Trump Slams Senate Migrant Policy Negotiation
This is our 12th edition of Capitol.press.
Today we’re covering Trump’s wrench-throwing at the already wobbly negotiation on migrants/Ukraine policy.
Plus, what Senators said when asked if terrorists are crossing the southern border with Mexico.
Let's jump in —
Trump Unloads on Senate Migrant Policy "Deal"
Former President Trump is reportedly opposed to the deal a bipartisan working group of Senators are negotiating with the White House that would permanently curb migrants rights in exchange for temporary war funding for Ukraine and Israel.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham had the scoop in an interview last night with House Speaker Mike Johnson where Ingraham told Johnson that Trump was “extremely adamant” that the Speaker reject the deal. Trump's concern, per Ingraham, was that the deal gives Biden a win on immigration.
Senators feigned ignorance on Thursday of Trump's clear message to oppose whatever work product finally comes out of the negotiation/lollygag between Senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), James Lankford (R-OK), and Chris Murphy (D-CT). Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) abandoned negotiations in December for reasons unknown, but not before stripping any migrant relief provisions from the talks.
We'll keep following this story, but Trump's opposition seems likely to be the death knell to this bizarre negotiating paradigm pitting foreign and domestic policy priorities against each other.
GOP Claims of Border Terrorists Are Overstated
Misinformation runs rampant anytime the U.S.-Mexico border comes up in the national discussion. From David Duke claiming the U.S. had an “illegal alien problem” when the Klan began their “border patrol” in 1977, to the latest GOP claims of terrorists streaming across the southern border with Mexico, some things never change.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not immediately reply to our request for evidence of terrorists at the border, so we asked Senators on Monday if they knew of any such threat.
"No," said Democratic Senators Mark Warner (VA), Cory Booker (NJ), and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI).
Other Senators elaborated further —
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA): “No. I have heard people make that claim … But I think when people say that, what they mean is people are coming from countries that might have had a bad track record but it’s always wrong to conflate the country someone is from and call that person a terrorist.”
Senator Deb Fisher (R-NE): “We receive numbers from the Department of Homeland Security of terrorists who are on the watch list. With my experience on the Armed Services Committee, I think it would be extremely beneficial for the American people to have a better understanding of the threats that we face so I've been asking that we un-classify some material without putting anyone in danger or exposing any methods that are used on what we do know."
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI): “I have not ... There are issues that need to be addressed both in personnel and technology and so on at the border. We need to do that. We want to do that. We are negotiating in good faith but I am not aware of any [terrorists].”
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD): “I know we have problems at the border but I’m not aware of there being a terrorist threat as a result.”
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR): “I haven’t seen any intelligence that supports terrorists coming into the United States.”
Senator James Lankford (R-OK): "We've had 150 people who've been picked up on the terror watch list just in the last year. We've had tens of thousands listed as 'Special Interest Aliens' by this administration. Those are defined as national security risk people."
Read this great explainer by Bloomberg's Ellen Gilmer about migrants on terror watch lists detained by border agents.
Read this article by Arturo debunking a claim by Customs & Border Protection in San Diego that issued a bulletin warning of Hamas and Hezbollah attempting to enter the country.
And here's the CBP dashboard showing the agency's Terrorist Screening Dataset (TSDS).
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