WASHINGTON, D.C. January 9, 2019—The Niskanen Center is concerned by the misinformation about the southern border shared by President Trump last night, but remains encouraged by the continued efforts of a handful of lawmakers to push for a solution that pairs border enforcement with permanent legalization of the DACA population, and that leads to an end to the current government shutdown.
“Last night’s address from the oval office is the latest attempt to validate a physical wall as the only solution to ensuring border security,” said Kristie De Peña, Niskanen’s director of immigration & senior counsel. “But the President’s proposal does not address the actual issues at the border and upends bipartisan negotiations in the Senate and House that would lead to a comprehensive solution that can end the shutdown,” she added.
The Trump administration has continuously promoted the idea that chaos reigns on the southern border, but the facts consistently point to the opposite conclusion. U.S. Customs and Border Protection data demonstrates that total southwest border apprehensions have been declining for more than a decade. Claims made by the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen last week seeking to quantify the threat of terrorists infiltrating the border were widely and earnestly rejected. For more information on commonly asked questions about immigration, see our FAQ.
The opportunity to end the shutdown and fix a long-standing immigration issue in a permanent way should not be lost to political grandstanding. A thoughtful border/DACA compromise has the support of the American people and the votes in the 116th Congress.
As the shutdown continues unabated and its impacts reverberate throughout the country, we call upon lawmakers from both parties to focus on real solutions. Now is the time to pass this historic immigration reform deal to usher in a new era of security and certainty for our country.
We commend the lawmakers who tirelessly fight for a more just and economical immigration system. We look forward to continuing to engage with lawmakers interested in finding constructive solutions to one of the most challenging public policy issues of the last few decades.
The Niskanen Center is a 501(c)(3) advocacy organization established in 2014 that works to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.