As President Donald Trump seeks to close the nation’s border to unauthorized immigrants, the American Immigration Council (AIC) says the border wall should be a top priority.
In a letter to Senate Republicans, the AIC says that a border wall will only hurt American workers and will be an ineffective deterrent against immigration.
“Border security will not protect Americans from a massive wave of illegal immigration,” said Robert D. Bell, president of the Aic.
“The Trump administration will make the decision to build a wall based on a flawed premise that border security is only effective when it is accompanied by enforcement measures, and that these measures include increased border security and a focus on criminal aliens.”
The letter is the latest in a series of statements by AIC and others to pressure Senate Republicans to oppose the president’s efforts to close down the nation and block new arrivals.
The letter from Bell and the Aiscs senior vice president for government affairs, Scott McDaniel, comes just days after Trump signed an executive order aimed at revamping the immigration system and temporarily suspending the refugee program.
In the letter, Bell argues that a Trump administration would have to make tough choices in order to stop the flow of migrants across the border.
For instance, a wall could not only keep people from coming to the U.S., but also keep them from coming into the country, said Bell.
The president would have no choice but to prioritize the removal of all illegal immigrants, Bell said.
The AIC said that by prioritizing removal, the administration would be putting the border at risk, and also could lead to a massive spike in the number of illegal migrants entering the country.
“President Trump’s rhetoric suggests that his administration will not prioritize the safety of our border and its citizens,” Bell said in a statement.
“But the president is wrong.
He will prioritize the survival of criminals, and they will continue to come into our country.”
The White House said in an email that Trump “has consistently said that he does not support any type of border wall and that he wants to focus on enforcement.”
The Aic has also said it is concerned that the president would use his executive powers to unilaterally decide which border agents can and cannot participate in a Border Patrol operation, which would limit the capacity of border agents to do their jobs.
“The Aisc’s letter is a clear sign that this is not an issue that can be resolved through diplomacy,” Bell added.
“President Trump has a strong record of pursuing extreme border security measures, including mass deportations and mass immigration enforcement, which will lead to millions of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border.”
Trump has made the border the focal point of his immigration agenda, calling it the “Great Wall of the USA.”
The wall, which he said will be built by the end of the year, will include a 700-mile wall along the U