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Here’s Congressman Ben Cline’s all-too-predictable reaction to the bipartisan Senate plan to provide aid to Ukraine and Israel while implementing strict limits along the US southern border.

ben cline

Notice Cline’s sneering hostility to the brave Ukrainians who have been resisting brutal Russian aggression for more than two years, and who badly need US military assistance to continue that resistance.

No, Congressman. This plan would not “send $48.4 billion dollars of hard-working American taxpayer dollars to Ukraine.” As conservative columnist Marc Theissen wrote in The Washington Post:

Here is the best-kept secret about U.S. military aid to Ukraine: Most of the money is being spent here in the United States. That’s right: Funds that lawmakers approve to arm Ukraine are not going directly to Ukraine but are being used stateside to build new weapons or to replace weapons sent to Kyiv from U.S. stockpiles. Of the $68 billion in military and related assistance Congress has approved since Russia invaded Ukraine, almost 90 percent is going to Americans, one analysis found.

That’s right. Aid to Ukraine is employing thousands of Americans while helping Ukrainians fight back against Vladimir Putin’s murderous expansionism. Too bad Cline has a problem with that.

As for the border deal that Cline denounces as “pro-illegal immigration”:

The deal will grant the Department of Homeland Security new emergency authority to clamp down on border crossings if daily average migrant encounters reach 4,000 over a one-week span. Once the authority is triggered, the DHS secretary could decide to largely bar migrants from seeking asylum if they crossed the border unlawfully.

If migrant crossings increased above 5,000 on average per day on a given week, DHS would be required to use the authority. The authority sunsets after three years.

Migrants could still seek asylum at a port of entry. The bill would codify a process that requires the government to process 1,400 asylum applications at ports of entry, while also raising the standard for asylum and expediting the process.

Those who didn’t qualify for asylum [including economic migrants] will be swiftly deported.

In addition the Senate bill provides for:

  • Over 1,500 new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel including Border Patrol Agents and CBP Officers.
  • Over 4,300 new Asylum Officers and additional U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services staff to facilitate timely and fair decisions.
  • 100 new immigration judge teams to help reduce the asylum caseload backlog and adjudicate cases more quickly.
  • Shelter and critical services for newcomers in our cities and states.
  • 1,200 new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel for functions including enforcement and deportations.

It’s no secret that Donald Trump wants the crisis at the border as an issue in the 2024 Presidential campaign and is not interested in a bipartisan solution. And Republicans like Ben Cline are happy to oblige.

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who repeatedly puts Ben Cline to shame, got it right:

“I think the border is a very important issue for Donald Trump,” Romney said. “And the fact that he would communicate to Republican senators and congresspeople that he doesn’t want us to solve the border problem because he wants to blame Biden for it is really appalling.”

Gene Zitver is the editor of ClineWatch.

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