House Republicans on Thursday pushed through a drastic border security bill to crack down on illegal immigration, narrowly avoiding an embarrassing uprising within their own party over one of their midterm election campaign promises, despite firm opposition from Democrats.
Republicans seized the opportunity to approve the bill to spotlight a tough stance on immigration in the Democratic-led Senate, just as President Biden faces a potential surge in borders. Title 42 Expires Thursday Nightpandemic-era rules allow swift deportation of immigrants.
The bill reinstates various border policies promoted under the Trump administration, including the construction of a border wall and the practice of “remaining in Mexico,” which keeps asylum-seeking migrants in detention centers or across the border for rapid evacuation. and codified. Deportation of unaccompanied children. It will also require companies to verify that their employees are legally eligible to work in the United States through a program known as E-Verify, and will criminalize visa overstays of more than 10 days.
The bill was passed by a majority of 219 to 213. Months of Infighting Within the Republican Party It capped off with a final marathon of negotiations this week, highlighting whether the party maintained a supermajority, leading to a series of last-minute changes to win over resistance. Two Republicans, Rep. Thomas Massey of Kentucky and Rep. John Duarte of California, joined the Democrats in opposing the bill because of their opposition to the E-Verify requirement.
The split in the Republican Party threatened to disrupt debates timed for maximum political gain by Republicans. In it, Republicans accused the Biden administration of building a wave of immigrants expected to surge even more after Title 42 expires.
“We all know we are days away from catastrophe,” Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday on the floor of the House of Commons, just hours after brokering a deal to avoid a split in the meeting. He summarized Mr. Biden’s record as “record trespassing, record carelessness, record chaos,” and said Republicans created “the strongest border security bill to pass Congress in more than 100 years.” boasted.
President Biden threatened to veto the bill.
New York State Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said on the floor Thursday that “this bill has no chance of becoming law, it’s pure political drama,” and the bill will be enacted into law. accused of being something. “Conflicting and overlapping chaos” will “destroy the economy” and “destroy the refugee system.”
Democrats say the bill empowers cartels by banning immigrants from using phone apps to schedule immigration interviews at ports of entry and helps immigrants by cutting off access to them. He warned that the provision punishing many non-governmental organizations that have committed crimes would cause an unprecedented level of chaos at the border. Funded by the Department of Homeland Security.
Rep. Benny Thompson (Mississippi), the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, said on the House floor Wednesday that the bill was “cruel, inhumane and unenforceable,” adding that the bill was “extreme.” It was written in a MAGA Republican echo chamber,” he added.
However, some Republican mainstream opponents of the previous bill argued that the bill had relief elements that could form the basis for future bipartisan compromises.
Republican Rep. Tony Gonzalez from Texas said, “There will be enough bones in this package when it goes to the Senate that the Senate can pick it up and build something.” “For me, it never ended with 218 votes in the House. It was always about enacting something into law.”
Mr. Gonzalez was one of the first and most vocal party members to denounce the early version of the bill, calling for changes to a provision that would effectively suspend the refugee system if the camps were full. Recognizing that Mr. Gonzalez is poised to lead a series of defections devastating enough to invalidate their bill, Republican leaders should soften the rhetoric a bit and ease restrictions. corresponded with Since then, he has become a vocal booster.
“I won,” Gonzalez proudly proclaimed this week. “If you win, you will vote yes.”
But other factions within the party have threatened to withhold their support this week, forcing party leaders to freeze proceedings on the parliament floor on Wednesday in a twist of arms in an attempt to quell resistance.
A group of ultraconservative lawmakers opposed language that they claimed would undermine the party’s efforts to limit asylum applications, while some of the more mainstream Republicans argued that it would wreck the agricultural industry. opposed the work eligibility requirements of
McCarthy emerged with a narrow victory, which highlights the difficulties he continues to face in organizing unruly meetings.
Texas Republican Rep. Daniel Crenshaw has embroiled members of the right-wing Freedom Caucus in a late-game furor over a provision in a bill that would direct the administration to consider whether to designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations. .
He argued that the change would give more asylum seekers a reason to seek protection in the United States.
Republican leaders agreed Wednesday to delete the clause and replace it with language directing Congress to commission a report on the matter. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives also plans to set up a special committee to consider the issue, with Crenshaw expected to play a leading role.
Republicans expressed concern about the impact of the bill’s work eligibility requirements on the agricultural industry, which relies heavily on illegal immigrant labor, and called for small concessions. Republican leaders added a non-binding “Sense of Congress” resolution to consider adverse effects on agricultural workforces and food security before committing to the obligation.
Washington Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse, who led the push for mitigation for the farm industry, said the change was enough to involve “almost all” of lawmakers who shared his concerns.
Some senators said they hoped passage of the bill would help the Senate accelerate work on a broader and more comprehensive immigration bill.
Arizona independent Sen. Kirsten Cinema told reporters on Thursday that she was “not too worried about the elements of the House GOP bill, and more worried about the House GOP bill getting passed to us.” .
Cinema, who has worked with North Carolina Republican Senator Tom Tillis to finalize legislation addressing both border security and legal immigration, said the House’s actions were in line with the Senate’s “bipartisan, bicameral approach.” “Working on it,” he argued, could help. form the final package. ”
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