The ‘Bipartisan’ Border Bill: Codifying Biden’s Abuses

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 157

By Mark Krikorian and Andrew R. Arthur on May 30, 2024

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The “bipartisan” border bill failed again last week in the Senate, with even its Republican co-sponsor voting against it. While it may now seem moot, it’s likely that the president and Democrats in Congress will spend the rest of the year pointing to Republican opposition to the bill as the reason for the continuing border crisis.

For that reason, it’s worth examining again the provisions of the proposed legislation. Andrew Arthur, Resident Fellow in Law and Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, joins this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy to do just that.

Arthur discusses with host Mark Krikorian how, contrary to the administration’s claims of political expediency, opposition to the bill is based on legitimate policy concerns, as the bill codifies the administration’s disastrous policies at the border.

Arthur discusses how the number of Border Patrol apprehensions and known gotaways have skyrocketed since Biden took office. Citing Judge T. Kent Wetherell’s March 2023 Court Order, Arthur emphasizes that the border crisis is driven by the administration's policies that incentivize “irregular migration” by releasing asylum applicants into the United States.

Arthur noted that the bipartisan border bill “codifies the very Biden release policies that Judge Wetherell found are driving this crisis” – specifically by mandating the release of asylum applicants and lowering the standards for asylum. The bill also contains a provision that allows the president to close the border if the weekly average of apprehensions reaches 4,000 per day, and mandates that the president close the border if weekly apprehensions reach 5,000 per day. By making 5,000 apprehensions per day the floor, the bill suggests that around 1.8 million illegal immigrants per year is acceptable; what’s more, the bill sunsets this provision after three years, preventing future presidents from utilizing this power.

Arthur concludes that the bipartisan border bill was a “lose-lose for…Republicans,” and he points to the House GOP’s passage of H.R.2 – legislation which actually attempts to eliminate illegal immigration – as evidence that Republicans are serious about stopping illegal immigration, while the Democrats seek merely to “manage” the illegal flow.

Finally, Krikorian and Arthur discuss the recent story of two Jordanian nationals – one of whom crossed the southern border illegally – who attempted to breach Quantico Marine Corps Base earlier this month. This incident reveals how the Biden administration’s border policies threaten national security, making it more likely that a large-scale tragedy could occur, forcing Congress to finally address the border crisis.


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Andrew Arthur is a Resident Fellow in Law and Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies.


Fact Sheet on Senate Border Bill

Leonhardt New York Times Article

Text of Senate Border Bill

Text of H.R.2

House Resolution blaming Biden for the Border Crisis

March 2023 Court Order by Judge T. Kent Wetherell II

Article on Quantico Marine Base breach

Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".