After a meeting with President Donald Trump about funding a border wall, House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi(D-Calif.), told members of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, “It goes to show you: You get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”

Pelosi is right. She will end up with stink all over her if she blocks funding for Trump’s border wall.

This isn’t just about keeping a campaign promise. Trump is facing an immigration crisis, and illegal border crossings are making it worse.

A recent Yale study found that there are more than 22 million undocumented aliens in the United States, and an immigration court backlog crisis is making it impossible to reduce that population with removal proceedings.

As of November 30, 2018, the 395-judge immigration courthad a backlogof 809,041 cases; and this did not include an additional 330,211 cases that had not yet been put on the active docket. The backlog was only 542,411 cases when Trump took office.

California, Pelosi’s state, has the largest immigration court backlog in the country, 146,826 cases.

The average wait for a hearing is 1,018 days. This has made it very difficult to get hearings for newly arrested aliens, even aliens in priority categories.

If Pelosi prevents Trump from putting a wall across the Mexican border, his only viable option for reducing illegal crossings will be to focus his resources on eliminating the job magnet that draws undocumented aliens to the United States.

And that inevitably would hit Pelosi’s home state of California hard.


Published originally on The Hill.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.
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