Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee strictly oppose the immigration reform measures in the committee’s portion of the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget resolution package because they say the bill grants amnesty to nearly 8 million illegal immigrants and encourages more people to flood the southern border.
“June was the highest month on record until July when 212,000 enforcement encounters took place; my guess is August will be higher yet. So, what are Democrats focused on in this legislation? Putting amnesty in a bill for—approximately 8 million illegal immigrants—in a bill that spends $3.5 trillion,” Jordan said in his opening statement to the House Judiciary Committee hearing Monday.
Jordan said he opposes the immigration reform bill put forth by Democrats in the FY 2022 budget resolution, because it fails to protect American citizens and adhere to our founding documents. “Government’s primary responsibility is to protect Americans’ liberties, to protect the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. It’s why we have separate and equal branches of government,” said Jordan.
Members of the House who represent communities on the southern border say the surge in illegal immigration is a humanitarian issue and is flooding their communities with illicit drugs.
“As I have continuously said, there is a humanitarian crisis at our southern border. The children who have made this journey are alone and vulnerable—facing the threat of murder, kidnapping, rape, sexual slavery, and forced labor at the hands of violent criminal organizations,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).
Congressman Chip Roy (R-Texas) told a local radio interviewer that his district is being inundated by illegal drugs. Roy said there has been “an 800 percent increase in fentanyl stops, here in Texas—800 percent increase in the first five months of 2021 over the entirety of the previous four years combined.”
Meanwhile, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said the immigration provisions (pdf) will grow the economy and strengthen communities.
“It does this in two key ways, by providing a path to permanent residence and improving the green card process for those who are already making a significant contribution to our country; and by providing additional resources to community violence intervention initiatives at … the Department of Justice,” said Nadler during Monday’s hearing.
“The immigration provisions in this legislation serve as a vital investment in human infrastructure that reflects our commitment to a stronger U.S. economy and a vibrant future for all Americans,” Nadler said about the immigration reforms portion of the bill.
The main part of the bill the Judiciary Committee is debating today will provide a pathway to citizenship for DREAMERS, those with Temporary Protected Status, farmworkers, and “other essential workers;” and it will recapture the availability of immigrant visas and expand green card processing.
Opponents of this immigration measure say it will reward illegal immigration and increase the surge of people crossing the southern border. In addition, Republicans on the committee slammed the bill for giving Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas additional “congressional authority” to determine eligibility for illegal immigrants coming into the United States.
“The bill is a blank check. He can do whatever he wants. He gets to fill in all the details that this bill does not address. Even the DREAM Act, at 54 pages; the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, 231 pages; and the U.S. Citizenship Act, 353 pages. With this bill [Immigration Provisions] it’s only 18 pages because it basically says to the Homeland Secretary, ‘you can grant entry to anyone you want without numerical limitation,’” said Biggs.
“The Secretary of Homeland Security shall adjust to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence … ,” states the bill. In addition, the secretary has the authority to determine the status of illegal immigrants who file an objection to their removal proceedings.
Chairwoman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), said it (the budget resolution), “could not be more fitting or appropriate that we are considering today, legislative changes to our immigration system, to realize those economic benefits through budget reconciliation.”
The reconciliation process will allow the Democrat Majority to pass the $3.5 trillion spending bill with no Republican votes, so long as most of the House Democrats vote in favor and all 50 Democrat Senators do the same.