Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is getting involved in the effort from some of the more conservative members of the GOP House caucus to take on the crisis at the border with HR 2, a bill designed to secure the border by limiting the ability of DHS to parole migrants, thus allowing them to enter the United States.
The bill would also force the government into other thought on the border decisions, such as forcing DHS to resume construction of the border wall and for all employers to use a national E-Verify database to ensure they are only hiring those who should be here.
Speaking on the matter during an interview with Fox Business, Speaker Johnson faulted Biden for opening the border and allowing in a tidal wave of humanity, saying that the Democrats “opened up the border under [border chief Alejandro] Mayorkas’s direction and President Biden himself.”
Continuing, he added, “They allowed for this serious situation that we have, and now, the FBI has said — Director Ray said — just a few days ago that they suspect there might even be terrorist cells that are setting up and planning only God knows against American citizens. … Well, yeah, of course, when you keep the border open, you allow dangerous people to come in. You open yourself up for that kind of chaos.”
He then noted that the GOP under Kevin McCarthy was mostly ignored on the immigration issue but that he would force it, saying, “We worked with everything we have for the last nearly three years to get that border closed and secured, and they’ve ignored us until now. We’re going to force the issue — and people want us to.”
Tweeting about HR 2 and including the clip of the interview with Fox Business in which he discussed it, Speaker Johnson said, “The border crisis is a direct result of failed policy decisions by the Biden Admin – not a lack of funding. HR 2 would: -Finish the wall -End catch and release -End abuse of parole authority -Reform the broken asylum system -Restart Remain in Mexico.”
The border crisis is a direct result of failed policy decisions by the Biden Admin – not a lack of funding.
HR 2 would:
-Finish the wall
-End catch and release
-End abuse of parole authority
-Reform the broken asylum system
-Restart Remain in Mexico pic.twitter.com/8XZdqJih5x
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) November 3, 2023
The Congressional Budget Office, describing HR 2, said, “H.R. 2 would limit the ability of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide parole to aliens (non-U.S. nationals), which allows them to temporarily enter the United States, in part by defining the reasons for which that parole may be granted. The bill also would change how DHS treats aliens applying for asylum and unaccompanied alien children crossing the border. The bill also would change the department’s procedures for interacting with aliens seeking to enter the United States without authorization. H.R. 2 would require the Department of State to negotiate with countries in the Western Hemisphere, particularly El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, concerning agreements related to claims for asylum.”
The CBO then added, “H.R. 2 would require all employers to use E-Verify, a federal web-based system that allows public- and private-sector employers to confirm that employees are eligible to work in the United States. H.R. 2 would phase in the requirement over several years, with deadlines depending on the size of an employer’s workforce. In addition, the bill would modify existing civil and criminal penalties for hiring people without work authorization.”
Continuing, it said, “H.R. 2 would require DHS to resume activities related to building a wall along the southwestern border of the United States, as planned or under construction before January 20, 2021 (the date on which that project was paused), and would require DHS to construct at least 900 miles of wall and physical barriers along that border. The bill also would direct Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to hire enough border patrol agents to maintain staffing at 22,000.”
Concluding, it added, “In addition, the bill would require CBP to hire new polygraph examiners to test candidate agents, increase annual flight hours for manned surveillance operations, and operate unmanned aircraft systems around the clock along the southern U.S. border. The bill also would authorize appropriations for various programs within DHS, including Operation Stonegarden (a grant program), eradicating invasive vegetation along the Rio Grande, and upgrading technology at ports of entry.”
Featured image credit: By Office of Representative Mike Johnson – Facebook, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=139539693
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