Our political system is broken

Our political system is broken

The failure of the Senate immigration deal this week provides the latest evidence of the brokenness of our political system. It also highlights the need for problem solvers – including a potential Unity Ticket – to provide commonsense solutions to our nation's problems.

Much of the blame for the deal's demise has fallen on former President Trump – and for good reason.

He openly pressured Republicans on Capitol Hill to oppose the bill to avoid helping President Biden. Despite the historic border security wins included in the compromise, he asserted that no deal was acceptable “unless we get EVERYTHING.” He promises to deliver a better deal if he wins a second term despite the fact that he had four full years in his first term to sign a meaningful immigration bill and delivered nothing.

Trump’s actions are hypocritical and cynical but entirely expected. He’s tried to kill just about every bipartisan agreement since he left office – see the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill – and this immigration bill is just the latest example.

But don’t let anyone tell you the Biden administration has been a profile in courage on the immigration issue.

In his first 100 days alone, President Biden ended the declaration of emergency at the southwest border, halted border wall construction, paused deportations, ended Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy, removed Title 42, and implemented a catch-and-release policy. This would be defensible if the administration had a comprehensive plan to secure the border once they ended these provisions.

But they did not.

In fact, the administration spent much of the last few years denying there was a problem at all. Vice President Harris and Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas both claimed as recently as 2022 that “the border is secure.”

But the numbers tell a different story:

Southwest Border Encounters

December 2020: 73,994

December 2023: 302,034

Increase of 308 percent

Backlogged Asylum Cases

December 2020: 1,290,766

November 2023: 3,075,248

Increase of 138 percent

Unaccompanied Minor Encounters

December 2020: 4,965

December 2023: 13,475

Increase of 171.5 percent

It’s become so clear these past few weeks that both parties seem to live by the same creed: It’s better to campaign on a problem than to work together to solve it.

There are fortunately some notable exceptions – like Senators James Lankford and Kyrsten Sinema – who worked tirelessly to try to develop this bipartisan immigration bill and get it over the finish line. But in the end, they were outnumbered and overwhelmed by others who put party before country.

The collapse of this deal is a stark reminder of why a Unity Ticket is so essential in the first place: We need leaders in the White House who will work tirelessly to bring both parties to the table. We need compromise to be the default setting of the administration rather than a dirty word to be shunned and avoided or the option of last resort.

But America can’t afford to wait eleven months for the next administration to secure our border. We need problem solvers in both parties to come together now to forge a solution in Congress. It may need to be more modest than the first proposal, but it must be a plan to address the crisis at the border while also recognizing the importance of legal immigration in our society.

We need you – the commonsense majority – to raise your voices and call for meaningful action. You can sign our petition here.