Speaker Johnson Says Migration Bill Is ‘Dead On Arrival’

By Victor Winston, updated on February 5, 2024

In a striking declaration, House Republican leaders have voiced their vehement opposition to a Senate immigration bill.

They assert it will not secure the border effectively and could encourage illegal immigration.

The central issue stems from the opposition of House Speaker Mike Johnson, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, and Majority Whip Tom Emmer to the proposed bill. These key figures contend that the legislation would worsen issues by allowing more work permits for undocumented immigrants without making necessary changes to asylum policies. Their unified stance emphasizes the need for legislation to focus on national security and the integrity of immigration processes.

Their criticism goes beyond just the issue of work permits. The Republican leaders argue that the bill indirectly endorses President Biden's "catch and release" policy and criticizes its lack of action in sealing off loopholes that permit government shutdowns. They claim this would grant Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas excessive freedom to leave the borders open, hindering effective immigration control.

Concerns Over Border Security Measures

According to the statement from House Republicans, "House Republicans oppose the Senate immigration bill because it fails in every policy area needed to secure our border and would incentivize more illegal immigration." This condemnation highlights deep divisions on how to handle the border crisis, emphasizing a clash of visions between the House and the Senate.

The critique does not stop with policy criticisms. The Republicans also take issue with the use of taxpayer funds to support undocumented immigrants through the FEMA Shelter and Services Program. This aspect of the bill, they argue, is indicative of a broader mismanagement of immigration issues under the current administration.

Notably, the opposition is not without its alternative solutions. Nine months ago, the House passed the Secure the Border Act (H.R. 2), which they propose as a more effective measure to address the border crisis. This act, they argue, offers a more comprehensive approach to securing the border and managing immigration.

A Call for Senate Reconsideration

The strong opposition from the House Republican leadership culminated in a declaration that the Senate bill is "DEAD on arrival." This phrase, stark and unequivocal, emphasizes the House's unwillingness to compromise on what they view as fundamental flaws in the Senate's approach to immigration reform.

The statement further encourages the Senate to reject the bill in its current form, pushing for reconsidering the Secure the Border Act. According to the House leaders, this act represents a more viable path to resolving the ongoing border crisis.

Concluding Thoughts

The opposition from House Republican leaders to the Senate immigration bill underscores a significant political divide on how to address immigration and border security.

The leaders argue that the bill falls short in securing the border, critiquing it for expanding work authorizations without necessary asylum reforms and for effectively endorsing policies they see as detrimental to border security.

Their declaration of the bill as "dead on arrival" and the call for the Senate to consider the Secure the Border Act instead highlight the challenges of achieving bipartisan agreement on immigration reform.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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