Oklahoma GOP vows to end support for Lankford over Senate border deal

 January 29, 2024

The Oklahoma Republican Party has decided to withdraw "all support" for Senator James Lankford (R-OK) as he leads negotiations with members of both the Republican and Democratic parties on a Senate deal aimed at expanding both illegal and legal immigration into the United States.

Senator Lankford is collaborating on the deal with fellow Republicans, including Thom Tillis (R-NC) and John Thune (R-SD), along with Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and others.

The deal

The proposed deal entails an increase in legal immigration levels by 50,000 green cards annually, despite the U.S. already admitting approximately one million legal immigrants each year, contributing to the foreign-born population reaching an anticipated 50 million this year—a historic milestone in American history.

The deal would permit up to 35,000 illegal aliens to enter the U.S.-Mexico border weekly before implementing border controls by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

As part of the agreement, illegal aliens would receive expedited work permits for American jobs, and taxpayer-funded lawyers would be provided for Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs).

Oklahoma Republicans respond

Last week, members of the Oklahoma Republican Party (OKGOP) State Committee adopted a resolution condemning and censuring Senator Lankford for his involvement in the deal.

The resolution states, "Be it resolved that the OKGOP strongly condemns Senator James Lankford, if and to the extent that he continues these actions, and calls upon him to cease and desist jeopardizing the security and liberty of the people of Oklahoma and of these United States."

The resolution further declares that the OKGOP will withhold support for Senator Lankford until he discontinues these actions.

Battling the border crisis

The resolution underscores the party's platform, which advocates for "limited legal immigration" to the U.S., aiming to reduce existing annual admissions to prevent adverse effects on national security, wages, housing, environment, medical care, or schools.

The OKGOP opposes a "path to citizenship" for illegal aliens and deems authorizing thousands of people to enter the borders before implementing any action contrary to Lankford's oath to the Constitution and beyond his authorized negotiation area.

While Republicans criticized the deal, President Joe Biden has expressed his endorsement, stating, "For everyone who is demanding tougher border control, this is the way to do it. If you're serious about the border crisis, pass a bipartisan bill and I will sign it," in a written statement.

The Senate conflict is likely to continue this week as Lankford and other Republicans face pushback for joining in the current proposal.

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