Oklahoma Republicans have openly condemned Senator James Lankford (R-OK) for his involvement in a bipartisan border deal, marking a rift within the party over immigration policies.
Sen. Lankford has been a key figure in negotiating a Senate agreement aimed at addressing the surge in illegal crossings at the US-Mexico Border. The proposed deal, still in its final stages, seeks to grant the President authority to shut the border during overwhelming migrant influxes.
However, the move has not been well-received by some members of the GOP, including former President Donald Trump, who has been vocal in his opposition, asserting that a bad deal is worse than no deal at all.
The Oklahoma Republican Party has expressed their strong disapproval of Lankford’s actions. A resolution passed by the party accuses him of partnering with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in what they term an “open border deal,” which they believe could allow up to 5,000 illegal immigrants per day into the United States.
The resolution criticizes Lankford for compromising the safety and security of Americans and legal immigrants seeking citizenship. It goes as far as to demand that he cease such actions, threatening to withdraw all support for him unless he aligns with the party’s stance.
This is total BS from this RINO.
Lankford is cutting a deal with Dems to fund Zelenskyy with billions, while giving a mass amnesty to illegals. That's why we oppose his shitty deal. Anyone who supports it deserves a primary.
Why is it so hard to just secure the damn border??? https://t.co/pBMRWQx0wN
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 28, 2024
Republican State Senator Dusty Deevers shared on X the text of a resolution that reprimands Lankford for his involvement in the deal.
“Resolution Condemning & Censoring Senator Lankford’s Open Border Deal” as approved by the OKGOP State Committee members on January 27, 2024. pic.twitter.com/peVqHAfIpt
— Dusty Deevers (@DustyDeevers) January 27, 2024
Trump supporter Roger Stone also criticized Lankford.
.@SenatorLankford went from being a border hawk before the last Republican senatorial primary to being in favor of allowing more than 5000 illegals to cross every day. What do they have on him ? pic.twitter.com/WEL3kXgc7V
— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) January 28, 2024
Despite the backlash, Lankford remains optimistic about the deal. In an interview with CBS News he expressed his positivity, attributing the criticism to internet rumors.
The agreement is anticipated to provide the executive branch with the power to temporarily halt asylum processing during periods of increased migrant crossings, as informed by three individuals knowledgeable about the discussions to CBS News. Additionally, it is likely to increase the criteria for accepting asylum seekers and broaden the scope of accelerated deportation powers.
Trump had praised House Speaker Mike Johnson for his firm stance against the bill. “I think he’s going to prove to be a very good speaker. It’s tough when you have a very small majority. Very tough. Mike Johnson, speaker, he just said it’s dead on arrival in the House. Dead on arrival,” Trump explained.
“As the leader of our party, there is zero chance I will support this horrible, open borders betrayal of America. It’s not going to happen, and I’ll fight it all the way,” Trump said at an event in Nevada.
“I notice a lot of the senators, a lot of the senators are trying to say, respectfully, they’re blaming it on me. I said that’s OK, please blame it on me. Please, because they were getting ready to pass a very bad bill. And I’ll tell you what, a bad bill, I’d rather have no bill than a bad bill.”
Although the document has not been made public, a gradual release of information this week ignited the intense discussions in Congress, with bipartisan negotiators striving to gather support from Senate Republicans for policies that would change the country’s immigration laws.
Trump and other Republicans, however, have added to the complexity of the negotiations by intervening in the discussion, aiming to dismantle the agreement.