Republicans Shun New Laws Amid Border Crisis, Trump Advocates Direct Action

Republicans find themselves torn between the urgency to pass conservative border legislation, as advocated by many Senate GOP colleagues, and the political interests of former President Donald Trump, who sees the border crisis as advantageous for his 2024 campaign.

Increasingly, their stance revolves around a common refrain: new laws are unnecessary.

“We don’t really even need new laws,” remarked Trump on Monday, reiterating on Wednesday, “CLOSE THE SOUTHERN BORDER, NO BILL NECESSARY!!!”

“President Biden falsely claimed yesterday he needs Congress to pass a new law to allow him to close the southern border,” stated House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).

Similarly, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) emphasized, “We don’t need a border bill,” while South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) insisted, “We don’t need new laws — we just need a president who enforces the laws we already have.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) echoed this sentiment, stating, “We don’t need a new law to secure the border; this crisis would end instantly if Biden just fully reinstated the Trump policies.”

Agreeing, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) emphasized, “We don’t need a new bill; we need something to get Biden to enforce the law.”

Rep. Troy E. Nehls (R-Tex.) concurred, stating, “The idea that you need Congress to do something to secure the southern border is just all horse manure.”

This assertion marks a departure from previous Republican viewpoints. Many Republicans previously acknowledged the need for legislation to address border challenges, even during Trump’s presidency.

Sen. Cruz, elaborating, noted that a bill wasn’t necessary today due to “the lowest rate of illegal immigration in 45 years under Donald Trump.” However, in 2019, Cruz advocated for legislative action, citing a border “crisis.”

Trump, too, emphasized the necessity of legislation in 2018 and 2019, stressing that congressional action was crucial to address the border situation, including changes to asylum laws.

The shift in perspective among Republicans underscores the evolving dynamics surrounding the border crisis and the varying approaches to addressing it, reflecting changing political landscapes and priorities over time.