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February 06, 2024

ICYMI – Senator King Continues Pursuing Responsible, Bipartisan Border Security Proposals

To watch or download today’s Morning Joe interview click here

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) today joined the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to emphasize the importance of finding common ground across party lines and shoring up American immigration policy. Acknowledging that no legislation is perfect, Senator King explained why the current national security supplemental appropriations bill – endorsed by the U.S. Border Patrol union and the Wall Street Journal – is the most conservative proposal to-date and how this will provide authorities with the necessary resources to secure both the northern and southern borders. In addition to the border policies and foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, this week’s legislation also includes the FEND Off Fentanyl Act —which Senator King is a cosponsor of—to halt the flow of illicit drugs from Mexico, China, and other nations into the United States.

Jonathan Lemire asked, “…Let's turn you now to matters here at home and what we've seen this week in the Senate, the remarkable about-face yesterday among top Republicans, including Minority Leader McConnell, now coming out against this bill, suggesting that the politics at the moment have changed, which means they've got their cues from Donald Trump, who wants to keep the border alive for an election year issue. So, tell us about what you're seeing there on the border. And just frankly, what sort of faith can you have right now in the Republicans keeping their word and getting anything done?

Well, you got to remember how we got here. The Republicans insisted last fall we're not going to talk about aid to Ukraine without border security. That was the argument. We're going to secure our own borders and then we'll talk about Ukraine. So, they appointed a negotiating committee led by James Lankford, who's one of the most capable, intelligent, and conservative members of the Republican caucus, who knows more about the border than anybody else, certainly on the Republican side, I would argue probably in the whole Senate, they negotiated the toughest border bill in 40 years that's been endorsed by the Border Patrol Union which endorsed Donald Trump in 2020. The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, they've had this amazing, strong, very conservative border security bill, which is what they asked for. And in the last two or three days, they've said, well, never mind. And I woke up this morning sort of batting between disappointment and disbelief…” Senator King responded.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, December 2023 saw the most land border encounters in a single month compared to any month in the last three years, a majority of which are single adults.

This week’s bipartisan proposal is the most recent example of Senator King’s support for stronger border security measures.

  • In 2018, he co-led bipartisan negotiations with Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) on an immigration proposal that included both a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers and more than $25 billion for the Department of Homeland Security to construct physical border barriers and technology.
  • In 2013, Senator King voted for the bipartisan 2013 agreement that represented the most significant reform of America’s immigration policy by offering millions of undocumented immigrants an earned pathway to citizenship.


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