The ongoing negotiations over a border security bill continue. Almost daily the public is promised the text of the draft bill any day now.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., lambasted critics of the bill as it has leaked out detail by detail.
“The stories that are swirling about what this does and doesn’t do are wrong,” Sinema argued Wednesday. “It is misinformation, and whether it is willful or not is someone else’s question to answer, but the rumors that are swirling about what this legislation does are wrong.”
I don’t know how speculation about an unreleased bill can be “misinformation,” as there is no measure against which any particular allegation can be measured.
But in all of the stories about the negotiations, there has been no talk of the 900-mile wall, which is the necessary if not sufficient requirement for any border security bill to pass. More than half the country supports the wall, and more than 9 out of 10 Republicans. So the question is obvious: Why don’t we know anything about the wall and the bill? And if the wall isn’t in the bill, why not?
A good guess — just a guess, but not misinformation — is that the bill doesn’t have 900 miles of wall in it. Or even 400 miles, which could be used to finish that part of the wall that hasn’t ever been built. The lack of details about the negotiations leads border security folks like me to suspect the bill is yet another face plant by the Senate GOP on immigration “reform.”
Hope that I’m wrong. Many things have to be done to secure the border. “Regularization” of the migrants in the country without criminal records would be a boon to everyone. We need to expedite military aid to Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine.
But not at the expense of the wall. People who are rightly serious about the security of our allies have to first be concerned with American security. That security begins at the southern border with the wall. I suspect Republicans who vote for a “compromise” without the wall will forever regret it as an imprudent move made in haste and over the many objections they have heard and arguments made that they chose to ignore.
Hugh Hewitt is one of the country’s leading journalists of the center-right. A son of Ohio and a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School, Hewitt has been a Professor of Law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law since 1996 where he teaches Constitutional Law. Hewitt launched his eponymous radio show from Los Angeles in 1990, and it is today syndicated to hundreds of stations and outlets across the country every Monday through Friday morning. Hewitt has frequently appeared on every major national news television network, hosted television shows for PBS and MSNBC, written for every major American paper, has authored a dozen books and moderated a score of Republican candidate debates, most recently the November 2023 Republican presidential debate in Miami and four Republican presidential debates in the 2015-16 cycle. Hewitt focuses his radio show and this column on the Constitution, national security, American politics and the Cleveland Browns and Guardians. Hewitt has interviewed tens of thousands of guests from Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump over his forty years in broadcast, and this column previews the lead story that will drive his radio show today.