The Trump-era border wall remains unfinished after the Biden administration put a stop to it. (Fox News)
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.
Congressional Democrats have supported the rolling back of the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), the ending of border wall construction, have called for investigations into Border Patrol agents who stopped migrants from entering the country illegally, and have called for the ending of Title 42. A number of Democrats have also pushed for either the rolling back of interior enforcement or the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Biden administration has dramatically restricted ICE’s ability to arrest illegal immigrants in the U.S. interior.
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.”