FIRST ON FOX: A group of House Republicans is demanding that President Biden use his executive powers to address the border crisis, a pointed message as White House and Senate negotiators work on a compromise to address the issue.
“Speaker Mike Johnson wrote to you in December of 2023, urging you to take executive action to secure the Southern Border. House Republicans have passed H.R.2, legislation that would help stop the flow of illegal immigration and protect our communities,” the letter led by Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, said.
“Your actions alone created this catastrophe, and you have the power to fix it. You can choose to direct your administration to vigorously enforce the laws on the books today, thereby stemming the tide of illegal immigration and protecting our communities.
“Or you can choose to perpetuate this national security and humanitarian crisis through your unequivocal failure of leadership for the American people.”
It’s a sign of the House Republican conference falling in line behind House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and his skepticism of the ongoing bipartisan border security talks.
The House passed H.R.2, a strict border security and immigration bill, last summer. It would have revived Trump-era policies like Remain In Mexico, while broadening border agents’ expulsion authority, among other measures. Democrats have panned the bill as a nonstarter.
Johnson has held onto H.R.2 as House Republicans’ default position on the border talks. Hinson’s letter makes clear that it’s a sentiment shared by his rank-and-file as well.
It puts the eventual border security deal’s fate more into question, even before the bill text is released.
In her Friday letter, Hinson accused Biden of having “undermined” border security through administration policies and executive orders.
“The U.S. Southern Border is being overrun by illegal immigrants. The responsibility for this crisis lies with you. Under your direction, your administration has intentionally and systematically undermined U.S. border security by perpetually refusing to enforce countless laws that have worked to secure our Southern Border and prevent illegal immigration,” she wrote.
“On January 20, 2021, – your very first day in office – you immediately took executive action to halt border wall construction and issued a moratorium on deportations and immigration enforcement. Your administration has repeatedly ignored Congress’ authority and issued over immigration and border policies that have clearly signaled to illegal immigrants, traffickers, and cartels that America’s borders are open.”