GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik: ‘We Need … Trump’s Border Policies’

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 29: U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) attends a press briefing following a House Republican conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol on June 29, 2021 in Washington, D.C. The House Republicans said they are going to investigate the origins of the coronavirus.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty

Republican legislators in the House agree that a GOP majority in 2023 will push to restore President Donald Trump’s border policies, GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik told Breitbart News.

“Republicans agree we need to return to President Trump’s effective border security policies — which was the most secure border, certainly in my lifetime, and it was working,” Rep. Elise Stefanik, who chairs the conference committee which represents all GOP members in the House, told Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Daily host Alex Marlow.

That chair position makes her a leading spokeswoman for the party’s 2022 campaign promises  — and a leader responsible for implementing those promises in 2023.

Marlow asked her about the GOP’s response to a consensus border-fix plan recently drafted by a mix of diverse immigration reform groups. The consensus plan describes the steps needed to block illegal migration over the border, and was formally presented on May 11 to 150 GOP legislators, including Stefanik and GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

“Is there anything that could be highlights of a consensus document or package that could come forward next year?” Marlow asked Stefanik.

Stefanik replied:

Absolutely. Returning to the effective immigration and border security policies of President Trump — actually abiding by the rule of law — and also conducting very aggressive and important transparent oversight of the failures of DHS, and that includes [Homeland Security] secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas just absolutely being derelict in his duty on the job.

I do think … Republicans agree we need to return to President Trump’s effective border security policies, which was the most secure border, certainly in my lifetime, and it was working.

We see who’s most powerful talking about this — [former ICE chief] Tom Homan is actually a constituent of mine and he’s always spot on — but to hear from the national border patrol union president [on May 11] about the dire circumstances and the horrible situations this is putting our border patrol law enforcement men and women in — the whole nation and the president of the United States should be listening to them. And yet we have a president who’s never been to the southern border.

Stefanik’s support for a return to Trump’s policies is notable, partly because many GOP donors bitterly oppose Trump’s border curbs.

In general, Wall Street investors and state-level business leaders gain from a large-scale influx of imported consumers, renters, and workers. But GOP-aligned voters lose from any inflow because the imported people pressure wages downwards while helping to drive up housing costs.

The government-driven influx of migrants also diverts investment and wealth away from heartland communities because it reduces the need for coastal investors to hire people in Stefanik’s district in upstate New York, or in Alabama, for example. The reduced investment in heartland towns lowers their income, property values, and social status compared to the coastal cities that attract legal and illegal migrants.

These conflicting demands force GOP politicians to zig-zag between donors and voters. But in 2021 and 2022, Stefanik and other GOP leaders have zagged towards their populist voters by blocking several donor-backed demands for more Afghan, Hong Kong, Russian, and Ukrainian migrants, national amnesties and farm-worker amnesties, green card giveaways, and white-collar visa programs.

The “top-polling issues are inflation, the economic crisis as far as labor shortage and workforce development, the crime crisis as well, the border security crisis as well,” Stefanik told the Hill. “On all of those issues we have been very disciplined on messaging, and the polling shows that we maintain double-digit leads on every single issue.”

The consensus border-fix plan that was touted at the May 11 meeting with Stefanik was signed by various business-backed groups, such as the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

But it was also signed by populist groups, such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, The Remembrance Project, Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime, Eagle Forum, and Conservative Partnership Institute.

The document lists straightforward laws and rules that would block nearly all of the economic migration across the southern border, including:

End the disparate treatment of contiguous vs. non-contiguous unaccompanied alien children (UAC) under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) and terminate the Flores settlement agreement that limits detention of family units to 20-days; and raise the credible fear standard;

Restrict prosecutorial discretion to remove it as the catch-all excuse for limiting immigration enforcement;

Mandate full implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), otherwise known as Remain in Mexico, and appropriate funds for permanent court facilities along the border at every POE […]

The plan also calls for funding to hire border agents, build the wall, expand detention, and end the catch and release of economic migrants. It says Congress should exclude victims of commercial crime from asylum benefits, bar the easy awarding of work permits to migrants, narrow lawsuit-imposed curbs on the immigration courts, and allow states to help implement federal immigration law.

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