Over the course of his career, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), has been one of the biggest proponents of open borders in the Republican Party. This has put him at odds with President Trump, who sides with most GOP voters in seeking to curb both legal and illegal immigration.
According to the Associated Press, it seems Ryan is, apparently, reversing his stance. Monday on Twitter, the House leader tweeted out that it’s “time for The Wall” and vowed to get it done “this week.” This comes after the House voted through a $1.6 billion down payment for construction of the wall.
Ryan’s tweet was accompanied by a video showing him visiting Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, where he met with border patrol agents. In the voiceover narration, Ryan asserts that interacting with agents on the ground strengthened his resolve to take decisive action on immigration.
“When you see what they’re up against, it really gives you even greater respect for what they do. They clearly need more tools and more support to do their jobs effectively. That’s why we’re going to get this done this week,” Ryan said.
Ryan’s newfound support for Trump’s proposed border wall follows a vote by the House of Representatives last week to provide $1.6 billion for a portion of the border wall, as reported by The Daily Caller.
The funds were included in a “minibus” of appropriations bills that included funding for the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Energy. The bill was passed on a party-line vote of 230-196, according to Breitbart.
This show of support for a border wall is a turn-around for Ryan, who has feuded with Trump over the issue of immigration. Ryan’s support for open borders also put him at odds with the majority of Republican voters. Most of the GOP electorate favors Trump’s firm stance on immigration, according to a Pew Poll.
Ryan has constantly claimed a position of protecting America’s borders. In reality, however, the house speaker and former vice presidential candidate has a long history of derailing border protection in favor of mass immigration.
CBS News reported that as early as March, Ryan refused to provide funding for the border wall to Trump’s Department of Homeland Security. During the previous administration, Ryan was very much in line with President Obama’s immigration policies. According to Breitbart, Ryan passed spending bills expanding Muslim migration and the low-skill H-2B guest worker program.
Ryan also funded sanctuary cities, the resettlement of illegal aliens, and Obama’s executive amnesty for DREAMers. He even provided money for the release of criminal aliens back onto American streets. However, Ryan failed to give funding to the completion of a 700-mile fence, which was promised under the 2006 Secure Fence Act.
According to The Washington Times, Ryan’s history as a pro-open borders ideologue goes back to before his time in Congress. As a young staffer, he worked for Jack Kemp and Sam Brownback, two of the Republican party’s biggest pro-immigration figures.
Paul Ryan’s sudden change of heart may have to do with facing re-election next year. As reported by World Net Daily, Ryan’s challenger, Paul Nehlen, has exposed the house speaker’s record on immigration. Ryan hopes to gain favor with his GOP base. Whether the gambit will work remains to be seen.