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Legislation being moved through the House and Senate by congressional Democrats will stand up for the “inviolability of borders” in Ukraine, while the party largely ignores the border security situation at the porous U.S. border.
The “Defending Ukraine Sovereignty Act,” introduced last week, calls for a briefing to congressional committees that includes a plan “to bolster support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders…”
The legislation, which would also impose sanctions on Russia if it invades or undermines Ukrainian sovereignty, comes amid growing tensions in the region. Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border ahead of what many fear is an imminent invasion of the U.S. ally.
The bill marks the latest muscular demonstration of support from lawmakers and officials in Washington, D.C., on the importance of Ukraine’s border. Jonathan Finer, a White House deputy national security adviser, was asked on CNN why Americans should care about what is happening in Ukraine.
“Because it goes to a very fundamental principle of all nations, that our borders should be inviolate, that our sovereignty should be respected,” he said.
The statements immediately drew comparisons with what is going on at the southern border, where congressional Democrats have supported the rolling back of border security measures and further restrictions on interior enforcement.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants have hit the U.S. border in the last year, with 178,840 encounters in December alone. While many have been returned via the Trump-era Title 42 public health protections, others have instead been released into the U.S., often within hours of arriving at the border.
The difference in positions on Ukrainian and American borders has drawn criticism from Republicans and immigration hawks. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., noted comments by Vice President Kamala Harris, who told reporters that America “respect[s] the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, and we expect Russia to do the same.”
“The only problem is she was talking about Ukraine’s border, not America’s borders,” Boebert quipped.
However, the situations at the southern U.S. border and the Ukrainian border are also very different. More than 100,000 Russian troops have amassed at the Ukrainian border, and a military invasion could be imminent – a threat the U.S. is not facing.
RJ Hauman, head of government relations at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, conceded that “you can’t directly compare a flood of lethal drugs and economic migrants to the Russian military.”
“But when fentanyl coming across our southern border is killing American adults 18-45 more than anything else and China is undoubtedly our biggest threat, this effort is certainly worthy of outrage,” he said.
Hauman accused the White House and congressional Democrats of avoiding using similar language on the U.S. border and U.S. sovereignty, and of being “very serious about Ukraine’s borders but … wholly disinterested in preserving ours.”
“Ukraine is a nation state. The United States is a nation state. Nation states need borders. They must control those borders to preserve those borders,” he said. “It’s that simple.”
News of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s intention to retire comes after months of pressure from the left to hang up his robe in time for President Biden to name his replacement.
“There’s no question that Justice Breyer, for whom I have great respect, should retire at the end of this term,” Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., said last spring, just months after Biden took office. “My goodness, have we not learned our lesson?”
Associate Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer (Reuters/Joshua Roberts/File Photo)
The lesson Jones was hoping Breyer had learned from was the story of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who famously resisted calls to retire during former President Barack Obama’s tenure, opening the door for former President Donald Trump to choose her replacement upon her death in 2020.
Ginsburg’s death made Breyer the oldest member of the court at 83, a fact not lost on many progressives when Biden won the 2020 election.
“I believe Representative Jones has a point, and we have had very difficult experiences with making the opposite mistake,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said when asked last year about the prospect of Breyer retiring.
Asked specifically if she thought Breyer should step aside, Ocasio-Cortez said she was “inclined to say yes.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Breyer also faced pressure from legal scholars, including a letter that was signed by 18 academics last year calling on him to step aside. Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, penned his own op-ed pleading for Breyer to announce his retirement.
“Breyer shouldn’t even wait for the 2022 midterms to retire,” Chemerinsky said last year in the Washington Post. “With a 50-50 Senate, anything is possible: Something could happen to a Democratic senator in a state with a Republican governor, who would then pick the replacement and throw the majority back to Republicans.”
Progressive activist organizations also joined in on the chorus, with 13 groups such as Black Lives Matter and Women’s March launching a joint effort calling for his retirement.
“Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer should immediately announce his intent to retire from the bench,” said an ad paid for by the groups. “If Breyer were replaced by an additional ultra-conservative justice, an even further-right Supreme Court would leave our democracy and the rights of marginalized communities at even greater risk.
“For the good of the country, now is the time to step aside,” the ad continued.
Breyer mostly stayed silent on his plans despite the immense pressure, saying that he would “eventually” step aside.
“I mean, eventually I’ll retire, sure I will,” Breyer told Slate last year. “And it’s hard to know exactly when.”
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and former President Clinton (Ron Sachs/CNP/Getty Images)
Breyer had planned to announce his retirement soon and made the decision on his own, sources told Fox News’ Shannon Bream.
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