WASHINGTON (HPD) — House Republicans seek to pass a sweeping bill Thursday to build more of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and impose new restrictions on asylum seekers, a move that creates hardline opposition to President Joe Biden’s policies just as migrants flock along the border following the end of coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
The bill has virtually no chance of becoming law. Democrats, who have tight control in the Senate, have called the measures “cruel” and “anti-immigrant” and Biden has vowed to veto them.
But Republicans in the House deliberately timed the vote for the same day as the expiration of Title 42, a public health emergency rule that allowed border authorities to immediately deport many immigrants who crossed the border illegally. Biden has admitted that the southern border will be “chaotic for a while” as immigrants weigh whether to cross or wait and US authorities implement a new set of policies intended to crack down on unauthorized immigration and provide more legal avenues.
Republicans have been determined to criticize Biden for the increase in irregular immigration during his tenure. Passing the bill would ensure House Republican lawmakers can say they did their part to fulfill a campaign promise to strengthen the border.
The 213-page bill represents a compromise made at the Republican conference between lawmakers, who want to focus on beefing up border enforcement, and hardline conservatives, who want to see drastic changes to America’s immigration and asylum laws. .
Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.