House GOP Unveils Sweeping Immigration Package

House Republicans on Thursday unveiled a pair of immigration bills that would restart the border wall, hire more Border Patrol agents, and tighten asylum eligibility, reports The Hill.

A 137-page proposed bill by Judiciary Committee Republicans, advanced last week, includes provisions from Texas Rep. Chip Roy’s border security bill that would authorize the Homeland Security chief to block any foreign citizen from entering the U.S. if the official decides it “is necessary in order to achieve operational control over such border.”

It would also revive several Trump-era programs to limit asylum eligibility for migrants traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border, increase penalties for immigration violations, expand migrant family detention, and heighten employment verification requirements.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, slammed the proposal as “nothing more than pure political theater.”

“This bill has no chance of being enacted into law, and most of its provisions cannot even pass on the House floor because of opposition from Republicans,” Nadler said. “That’s right: These Republican bills are so extreme that they’re opposed by many of their own members.”

A separate bill by the House Homeland Security Committee would strip government funding from nonprofits that provide certain humanitarian assistance to migrants, restart construction of the border wall, and beef up security technology at the border.

Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., who proposed the bill, on Thursday said President Joe Biden and Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas are to blame for the drug trafficking problem at the border.

“We made a commitment to secure our border,” Green said at a press conference announcing the package.

“What Joe Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas did is they did away with 89 policies of previous presidents … they allowed the return agreements with other countries to completely expire so that ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] has no way to send people back home. … These decisions made by Joe Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas have facilitated the drug cartels, using the strategy of overwhelming the crossing sites, tying up Customs and Border Patrol, and then sliding the drugs around them in the thinned-out rural areas.”

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