GOP Senator Commends Barack Obama’s Border Enforcement Strategy

Republican Senator Praises Barack Obama’s Border Policies

Senator James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, shared his perspective with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, highlighting a comparison between former President Barack Obama’s border enforcement policies and those of President Biden.

The backdrop to this conversation is the heightened concern among Republicans regarding border security, spurred by a notable increase in illegal migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years. The 2024 fiscal year, commencing on October 1, 2023, has witnessed a substantial number of enforcement actions by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), totaling 1,231,213 thus far.

Lankford spearheaded efforts in recent months to formulate a bipartisan border deal, aiming not only to allocate $20 billion for bolstering border security but also to overhaul America’s immigration system. This comprehensive bill, coupled with a foreign aid package, amounted to $118 billion. However, it failed to progress in the Senate in February, facing criticism from Republicans and former President Donald Trump.

GOP Senator Commends Barack Obama's Border Enforcement Strategy
GOP Senator Commends Barack Obama’s Border Enforcement Strategy (Credits: Newsweek)

The immigration system’s challenges predate the Biden administration. During the Trump era, apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border surged by 14.7 percent. Notably, deportations peaked at 400,000 during Obama’s first term in office, subsequently decreasing to 235,413 during his second term.

When asked by Tapper about the prospects of passing border-related legislation, Lankford expressed skepticism, stating, “I don’t think there’s any hope in this year.” He emphasized his endeavor to enact substantive measures that would genuinely impact the border, akin to the failed bill’s objectives.

Lankford underscored that President Obama had enforced border policies more effectively than President Biden, despite both administrations operating under the same legal framework. He urged Biden to emulate Obama’s approach if not Trump’s.

With illegal crossings surging and Trump emerging as the probable GOP nominee in the upcoming 2024 presidential election, Biden faces significant challenges on the campaign trail. Trump’s stringent stance on immigration has been a cornerstone of his political platform across all three presidential campaigns.

Conversely, critics have drawn parallels between Trump’s rhetoric on immigration and that of the late German dictator Adolf Hitler. Trump has previously characterized immigrants entering the U.S. as “poisoning the blood of our country.” In response to such criticisms, Trump’s spokesman, Steven Cheung dismissed them as baseless, attributing them to “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

An Emerson College poll conducted from March 5 to 6 gauged public opinion on which candidate, Biden or Trump, would better handle immigration and border security. The results indicated a split, with 48.2 percent favoring Biden and 51.8 percent favoring Trump, within a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

Looking ahead, Biden remains steadfast in his determination to pass the border deal that previously faltered. During his recent State of the Union address, he asserted that the bill would “save lives and bring order to the border,” offering new emergency authority to temporarily close the border during overwhelming migrant influxes. Biden framed the choice as one between contentious debate or decisive action, signaling his readiness to address the issue promptly.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.