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For at least the third time in the last two decades, Congress attempted to pass an immigration and border security-related reform. And for the third straight time, the bill failed to pass because conservatives put a stop to it.

As with previous editions, the reason was the same. The effect of the bill was to lock in amnesty and open borders immediately, while only promising border security later. As any good plumber will tell you, first you must stop the leak before you address the water.

The proposal that died on Monday was magnitudes worse in this regard than the bills from 2013 and 2006. The most notorious provision required the Department of Homeland Security to shut down the border only if illegal crossings averaged 5000 per day over seven days or eclipsed 8500 in a single day. If you run the numbers, that’s over 1.8 million illegals essentially being allowed into the country. That’s not border security; that’s codifying the border crisis into law.

The supposed trade-off for open borders and amnesty is supplying more manpower and money to the border. But that takes years to have any practical effect and there’s no guarantee it will get us any closer to operational control, especially with someone like Joe Biden in charge of the Executive Branch.

That’s why conservatives demand border security first. Make the necessary investments in personnel, technology and, yes, a wall. Reinstate the policies, like remain in Mexico, that were working at the end of the Trump administration. And pass reforms like H.R. 2 that plug the loop holes in our asylum system and end “catch and release” programs. Once the federal government can show that it has a real handle on who comes and goes in and out of our country, only then should we address fair and meaningful immigration reforms.