July 29, 2021 by Emily Jacobs
A duo of top House Republicans unveiled a proposal Thursday to address the migrant crisis at the southern border by finishing construction on former President Donald Trump’s signature border wall.
The Border Security for America Act, brought forward by Rep. John Katko (R-NY), the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, and House GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), would return the United States to a Trump-era immigration approach in the midst of an administration with polar opposite policy stances.
“Under President Biden’s weak leadership this border crisis knows no limits as every American community bears the brunt of weak border security,” the House Homeland Security Committee ranking member said in a statement.
“When the southwest border is lawless, it’s the fabric of all our communities that suffers. And that is unacceptable.”
Stefanik, meanwhile, lamented how “Democrats have turned their backs on our border patrol agents and law enforcement” in the region.
“I am proud to support this legislation that reinstitutes President Trump’s successful border policies and invests in infrastructure, technology and support for our federal law enforcement officers. We know these policies work, and Biden’s negligence is dangerous to our national security.”
The legislation, which is being introduced in a Democratic-led House, albeit by a small margin, is unlikely to pass in this Congress.
The Biden administration’s undoing of Trump’s border policies has prompted a flood of Central American and Mexican illegal migrants at the US border, including thousands of unescorted children.
Central Americans looking for refuge from the Northern Triangle countries — Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — have taken these policy moves, as well as the overwhelmingly more welcoming tone from Democrats, as a sign that President Biden is inviting them to cross the border.
Insisting that the border was not facing a crisis, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in early March that the problems the agency faced should be blamed on the previous administration.
As the crisis heated up, Biden tapped Vice President Harris to address the diplomatic measures related to its “root causes.” However, despite intense pressure, she had declined to commit to going to surveil the situation for herself for the first three months as border czar.
Harris released a five-pronged strategy Thursday that she said would get at the root causes of migration amid the crisis.
“In Central America, the root causes of migration run deep — and migration from the region has a direct impact on the United States,” Harris wrote in a cover letter discussing the plan. “For that reason, our nation must consistently engage with the region to address the hardships that cause people to leave Central America and come to our border.”
Harris’ plan comes as roughly 50,000 illegal immigrants who arrived in the US between mid-March and mid-July were released without court dates, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security reported by Axios.
Just 13 percent of those migrants had checked in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement as of Monday, despite being ordered to, the report said.
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