Home / News / Repeal of border bill should not stop aid to Ukraine

Repeal of border bill should not stop aid to Ukraine

The world, and America’s attention to what’s going on outside its own borders, doesn’t have time to wait for Republicans in Washington to clarify their talking points.

GOP hardliners in the House of Representatives, at the behest of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, have frustratingly torpedoed sweeping legislation to address immigration chaos at the U.S. southern border. The measure, the product of months of bipartisan negotiations, would provide resources to improve the broken system that adjudicates migrants’ asylum claims and give the president much more authority to regulate the influx at the border.

We don’t need to remind Chicagoans how unrest at the border has caused chaos in our city. There doesn’t seem to be any relief thanks to Trump.

Predictably, Trump viewed the passage of such a bill as a threat to his election hopes in November, opting to keep the hot border issue in his campaign rather than allow rival Joe Biden to take credit for a potential solution. His words were a commandment to many in Congress who remain in thrall to the former president despite the multiple criminal charges he faces and his disdain for our democratic institutions and traditions.

It is regrettable that this rare chance for progress on immigration, an issue that has vexed the country for decades and is now at boiling point, has vanished. But that should not stop Congress from doing what is necessary to support critical American interests abroad.

The first and most important of these is support for Ukraine asserting its sovereignty against Vladimir Putin’s Russia, a war now in its third year. The conflict in the Middle East has diverted attention from Ukraine’s survival, but as we have said since the first day of Putin’s invasion, it is largely in that country’s interest to defeat Putin’s ambitions in this part of the world.

Ukraine’s courage and determination are remarkable, but the war is at a precarious point. The first year of the war was a disaster for Russia; Putin’s goal of quickly seizing Ukraine turned out to be a figment of his imagination. Last year, the second of the war, saw a Ukrainian counter-offensive aimed at driving Russia out of occupied parts of Ukraine, prompting overly optimistic tone.

Currently, both sides are at an impasse. But Ukraine desperately needs more American military aid, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is reportedly preparing to replace the country’s top military commander.

The situation is so alarming that Ukrainian soldiers cannot fire at Russian soldiers advancing towards them for fear of running out of dwindling ammunition. The New York Times recently reported. Russian troops understand this and send small groups at intervals to treacherously approach Ukrainian positions and then attack.

Given these facts, the slow US response is a shame.

President Biden has been trying to persuade congressional Republicans to support more U.S. aid since late last year. GOP leaders said at the time they would not do so until America’s border was secured, effectively holding the time-sensitive Ukraine issue hostage to action on immigration. The bipartisan border bill, which was by all accounts more amenable to Republican priorities than those of traditional Democrats, was called their bluff. In fact, this turned out to be a bluff, thanks to Trump’s self-centered political calculations and his spinelessness in Congress.

Now time is up. Now that they have declared an end to border action for this session, Republicans must approve $60 billion in military aid to Ukraine, as well as billions of dollars in aid to Israel and humanitarian efforts in the war-torn Gaza Strip. of legislation. To refuse would be to abdicate the fundamental responsibility to support American interests. We need Ukraine to prevail to thwart Russia’s future expansionist ambitions in the region, which could destabilize Europe, the source of two terrible world wars in the last century.

As we write, the Senate is considering a funding bill for Ukraine, Israel and other issues following the failure of parliamentary border legislation involving Ukraine and Israel.

There was a time—not that long ago, actually—when congressional support for a nation fighting Russian aggression was one of the easiest votes imaginable. Putin has made no secret of his ambition to reunite something resembling the old USSR. Ukraine is by far the biggest prize in this search. Stopping this ambition is critical for future peace in the region.

It may seem strange in this cynical age, but American democratic values ​​also cry out in support of the right of a people with their own language and culture to govern themselves and live in freedom.

During his presidency, Trump repositioned the GOP to view Russia as a friend rather than an enemy. How and why he did this remains a mystery and is certainly a topic for future historians to investigate.

There are still Republicans on Capitol Hill who view Russia as an enemy at worst and a fierce rival opposed to our interests at best. Russia is an enemy until Putin gives up his dreams of conquering Ukraine. Full stop.

On this issue, GOP voices like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell must prevail against the pro-Trump wing within their own ranks that has sown so much chaos at the Capitol. The risks for repeat immigration are very high.

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