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EDITORIAL: Claudia Tenney can’t hit a curve ball

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  • Digital Team 

Editor’s Note: The following is an op-ed submitted by David Wagenhauser, who is running for Congress in NY-24. If you’d like to submit an op-ed or letter to the editor send it to [email protected].


There are big problems at the borders and in Congress. Unfortunately, immigration has once again become an election year tool that politicians are using for their own political agendas. In baseball, if you can’t hit a curveball, you’re benched. In Congress today, if you can’t or won’t do your job you blame someone else. 

We all know the recent details: About a year ago, the Republicans put out an immigration bill they knew couldn’t pass. In February, a bipartisan Senate compromise bill was crafted but was torpedoed for political reasons. Biden feeling pressure, this week put out an Executive Order that will likely be overturned by the courts. Regardless, he needs Congress to appropriate funds to make real change at the borders. All the while, lawmakers watch from the stands and point fingers of blame as border security lags, asylum courts are understaffed, and our borders have become the NY Yankee’s turnstile on game day.

The overwhelming majority of the immigrants are not terrorists or escaped criminals, but families looking to escape poverty or violence – as we would do for our family. We need immigrants to do the work that needs to get done and pay the taxes that help defray our own. But we need to control who comes in, how and when they can enter, and to promptly and responsibly adjudicate legitimate asylum requests.

Always ready to fire up her fans, our Representative, Claudia Tenney has taken to tv and social media to play the role of the Border Town Crier to anyone who will listen, and Chicken Little to anyone looking for a scapegoat. She’s even using taxpayer funded tv ads to make her transparent political pitch. But while Tenney is good at repeatedly telling us what’s wrong with America, she’s not good at doing anything about it. Talk is cheap.

A bipartisan bill fashioned by one of the most conservative members of the Senate would have made real changes to the asylum laws, put thousands of guards at the border and is supported by border agents. It wasn’t good enough for Claudia. Her response? The Republican bill or nothing. Tenney seems fine with letting the immigrants and terrorists she fears cross the borders from February until the November election, or whenever it might be politically expedient to act.

Telling us of immigration horrors, terrorist threats and immigrant camps on Main Street is a job for the newspapers and Fox News. Finding a solution is the job of those we elect. Claudia Tenney has not done her job. Five years and not a single bill passed by Tenney, let alone a border bill. Tenney can’t hit a curve ball.

The few bills she’s proposed seem more aimed at stoking outrage and getting likes on her social media than solving a problem. On the borders, Tenney has cynically proposed actions that went nowhere. The first would have cut an immigration official’s salary to $1.00. The second, would fund new border agents by eliminating IRS agents tasked with finding millionaire tax cheats. That’s not protecting our borders and our neighbors, it’s protecting her donors.

I will work with Republicans and Democrats and support bipartisan efforts to tackle immigration and the many other problems facing our nation. If those attempts don’t work, I’ll fight to find something else that will. I’ll use common sense and not silly or meaningless partisan gimmicks. I’ll work to tackle problems and make all our lives a little better.

We have problems at the border, with our immigration system, and with Congress. Executive orders from the President – no matter who the President is – are not going to solve the immigration and border issue. It’s going to take legislative action. If current members of Congress insist on playing politics – instead of fixing our problems – they need to be benched. It’s time to bench Claudia Tenney.

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