Americans for Prosperity Foundation has embarked on a first-of-its-kind project: to bring activists from each of our state chapters to the southern border where they can experience the reality on the ground, unfiltered and unadulterated. The first trip occurred April 26th, where folks from Iowa, Nevada and North Carolina visited McAllen, Texas. They had the opportunity to participate in a briefing by U.S. Customs & Border Patrol, tour portions of the border wall and well-traveled routes near the Rio Grande and meet people on the ground who are experiencing the crisis on a daily basis. Without boots on the ground, it’s tough to grasp the magnitude of what a 2,000-milelong southern border demands by way of security. There was a common refrain from our activists: 19,000 officers aren’t enough to deal with the influx of people crossing the border, what’s occurring is a humanitarian disaster and that this is an American issue, not a partisan issue. There’s a new variable in the conversation around immigration policy: the termination of Title 42 on May 11th. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC delegated power to the CBP to rapidly expel immigrants both at and between ports of entry, rather than process them under normal immigration procedure. The immediate effect of ending Title 42 will likely be an increase in apprehensions. At AFP, we believe that addressing the problems caused by our outdated, broken immigration system requires enhancing border security. We need an all-of-the-above border-security strategy that includes several solutions:
- Barriers in strategic locations, modernized technology and infrastructure, and increases in and retention of personnel.
- Facilitating opportunities to apply for protection outside the US to reduce pressure at the border.
- Hiring more immigration judges and asylum officers, and instituting last-in-first-out during migration surges to ensure timely and proper consideration of asylum claims, while dissuading weak or frivolous claims.
- Increasing legal pathways and streamlining existing ones so migrants have more options than applying for asylum.
Border security efforts should allow our federal government to focus on establishing safety, security, and order by defending us from those that present risks to national security and our rule of law. A CBS report from the mid-80’s called our policies around migrants and refugees “immigration anarchy full of holes and hypocrisy.” Three decades have passed and the same can still be said. It’s time for real solutions to be debated and advanced. We encourage you to sign the petition at www.AFPFBorderTour.com, which will allow you to stay up-to-date on opportunities for border visit and to keep informed about policy proposals and action at the federal level so you can best lobby your member of our Pennsylvania delegation of Senators Casey and Fetterman and 17 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. I’m Ashley Klingensmith, State Director with Americans for Prosperity-PA. You can connect with us on Facebook by searching @PAAFP and can follow us on Twitter by searching @AFPPennsylvania.
Ashley S. Klingensmith | State Director | Americans for Prosperity – PA
m: 412.915.1551 | e: [email protected] | @AFPPennsylvania