Can Republicans Fix Biden’s Migrant Crisis?

Townhall Media/Katie Pavlich

President Joe Biden’s migrant crisis is still in full swing with no light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the fact that the White House recently took action to curb the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States, doubts remain as to whether the administration is able – or even willing – to take concrete action to deal with the problem.

With Republicans set to retake the House and possibly the Senate in the upcoming congressional elections, they will be expected to provide legislative solutions. On Friday, the House Republican Conference revealed their plan to address the immigration issue after they take power in 2023.

The proposal is designed to “bolster physical infrastructure as well as closing asylum loopholes,” according to Fox News. The plan was concocted by the American Security Task Force, which was established by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in 2021 to create policies that would address the influx of immigrants coming to the southern border. It is headed by Rep. John Katko (R-NY), who laid out a series of initiatives under the plan.

“We’ve got a lot of very serious security issues going on at the border, people from 160 different countries have come across the border, and it’s not just a Mexican and Northern Triangle issue, it’s a worldwide issue that people are exploiting,” Katko said during an interview with Fox. “It’s really a concern. So everything we did in here has that background in mind and that background of ‘We’ve got to stop this.’ We can turn it around, and we’ve got to do better.”

For starters, the legislation would require the federal government to continue construction on the border wall, which began under former President Donald Trump. Progress on the wall was halted almost as soon as President Biden sat down behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. It was part of his initiative to brand himself as the “anti-Trump,” by rolling back most of his predecessors’ immigration policies. The result was the massive surge of migrants traveling to the border to gain entry into the United States.

The bill would also improve the technology used by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and allow for increased staffing. The last bit is important because the agency has been stretched thin as it attempts to keep up with the number of people crossing the border illegally. It would also grant more funding to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Katko’s group is also proposing that the government expand the Title 42 public health order, which allowed border authorities to expel a majority of migrants in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also used to curtail the flow of fentanyl and other dangerous drugs into the U.S.

The proposal would also reinstitute the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which is also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. The program required migrants seeking asylum to stay in Mexico while their cases were being decided. It ended the Catch and Release approach favored by previous presidents that allowed individuals to stay in America as they awaited their court dates. Many of these folks failed to show up for court and remained in the country illegally.

Surprisingly enough, the proposed legislation also includes provisions mandating the use of E-Verify nationally. The conservative base has wanted such a measure for decades, but GOP lawmakers failed to pass it.

The unveiling of the Republicans’ immigration plan comes as the White House quietly resumed construction on the border wall in the area of Yuma, Arizona. Despite calling Trump a racist xenophobe for even suggesting a physical barrier, Biden is now continuing the policy, at least in part. The New York Post reported:

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas authorized Customs and Border Protection Thursday to seal the openings near the Morelos Dam just west of downtown Yuma.

The department said the area “presents safety and life hazard risks for migrants attempting to cross into the United States where there is a risk of drownings and injuries from falls. This area also poses a life and safety risk to first responders and agents responding to incidents in this area.”

Between January and June of this year, Border Patrol has detained illegals trying to get into the country over 160,000 times. Yuma, along with the Del Rio and Rio Grande Valley sectors in Texas, has had the most activity at the border.

The Republicans’ plan is an ambitious one. Passing this legislation won’t be easy with the number of open borders Democrats in Congress. The GOP will have to win solid majorities in both houses to even hope to pass such a sweeping plan. With President Biden in the White House, we can bet that the veto pen will be at the ready, if Republicans manage to put together a package that would actually deal with the problem Biden seems determined not to solve. Still, it could provide a good template for the future when Democrats lose the White House. It might be a few more years before we see any real movement on the border – but hopefully, this will be the beginning.


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