House Republicans time bill’s passage to coincide with rollback of Trump-era policy which allowed US Customs and Border Protection to use corona virus Epidemic public health emergency as a basis quickly Deport undocumented immigrants trying to enter the United States through the southern border. The Title 42 policy, as it is often known, expires Thursday, and agents are preparing for an influx of migrants after weeks of an unprecedented surge that has already clogged Border Patrol stations and facilities.
The “Border Security Act”, among other provisions, would provide funding Resume construction of border wall and increase surveillance Allocation of millions of dollars to enhance technology, along the southern and northern borders of the United States Republicans say changes to the number of Border Patrol agents and institutions will streamline the asylum process. The proposal is dead on arrival in the Senate, but bipartisan groups in both chambers view its passage as a green signal to begin a serious effort to address the sweeping, potentially bipartisan, immigration proposal this Congress.
Representative Chip Roy (R-Tex.) said, “What we offer through this rulemaking today is legislation that will strengthen our southern border, secure this country, protect Americans, protect immigrants. ” Bill forward. “It’s very straightforward.”
The Biden administration is adamant that the border is under control, with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas insisting in a Wednesday news conference that officials stand ready to assist local law enforcement to prepare for the expected migrant surge. His comments came after the administration announced send 1500 soldiers At the US-Mexico border to help agents before Thursday.
administration has also make a deal With the Mexican government that would allow the United States to send thousands of non-Mexican migrants to Mexico every month as long as the Biden administration accepts an equal number of migrants through new legal avenues. The US government is also planning to set up More Migrant Processing Centers in Latin America and increase in penalties for migrants who cross the border illegally. A new rule taking effect soon will also make it easier to deport asylum seekers who do not apply for protection in another country on their way to the United States.
The White House has denounced the GOP legislation as a plan that would “make elements of our immigration system worse” and President Biden has pledged he will veto it if it comes to his desk.
While the bill will not become law, House Republicans hope that their united front serves as a symbolic rebuke of the Biden administration’s policies, as well as fulfilling a key midterm campaign pledge that lawmakers across the ideological spectrum have pushed for the border. designed to address.
According to a dozen lawmakers and aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, the importance of fulfilling that pledge was enough to persuade many lawmakers, who had deep concerns over many of the provisions, To vote in support of the measure. Those MPs thought it right to support the law Because it will not become law, that means the provisions they oppose will not fructify.
“The border security part is the simplest thing we could have done, and yet we got it wrong,” said Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Tex.), who will help pass the bill Thursday, though he had one key provision. “Water down” to deal on Wednesday.
Though many legislators were able to air their concerns, a problem remained till the last hours On adjusted rules relating to enforcement of E-Verify, a federal system that verifies job applicants’ eligibility to work. Critics, including the largest lobbying group for farmers, have argued that the bill would severely constrain an already constrained labor force in rural communities. The US Department of Agriculture has found that “about half” of farmworkers are undocumented.
Reps. David G. Valado (R-Calif.), Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), John S. Duterte (R-Calif.), Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and several others indicated concerns after the bills were cleared by committees. Many cheered after politicians amended the law to better protect farm workers, but the provision faced opposition from House Freedom Caucus lawmakers. It prompted 11 hours of talks between leaders and committee chairs as concerned MPs threatened to sink a procedural vote on Wednesday if their changes were not addressed.
“After several discussions with House leadership, they have committed to addressing the concerns of the Agriculture Workforce and E-Verify programs, which I believe should be sent to the President in the final border security bill,” Newhouse wrote in a statement After those talks, he confirmed that he would support the bill.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.) and several other conservatives also raised concerns over labeling cartels as terrorist groups because of the belief that it would lead to more reliable asylum claims for migrants. However, repealing that provision, would have gone Against that promise leaders had already made to hundreds of MPs who wanted that rule included.
After a three-hour meeting on Wednesday with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), members of the Freedom Caucus agreed to set up a commission by leaders to determine how best to Will study methods. To deal with the Congress cartel and whether to designate them as terrorist organizations.
“Washington politicians fight to gut my part of border security bill that labels cartels as terrorists – as gunfire erupts at Texas/Mexico border,” Gonzales Tweeted in response to changes.[Whose] Are they in favor?
Democrats have unnecessarily pushed the bill away cruel to asylum seekers and insisted that the Republicans recently debt ceiling The proposal would slash funding for the Department of Homeland Security, raising the risk of an unmanageable border.
Some have accused the law of compounding racism and violence against Hispanic immigrants, a wider problem Democrats allege. prompted a man to slam His SUV plowed into a crowd of migrants in Brownsville, Tex., over the weekend, killing eight people and injuring 10. Brownsville police have not released a motive, although officials said monday He has not ruled out that it could be a deliberate act.
Rep. Jim McGovern (Mass.), the top Democrat on the House Rules Committee, said, “This bill is quite simply a way, for some, to score political points … by denigrating immigrants.” “Language has consequences.”
Passage of House GOP bill almost didn’t happen, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) had promised to put a resolution authored by Roy on the floor during the first two weeks of January, but the raucous exercise to choose a McCarthy speaker made it through a four-vote majority. highlighted the difficulty of passing legislation. ,
The leadership still planned to bring the bill to the floor earlier this year — bypassing the regular order, which sought to hold out for McCarthy’s speakership — but it faced strong opposition from moderate Republicans and Hispanic Republicans, who argued that the three-page bill would effectively close the border, including blocking Asylum-seeking migrants, if any port of entry is overwhelmed.
Hispanic Republicans and moderates privately argued that they would be against any legislation that prevented legal immigration. Gonzales, who represents about 40 percent of the Texas border with Mexico, vowed to kill the bill’s prospects or vote against it. If the legislation goes ahead, the bill should pass. This forced leaders to introduce Roy’s bill to the Judiciary Committee instead of Homeland, where Gonzales and other Hispanic Republicans sit.
While Gonzales publicly chose Roy’s bill to protect vulnerable Republican incumbents who could not do so, others remained in private talks with Scalise and remained chair of the three committees on jurisdiction. Provisions within the Judiciary Committee’s proposal Scores of angry MPsAnd at several points more than a dozen people who threatened to sink the bill twice delayed consideration of their bill in committee.
“They were going to lose enough Republican votes that it was going to sink. And some of the members who had the biggest concern have been actively involved in the committee process and think the changes have been impactful enough that they are now supporting it.” Are, “Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) said that was initially a concern. “So that was the effect I wanted.”
Roy’s bill was eventually amended During committee debate late last month, more language was added, requiring asylum seekers to remain in the United States until their court date or until the port of entry is under operational control by the Secretary of Homeland Security. It was believed, until then, that it would be necessary to stay in Mexico. Other concerns, such as how undocumented minors would be treated at the border and reunited with their families, were also addressed by Hispanic Republicans who represent border districts.
“It was very important to me – to make sure that we were not only vetting the sponsors before the kids were handed over, but also doing the welfare checks and taking some accountability on where they were going. were able and were able to track him down,” said freshman Rep. Juan Ciccomani (R-Ariz.), noting reports that the government has lost track of hundreds of unaccompanied minors.
Yet opposition remains from outside groups who have lobbied Republican lawmakers to oppose the bill. Catholic Charities USA sent a letter McCarthy and Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies (D-N.Y.) urged the House on Monday to sink the bill, arguing that it would restrict asylum, lead to more children being detained and limit how religious organizations such as How much federal aid do nonprofit groups receive? If they help the migrants.
“The Gospel calls us to provide shelter for those who are homeless, feed the hungry, and ‘welcome the stranger,'” wrote Sister Donna Markham, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA. “… while we do not oppose all of the provisions in HR 2, many of them, if enacted, would prevent the government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from helping migrants who need services, care and Help is needed.”
A previous version of this article misstated the name of the President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA as Sister Donna Marcus. Her name is Sister Donna Markham. The article has been updated.
Theodoric Meyer, Maria Sacchetti and Michele Boorstein contributed to this report.