House Republican leaders issued a statement on Monday opposing the Senate’s border security bill, asserting that it would “incentivize more illegal immigration.” Speaker Mike Johnson, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Majority Whip Tom Emmer, and Conference Chair Elise Stefanik criticized the $118 billion bill, calling it a failure in securing the border and warning that it would encourage illegal immigration.
The GOP leaders highlighted specific flaws in the bill, including the expansion of work authorizations for illegal aliens and the absence of critical asylum reforms. They also criticized the language allowing individuals to be “released from physical custody,” which they argued effectively endorses the “catch and release” policy.
While Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a key negotiator of the bill, claimed that the legislation would secure the southern border, House Republicans disagreed, calling the “shutdown” authority in the bill ineffective and filled with loopholes. They expressed concern about granting discretionary authority to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, accusing him of exploiting measures to keep the border open.
The Republican leaders called on the Senate to pass the Secure the Border Act (HR 2), which the House approved in May. The Secure the Border Act includes provisions such as resuming border wall construction, tightening asylum standards, criminalizing visa overstays, increasing Border Patrol Agents, and defunding NGOs aiding in the relocation of illegal aliens.
Emphasizing the urgency of addressing the border crisis, the GOP leaders urged the Senate to consider the Secure the Border Act, emphasizing its potential to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and end the present crisis. They concluded by asserting that America’s sovereignty is at stake.