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GOP senator James Lankford denies accuracy of leaked border deal draft

Republican Sen. James Lankford (Okla.) blasted the leak of a draft border and immigration deal — which reportedly would allow 5,000 migrants per day into the US — as a “lie.”

“A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on,” Lankford posted on X on Saturday, citing a quote from the English Baptist minister Charles Spurgeon.

“I encourage people to read the border security bill before they judge the border security bill. I also advise people not to believe everything you read on the internet,” he added.

Lankford, a former Baptist minister himself, has been negotiating the provisions of a final border security deal in the Senate as part of a $106 billion national security supplemental that includes funds for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

A record-setting more than 276,000 asylum seekers entered the US from Mexico in December and were apprehended by US Customs and Border Protection, according to preliminary data obtained by Fox News.

Republican Sen. James Lankford (Okla.) denied the accuracy of a leaked draft border deal he is negotiating with Democrats on Saturday, saying don’t “believe everything you read on the internet.” MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
The conservative Immigration Accountability Project leaked a version of the legislation on Jan. 11. Getty Images

The conservative Immigration Accountability Project leaked an apparent draft version of the legislation on Jan. 11, highlighting provisions that would increase green card handouts to 50,000 annually and allow for migrant expulsions only if crossings exceed 5,000 per day over a seven-day period.

The bill also reportedly grants work permits to illegal aliens released from US custody and provides “taxpayer-funded lawyers” to unaccompanied minors and migrants who are deemed mentally incompetent.

It would further grant work permits to adult children of H-1B visa holders, which permits employers to temporarily hire nonimmigrant aliens for specialized jobs that typically require a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) rejected the terms of the deal based on the leak. MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Some restrictions to the government’s ability to grant parole to migrants who come through US ports of entry without authorization are also included.

Three hours before Lankford’s post, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) had rejected the terms of the deal based on the leak.

“Absolutely not,” Johnson posted on X in response.

The House immigration bill, which will almost certainly never be picked up by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), returned to policies from the Trump administration. Ron Adar / M10s / SplashNews.com

“Good answer,” replied far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who has introduced an impeachment resolution against President Biden’s Homeland Security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Senate Republicans are working with Chuck Schumer on a secret ‘deal’ for AMNESTY & work permits for illegal immigrants,” Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.) also posted.

“I will vote NO on the Senate Republican amnesty surrender deal. Secure the border, deport, and IMPEACH! Put America first!”

Lankford worked through the federal holiday recess in December and January with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) to draft the legislation.

None of the senators immediately returned requests for comment on the leak, which The Post could not independently verify.

If accurate, the deal puts House Republicans at odds with their Senate colleagues, who are being pressured by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to “take the deal,” Punchbowl News reported.

Meanwhile, Johnson and House GOP lawmakers have stuck to their border security bill, H.R. 2, passed last year as their signature legislative fix to immigration policy.

If accurate, the deal puts House Republicans at odds with their Senate colleagues, who are being reportedly pressured by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to “take the deal.” Getty Images

The House speaker noted in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt last week that the bill, which will almost certainly never be picked up by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), returned to several policies from the Trump administration.

That legislation included reforms to seeking asylum, including the end of “catch and release” policies for migrants awaiting their court hearings and a return to Migrant Protection Protocols, which forced them to remain south of the border.

“I took 64 House Republicans down to Eagle Pass at the epicenter just last week and saw it with our own two eyes,” Johnson told Hewitt. “It is an absolute catastrophe. So we’ve got to restore those policies that work.” 

More than 276,000 asylum seekers entered the US from Mexico in December and were apprehended by US Customs and Border Protection, according to preliminary CBP data. AP

Rosemary Jenks, government relations director at the Immigration Accountability Project, told the Washington Times that nothing in the deal would halt the record-shattering number of migrant crossings in recent months.

In fiscal year 2023, 3.2 million total migrant encounters were reported by CBP, almost equivalent to the number of US births: 3,667,758.

At least 2.4 million of those migrant apprehensions occurred at the southern border.

Mayorkas has also privately admitted that more than 85% of those detainees are subsequently released into the country, Fox News also reported.

Written by SaleemBaloch

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