Trump condemns bipartisan immigration reform tied to Ukraine aid, sparking GOP division
Trump condemned the measures of the bill unveiled on Sunday, which prescribes the "closure" of the border if the number of people attempting to cross surpasses an average of 5,000 a day in a week. He argued that the reigning president already has the right to make such a decision.
"Only a fool or a radical left-wing Democrat would vote for this horrendous border bill," he stated on his social media platform, TRUTH Social.
"This bill is a wonderful gift for the Democrats and a death wish for the Republican Party (...) Don't be STUPID!!!" he warned the party leaders. He insisted that border reforms should not be associated with foreign aid "in any way or form."
The ex-president has repeatedly urged Republicans to reject the bipartisan agreement on migration and funds for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, even before the agreement was finalized.
The two highest-ranking politicians within the party in the House of Representatives, House Speaker Mike Johnson and majority leader Steve Scalise, voiced their opposition to the project. They dismissed the possibility of bringing it to a vote, despite many analysts predicting that it could secure a majority vote in the House.
Voices of the bipartisan agreement authors in the U.S. Senate
Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, and the project's co-author, Republican Senator James Lankford, champion this project.
Lankford expressed that the immigration reforms—negotiated after four months of discussions aimed at significantly tightening asylum criteria and facilitating a quick turnaround of most migrants at the border—are the most stringent set of reforms ever deliberated by Congress.
President Biden has promised to "shut down" the border as soon as the bill is enacted, which would effectively mean almost all migrants attempting to cross the border outside designated border crossings would be automatically turned back.
Lankford accused his party peers of being swayed by misinformation and "what they read on Facebook." He also highlighted instances during Trump's presidency when more than 5,000 migrants a day were intercepted at the border, resulting in chaos.
"The defining question is this: as Republicans, will we hold press conferences, bemoan the poor state of the border, and then intentionally leave it open, after December marked the worst month in American history?" the senator asked during a Fox News interview.
He previously insinuated that some of his party colleagues were critical of the project because they did not want to approve new funds to assist Ukraine. Other Republican senators, including McConnell and Mitt Romney, hinted that opposition stemmed from a reluctance to undermine Trump's primary campaign issue.