In a move that can be labeled as fearful for the future, Democrats in the Senate are trying to impose new limitations on how presidents can use executive powers to affect immigration policy.
NBC News issued a report recently that said Senate Democrats brought up the idea during negotiations that revolved around a package for border security. Those negotiations are happening as Republican senators want those measures in exchange for additional military aid for Ukraine.
Some of the Democrats who are part of the negotiating team have been seeking to include new provisions in that bill that would prevent any administration from imposing significant restrictions on immigration.
Clearly, this is being done in fear that former President Donald Trump could once again win the White House in 2024, and then immediately use his executive powers to re-institute strict immigration measures to bring border security under control.
As one anonymous Democratic source explained to NBC News:
“What Donald Trump could do with that – and would do with that – is very different. And that is clearly on people’s minds as they are drafting. None of this is being drafted in a vacuum.”
During his time in the White House, Trump was very tough on immigration. He approved funding for a border wall and even instituted a new policy called Title 42 that allowed for the quick deportation of illegal immigrants. The Biden administration allowed that policy to expire in the spring, and has taken a very lax stance on immigration that has directly resulted in the U.S. migrant crisis.
Many Democrats would consider giving divisions of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement the ability to remove illegal migrants from the U.S. not long after they come into the country. At the same time, they’re opposed to giving presidents powers to expedite the removal of illegal migrants who already have settled in the U.S. – some of whom have been here for years and might be married to a U.S. citizen.
Senator Alex Padilla, a Democrat from California, commented to NBC News:
“Expanded nationwide expedited removal is an incredibly dangerous tool that, if willingly handed over in these negotiations, could be easily abused by a future Trump administration to target political opponents and critics.”
And Todd Schute, who serves as the president of the immigration watchdog group FWD.us, said:
“[Trump and his team] have explicitly stated that nationwide expedited removal is absolutely fundamental if they’re going to pursue their horrific efforts to arrest and deport millions and millions of immigrants.”
All of these moves can be characterized as fearful. Trump hasn’t even won the GOP nomination just yet – though he’s widely expected to – and Democrats are already prepared for the possibility that he will defeat their candidate in the General Election last November.
It’s certainly a defeatist attempt to try to prevent what they consider catastrophe, since it appears they won’t be able to do anything to prevent Trump from being elected.