The Senate will vote again Thursday on a border bill that Republicans say would do more harm than good. 

The bill “is not a border bill, and it is not a border security bill,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said at a press conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. “This is an election-year political stunt designed to give our Democratic colleagues the appearance of doing something about the problem without doing anything at all.”  

The border bill at hand previously failed in the Senate in February, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., says he’s bringing the bill back to the floor a second time because “Democrats’ commitment to act never waned.” 

Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla.; Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; and Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., originally negotiated the text of the bill.

Blackburn slammed Democrats for being a “party of open borders,” adding that the political Left and Right mean two very different things when they speak of “border security.”  

“The Left means release and resettle,” Blackburn said, but “when Republicans talk about border security, we mean deny and deport.” 

The contested bill would allow up to 5,000 illegal aliens to enter the U.S. daily—meaning up to 1.8 million illegal immigrants could still cross the border annually if the bill became law.  

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., was one of seven GOP senators to join Blackburn’s press conference Wednesday. Johnson criticized the bill that, if passed, would provide “$20 billion to not security border, but to more efficiently encounter, process, and disperse illegal migrants.” 

The text of the bill “codifies an industrial-scale mass-release program,” Mike Howell, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project, told “The Daily Signal Podcast” in February. Howell noted that the bill is “full of giveaways, codifying—basically—amnesty practices into law; visa giveaways; money to sanctuary cities; far-left, dark money nonprofits, etc.” (Heritage founded The Daily Signal in 2014.)

Following the bill’s failure three months ago, Schumer accused former President Donald Trump of having “demanded congressional Republicans kill the legislation.”   

But Johnson said the bill’s failure was not because of Trump. “It failed because it’s an awful bill,” the Wisconsin Republican said.

The only reason the bill is back on the floor to begin with, Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., said at the press conference, is because “poll numbers are showing [Democrats] that, after months and months of throwing the border open to anyone who wants to come in, that the public doesn’t like the policy.” 

Gallup polling data reports that immigration is the No. 1 issue not specifically related to the economy on the minds of American voters right now.  

“And now, all of a sudden, six months before an election, Chuck Schumer and the Democrats have got religion on border security,” said Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio.  

If Senate “Democrats were serious” about stopping the flow of illegal immigration, Schumer would take up the border security bill known as H.R. 2, which the House passed a year ago, said Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan.

If passed into law, HR 2 would end “catch and release,” restart construction of the border wall, and reinstate the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy. 

On Tuesday night, Marshall and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, spoke on the Senate floor and called for the Senate to pass H.R. 2 by unanimous consent. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., reserved the right to object and blocked the bill.   

More than 10 million illegal aliens have entered the U.S. under the Biden administration, according to Customs and Border Protection data. On President Joe Biden’s first day in office on Jan. 20, 2021, he stopped construction of the Trump administration’s wall at the southern border, signed an executive order “revoking a Trump Executive Order that directed harsh and extreme immigration enforcement,” and strategically undid many of the Trump administration’s other border security policies.   

Rather than bring the border bill back to the Senate floor for a vote, Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., said “if Chuck Schumer wanted to be useful with his time, which he’s not good at, he would spend that time over at the White House begging Joe Biden to undo the madness that he created.”  

The bill is expected to fail in the Senate, but even if it manages to pass, GOP House leadership says the bill is “dead on arrival” in the lower chamber.