May 11, 2023
By Josh Christenson
House Republicans voted Thursday to pass enhanced border security measures meant to stem the tide of illegal immigration to the US hours before the expiration of the pandemic-era Title 42 health policy.
The House voted 219-213 to approve the Secure the Border Act, which was introduced earlier this month to address a crisis Republicans say will only grow worse with the end of the rule that allowed for the rapid removal of migrants.
Only two Republicans voted against the bill: Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Rep. John Duarte (R-Calif.). No Democrats supported the measure.
The bill is unlikely to pass the Senate and President Biden has vowed to veto it if it reaches his des.
Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn), who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, said before the vote that the Biden administration “created the incentive that has resulted in this mass wave of migration” and that the president should be cautious about dismissing the issue.
“I think with Title 42 ending, they better be very careful about vetoing this bill,” he said. “It’s only going to get worse.”
“The current path is unsustainable. We’re overrun. We have to do something,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who also serves on the Homeland Security Committee, told The Post.
In the last few days leading up to the repeal of Title 42, more than 10,000 migrants per day have been apprehended crossing the border.
“We’re seeing an illegal mass migration on a scale the world has never seen,” said Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.). “Title 42 is the last vestige of any kind of border enforcement that we have, and when it goes away, I believe that we will see the hundreds of thousands of migrants already reported in Mexico will flood into every border town.”
The bill asks the Department of Homeland Security to resume building a border wall begun under the Trump administration. It also authorizes the agency to hire another 22,000 Border Patrol agents.
Many Republicans who voted for the bill expressed satisfaction about its reforms to the nation’s asylum policies as well as its provisions cracking down on drug cartels.
“Joe Biden has allowed the drug cartels to run our border,” Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) told The Post. “They make $13 billion a year exploiting migrants, trafficking children and trafficking fentanyl.”
“They know that the migrant protection protocols worked. Secretary [of Homeland Security Alejandro] Mayorkas knows this. I think Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken knows this,” McCaul pointed out. “To throw away a policy that was working just because it had Trump’s name on it — I would ask them to reconsider.”
However, Massie voted against the bill because of its provision on E-Verify, a federal program that helps determine legal employment. If implemented, employers nationwide would be required to use it for hiring.
“Biden forced millions of Americans to take VACCINES by threatening their JOBS, and turning EMPLOYERS into enforcers,” he tweeted on May 7. “Imagine giving Biden the ultimate on/off switch for EMPLOYMENT called E-verify.”
Mayorkas told CBS News Sunday that his agency was currently acting within “a broken immigration system.”
The fallout has pushed even Democratic officials to distance themselves from the Biden administration’s policies, with New York City Mayor Eric Adams suspending right-to-shelter laws in the Big Apple in anticipation of a surge in migration.
“For the past two years, our country has faced an unprecedented border crisis because of Joe Biden’s failed open border policies, which turned every district into a border district and every state into a border state,” said GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) also said.
“Yet again, House Republicans are the only ones working to address the crises that Biden’s Far Left agenda has created.”
Last week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin deployed 1,500 active-duty US soldiers to the southern border, but the troops were mobilized to perform largely administrative tasks.
A spokesman for Schumer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Read the article in the NY Post here.