House Passes Sweeping Border Bill to Stop ‘Invasion’

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 11: Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks alongside fello
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House passed a comprehensive border package Thursday, the same day the Biden administration strips border officials of one of the last tools to stem waves of illegal migration.

The vote for H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023, passed 219 to 213 with no Democrat support. Two Republicans, Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and John Duarte (R-CA), defected.

“This bill secures the border from President Biden’s record crossings, record carelessness, and record chaos,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said at a press conference after the bill’s passage.

The legislation comes as the already overwhelmed southern border experiences heightened levels of disorder because of the looming end to Title 42, a Trump-era policy border officials relied on to quickly expel illegal migrants in the name of coronavirus.

The policy is expiring when the declared national public health emergency expires Thursday night.

“It’s going to be chaotic for a while,” Biden admitted in a press conference Tuesday, claiming the administration was doing all they could to address what is expected to be a rush of hundreds of thousands migrants who have been waiting in Mexico.

Journalists in the field have been documenting the visible and growing problem:

Cartel Chronicles/Breitbart Texas

The bill, which House Republicans tout as the “strongest” border package Congress has ever considered, is a combination of legislation from the House Homeland Security, Judiciary, and Foreign Affairs Committees.

It requires construction on the incomplete border wall to resume immediately, allocates funding for retention bonuses for U.S. Border Patrol agents, and withholds federal funding from any nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that continue their well-documented practice of aiding illegal migrants with food, shelter, and travel.

It also makes reforms to the broken and abused asylum process and mandates E-Verify, which requires employers to check that they are hiring workers who are not living in the country illegally.

Massie, a typically staunch conservative, opposed the bill out of concern that the government would take advantage of E-Verify to, for instance, mandate vaccines.

The bill’s narrow passage adds to a string of victories for McCarthy and the rest of House GOP leadership, who have now repeatedly overcome the challenge of unifying the conference around contentious legislation while holding a razor-thin majority.

Prior to passing a border overhaul bill, they passed a bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling while implementing deep spending cuts. The White House and Democrat-controlled Senate openly oppose both measures, but the Senate has not countered the House with viable alternatives.

Ahead of the border bill’s passage, several Republicans spoke to Breitbart News about what they described as a dire need for improved enforcement of current immigration policy and new legislative solutions.

President Joe Biden’s open borders posture when he first took office has led to officials encountering at least five million illegal migrants in the last two years, according to federal data.

House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) said the mass migration crisis is an “absolutely undeniable” invasion.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), one of the original authors of the bill, concurred.

“This is an hour of great peril for our country,” McClintock said. “We are about to watch the complete collapse of our southern border.”

Tom McClintock, Neil Munro

Breitbart News’s Neil Munro speaks with Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) at the U.S. Capitol ahead of the passage of the Secure the Border Act, Washington, DC, May 11, 2023. (Ashley Oliver/Breitbart News)

Rep. Josh Breechan (R-OK), a Homeland Security Committee member, told Breitbart News, “When you’ve gotten 98 people that came through last year on the terrorist watch list and you don’t know how nefarious they may be, it’s an invasion. National security is threatened at that border.”

Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ), an immigrant from Mexico who represents a border district, said he believes the newly-passed bill shows migrants, and particularly unaccompanied children, are a priority.

“I don’t see anyone else coming up with a solution to protect these kids,” Ciscomani said. “85,000 of them, according to The New York Times story, had been processed by HHS [Health and Human Services] and turned over to so-called sponsors in this country that now they have no idea where they are. That to me is tragic.”

He continued, “This is not a pro-immigrant or anti-immigrant approach. This is pro-order. This is a measure that says, ‘Let’s do things in a way that can actually help migrants and also protect our communities.'”

Write to Ashley Oliver at Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


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