Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) joined a delegation of Republicans led by House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to Eagle Pass, Texas, this week to call for an end to the border chaos and to decry President Joe Biden’s immigration record.
The lawmakers came to see the humanitarian and national security crises at the southern border, where migrant numbers reached more than 300,000 in December — the highest single-month number ever recorded. More than eight million migrants have entered the U.S. illegally under Biden’s watch. The trip included intelligence briefings related to trends in border security, according to Fitzpatrick’s office.
“The migrant crisis at the southern border is real and presents a grave national security threat to our nation,” said Fitzpatrick. “Our brave Border Patrol men and women are overwhelmed by a migrant surge that is a direct result of misguided policies from this administration. Over the past three years, we have witnessed the public health, humanitarian, and national security consequences that the porous southern border has created for our nation, and this Congress must come together and find real solutions to this crisis.”
The House Homeland Security Committee is also poised to begin hearings next week on whether to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the border.
The Biden administration threw out former President Donald Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy for asylum seekers, which had required them to stay in that country until their case was adjudicated. Another factor was Biden’s ending of Title 42, a Trump administration policy that allowed immigrants to be sent back due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-Berks/Montgomery), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester/Berks), and Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Philadelphia/Delaware) did not reply when asked whether they support the Biden administration’s border policies or defend its results.
The flow of millions of illegal immigrants across the border has garnered national attention, largely through the efforts of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who has sent busloads of migrants to Democrat-run “sanctuary” cities, including Philadelphia. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican running for president, has also flown some undocumented immigrants out of Florida, notably to Martha’s Vineyard.
Johnson wrote on X (formerly Twitter) about the trip, “Yesterday, more than 60 House Republicans were in South Texas speaking with local landowners and law enforcement. We were shown firsthand how the president’s reckless open-border policies are devastating communities across the state.
“The Biden administration’s decision to sue the state of Texas for trying to secure its border is shameful. The first responsibility of leaders is to protect their citizens, and @GovAbbott has shown leadership where President Biden has been an abject failure. The Biden administration is showing once again it is obviously their deliberate strategy to keep the border open and continue the chaos and humanitarian crisis their policies have created.”
On X, Fitzpatrick added, “The Senate must take up the Secure the Border Act, which has already passed the House, and the administration must restore the Remain in Mexico policy and enforce 8 U.S.C 1325 and 1326. We are, and always have been, a nation of legal immigration. We must not be a nation of lawlessness.”
While Democrats in the Delaware Valley delegation declined to comment about the border today, they have spoken out in the past.
Scanlon’s website notes that as an attorney, she “worked for many years representing immigrants and asylum seekers. In Congress, Rep. Scanlon is committed to repairing our complex and broken immigration system through common-sense policy measures. She has cosponsored legislation to end inhumane family separation practices and will fight to protect Dreamers and TPS holders.”
She also visited the border in 2019 and “will continue working to ensure that Customs and Border Patrol and the Coast Guard have the resources they need to protect our borders and legal ports of entry while addressing the humanitarian crisis at our border.”
“Our failure to address this humanitarian crisis with diplomacy, foreign aid, and humane border policies has created a challenge for law enforcement officers. They need resources to address the facts, not a crisis dreamed up by those sowing racist division for political gain,” Scanlon said at the time.
On her campaign website, Dean said she “supports a strong legal immigration system and humane treatment for anyone seeking citizenship.” She supports “a path to citizenship for [illegal immigrants] who want to be part of our country, reinstating DACA to allow the Dreamers to be able to stay in our country without fear.” She promised to fight against “inhumane border policies” and “end the cruel practice of family separation and placing those seeking legal asylum in inhumane living conditions at the border or elsewhere in our country.”
Houlahan is “cosponsor and vote for the Dream and Promise Act. This legislation aims to secure permanent residency for immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA) program, Temporary Protected Status, and Deferred Enforced humanitarian programs.”
Houlahan also cosponsored bills to help legal immigrants: H.R. 3648, the Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act, and H.R. 3897, the H-2B Returning Worker Exception Act of 2021.
“What is happening at our southern border should alarm all of us,” Houlahan said of the legislation. “When I visited the border in 2019, what was clear was that our facilities lacked, and have been lacking for years, the attention and resources they need. That needs to change, which is why I joined my colleagues across the aisle to vote for a 2022 spending bill providing additional funding for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to better manage immigration across our southern border.”
Linda Stein is News Editor at Delaware Valley Journal.
This article was republished with permission from the Delaware Valley Journal.