Johnson Claims New Border Bill Equals an Open Border

( – The Senate finally unveiled its immigration bill on February 4. House Republicans threatened to kill the bill weeks before its unveiling. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) is doubling down on his position and accusing lawmakers in the Senate of opening the border.

Johnson posted a statement about the legislation on X, formerly Twitter, calling it “worse than [he] expected.” The Republican claimed it would not “come close to ending the border catastrophe” and that if it’s sent to the House, it would not pass.

In a follow-up message, Johnson released a joint statement with his House GOP leadership team Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Tom Emmer (R-MN), and Elise Stefanik (R-NY). The lawmakers claimed the bill would “incentivize more illegal immigration” and slammed the legislation for giving employment authorization to asylum seekers.

The legislation would make it harder for migrants to apply for asylum, resulting in deportations for most of the people who enter the US and ask for it. Those who are left would be given work authorization, which would eliminate the need for local, state, and federal governments to provide the asylum seekers with food and shelter. Those who have their asylum claims denied would be deported within 15 days.

Republicans also claimed that the part of the bill that allows President Joe Biden to shut down the border is “riddled with loopholes” that give Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas too much power. The legislation would only shut down the border if there are more than 5,000 border crossings per day for seven days or a combined total of 8,000 encounters in one day. All migrants would be placed in detention, rather than being processed and released. After the shutdown, the legal ports of entry would still accept migrants, but anyone entering illegally would be deported.

The GOP representatives demanded their bill, Secure the Border Act, be passed immediately. The Senate has made it clear the partisan House bill has no shot in the upper chamber.

Former President Donald Trump has allegedly demanded Republicans kill the bill. Likewise, Johnson has denied he is following the ex-POTUS’ demands.

Senator James Lankford (R-OK) responded to the House GOP, saying he doesn’t know how the bill is worse than they expected when it finishes the border wall, provides more money for ICE officers, increases deportations, gives more funding for Border Patrol and detentions. He said he hopes the Speaker will review the bill in its entirety.

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