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McCarthy should make border security HR1 in January

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In May this year, 240,000 illegal aliens were apprehended by Border Patrol, an all-time high for the country. That’s nearly 8,000 every day – not including the thousands of aliens who got away.

The crisis at the border is the number one long-term problem our country is facing. Under President Biden, the Left has systematically dismantled every system and tool we have to stop the flow of illegal aliens across our border. Worse, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has disempowered our law enforcement, causing deep division and deeper loss.

That’s why House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., must make border security the No. 1 priority for Congress next year when conservatives retake the House. Americans are demanding a total overhaul of border security and a return to law and order.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy responds to reporters at the Capitol, Dec. 3, 2021.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Americans have noticed, and are demanding change. Heritage Action surveyed Americans in congressional battleground districts in May 2022 and found that 72% of respondents wanted stricter enforcement of immigration laws – only 12% thought they should be looser. Nearly two-thirds also blamed Biden’s executive orders for the crisis, and supported hiring more border patrol and ending catch-and-release.


If Republicans take the House in November, it’s clear that conservatives will have a mandate from the American people to reverse Biden’s wave of disastrous executive orders and fix the border. The only question is what they will do with that mandate. They could return to the pre-Trump era of “compromise,” granting amnesty without meaningfully securing the border. Or they could follow the will of the people, hold Biden accountable, and make a powerful border security package H.R. 1, the first bill that the next Congress takes up.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy leads a GOP delegation in Eagle Pass, Texas, for a meeting with Border Patrol agents.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy leads a GOP delegation in Eagle Pass, Texas, for a meeting with Border Patrol agents.
(Bill Melugin/Fox News)

The next speaker of the House will have his work cut out for him, but he does not have to go it alone. Conservatives have already begun to lay the groundwork for the policies a strong border bill should include. Earlier this year, a coalition of former senior law enforcement officials and leading conservative groups, including Heritage Action, laid out a list of policies that Republican leadership must include in a border bill when they retake the House next year.

The biggest opportunity for reform is the broken asylum system. Asylum is supposed to only go to those fleeing persecution in their home country, yet has increasingly been abused. Now, many aliens traveling for economic reasons simply claim they’re afraid to return to their home country and are allowed into the United States, only to never show up for a court hearing. The number of asylum applications has exploded in recent years, up from 25,000 in 2005 to over 200,000 before 2020. There are several asylum loopholes Congress must close:

First of all, it’s time to use common sense and stop allowing entry to illegal border-crossers – aka “catch and release.” It is outrageous that Border Patrol catches aliens in the middle of trespassing and then must admit them to the country for asylum hearings. Congress must authorize Homeland Security to immediately expel illegal aliens caught along the border.

Second, Congress must immediately reimplement the Remain in Mexico policy and designate Mexico a safe third country, meaning aliens crossing through Mexico cannot claim asylum in the U.S. An alien claiming they are fleeing violence in Honduras should simply stay in Mexico or other safe third countries, instead of being admitted into the United States.


Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visits the U.S. southern border, May 17, 2022.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visits the U.S. southern border, May 17, 2022.
(Pool video)

Third, Congress should ensure all parts of law enforcement are doing their jobs. They should end the outrageous abuse of the parole authority, which allows USCIS to simply let aliens go free inside the U.S. as they wait for deportation hearings (most never show up, of course). Congress should simultaneously increase the resources of CBP and other agencies while limiting the prosecutorial discretion that allows liberal Soros-funded prosecutors to simply refuse to charge illegal aliens.

Finally, Mayorkas must be impeached. He has failed the basic requirements of the job, making a mockery of our nation’s laws. A Republican House should immediately impeach the secretary, showing the Biden administration that there are consequences for undermining our national security.

There is far more Congress can do, and there is much they shouldn’t do – for one, amnesty is an immediate non-starter. Our leaders should be confident that prioritizing border security will be politically rewarding: a July Morning Consult poll shows that Republicans hold a 12-point edge in trust among independent voters on their handling of immigration. Additionally, 61% of independents said passing an immigration reform bill should be a “top” or “important” priority for Congress.


The American people know the border is in chaos. They know it’s Biden’s fault. They support border security. The only thing they don’t know is whether Congress will fix it. 

Come January, Leader McCarthy will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make border security bill H.R. 1 and prove that conservatives have what it takes to govern. Americans are counting on him.


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