The House GOP is gearing up, once again, to enter bills to clamp down on the woes America faces at its southern border. In the midterms that led to the slim Republican majority in the house, the messaging was clear about border and immigration reform. However, the more stern approaches to the border crisis have been rebuked by moderates; with Texas republican representative, Tony Gonzales, leading the way.
The main point of contention seems to be Representative Chip Roy’s slimmed-down GOP bill, named the Border safety and security act (one of many coming down the pipeline, which is reminiscent of previous Trump Era immigration reforms) which would extend authority to the department of homeland security to suspend admission into the country of any non-U.S citizen while their eligibility would move through the court system. Furthermore, any lapse in duty by homeland security would open them to the possibility of being sued by state attorneys general.
The bill also set a particular standard, that turned off house moderates, barring admission into the country until “operational control” of the border was obtained. Moderate republicans claim that Roy’s bill sets an impossible standard because “operational control” is defined as zero illegal crossings.
Rep. Tony Gonzales called the measures “un-christian”, citing that these measures would halt true asylum seekers from obtaining safety and security within our borders.
However, there are other reforms and actions that the House GOP seem to agree on; and are hoping to start bringing to a vote as early as late April. Some of those reforms include reviving the border wall construction and investigations into the operational issues at the border.
The House Oversight, Homeland security, and judiciary committee have made it abundantly clear since last year that Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, would be summoned to a hearing to investigate the issues plaguing the border. His job could hinge on the findings of those hearings.
Recently, Representative Gonzales stated what seems to be a succinct summation of the divide in the GOP: “We have to enforce the laws that are in the books. That’s the executive branch’s job, and it’s Congress’s job to push them, in my opinion, through appropriations. I’d also say it’s Congress’s job to get off its ass and work on immigration reform…Immigration reform starts with work visas…What I see happening is everybody is focused on trying to combat and work on the illegal part of it. There has to be some legal aspects that alleviate some of the stress.”