Lankford’s Border Deal With Schumer Sparks Conservative Outrage

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss the controversial proposed “border security” agreement he has discussed with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). The deal has ignited a firestorm among conservatives and laid bare a deepening rift within the Republican Party.

Lankford is now facing growing criticism for his role in negotiating the deal, which is perceived as too lenient on illegal immigration. He’s now in hot water not only with America First Republicans but also with a significant portion of the party establishment.

The agreement, as detailed by Fox News reporter Bill Melugin, appears to offer a mixed bag of measures. On the one hand, it proposes strict enforcement policies like mandatory detention for all single adults and immediate removal of illegal immigrants without asylum processing upon reaching a certain threshold. However, the flip side reveals deep concessions to the progressive open borders agenda. The deal will allow up to 35,000 illegal aliens to cross into the U.S. weekly without any meaningful restrictions.

Lankford’s defense of the bill hinges on its purported goal of reducing illegal crossings to zero and bolstering border patrol resources. His assertion of “no amnesty” and a focus on rapid deportation contrasts the actual mechanics of the bill, as reported. The legislation would maintain Biden’s catch-and-release network, allowing a significant number of illegal aliens into American communities.

This contradiction between Lankford’s statements and the bill’s provisions has not gone unnoticed. Donald Trump Jr.’s scathing critique on X, formerly known as Twitter, reflects a growing discontent within the party. Accusing Lankford, along with other prominent Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Mitt Romney, of facilitating a mass amnesty, Trump Jr.’s words echo the frustrations of the America First base.

The Oklahoma Republican Party’s resolution, censuring Lankford for his negotiations, further underscores the internal party tension. The resolution, posted on X by state Sen. Dusty Deevers (R), condemns Lankford for policies that supposedly endanger American safety and security. This sentiment is echoed by several Senate Republicans, including Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), who have voiced their strong opposition to the deal.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) reported private lobbying for the Schumer-Lankford deal only adds to the situation’s complexity. It highlights a division between the party’s establishment wing, which seems inclined toward compromise, and it’s more conservative faction, which remains steadfastly opposed to policies perceived as soft on immigration.

As the 2024 presidential campaign gears up, this bill and the reactions it has provoked offer a clear glimpse into the ongoing struggle within the Republican Party. The conservative base, aligned with Trump’s tough stance on border security, finds itself increasingly at odds with what they see as a betrayal by some of their leaders. If not bridged, this divide could have significant implications for the party’s unity and effectiveness in the upcoming elections.