The GOP-controlled House approved a border security and asylum reform package on Thursday, just hours before Title 42 was set to expire.
After months of Republican infighting, the package was approved by a vote of 219 to 113; it is unlikely to advance further in the Senate under Democratic control. The Secure the Border Act of 2023 was defeated with every Democratic vote cast in the House.
The proposed legislation would commence border wall construction and hire and train an additional 22,000 Border Patrol agents. The organization would also need to create a strategy for modernizing current technologies.
The bill includes a clause to codify the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) of the Trump administration as well as a provision to limit the use of humanitarian parole. Other measures include making it illegal for people to overstay their visas by more than ten days and requiring businesses to use E-Verify to confirm that their employees are qualified to work legally.
Biden administration officials opposed the bill because they believed it would worsen certain aspects of our immigration system.
The statement said the bill does nothing to address the underlying causes of migration, reduces humanitarian protections, and restricts lawful pathways, which are essential alternatives to unlawful entry.
The “Child Deportation Act” is what House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.) derided as “one of the extreme MAGA Republicans’ top priorities.” Jeffries said they don’t have a plan to fix the nation’s vulnerable, broken immigration system. Jeffries added that countless billions of taxpayer dollars would be spent on a border wall from the Middle Ages, a 14th-century solution to a 21st-century problem. They still submit their policy recommendations to the twice-impeached former president.
Jeffries continued that the Republican approach is anchored in xenophobia and fanning the flames of hatred and distrust as well as irresponsible policies that will do nothing to solve the problem.
A few hours before the Title 42 public health order was supposed to expire, the House passed the legislation. The order permitted the U.S. to immediately deport immigrants without holding an asylum hearing. In anticipation of the order expiring, migrants arrived in large numbers. On Tuesday, the greatest number ever for a single day was recorded, totaling more than 10,600.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy proclaimed, Everyone is aware that the U.S. is days away from disaster. He criticized Biden’s track record of “record crossings, record carelessness, record chaos.” He referred to the Republican proposal as “the strongest border-security bill to come through Congress in more than 100 years.”