Speaker of House Mike Johnson is a Republican from Louisiana. He is heading to Eagle Pass, Texas, which is ground zero for the massive surge in migrants that has overwhelmed Customs and Border Patrol facilities along the entire southwest border, on Wednesday.
In a press statement, Johnson said, “While President Biden sleeps and Senate Democrats are asleep at the wheel, House Republicans will not stop demanding immediate and transformative solutions to madness.”
Secretary Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited Mexico City last week to discuss the crisis. They also met with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Lopez Obrador suggested that America restore its relations with Cuba and Venezuela and provide development assistance of tens of billions to Central and South America. While this might slow migration in 10 or 20 years, it won’t help today.
Biden urged Lopez Obrador, president of Mexico, to severely limit border crossings between Guatemala & Mexico. Most Central American migrants travel north.
In other words, Lopez Obrador told Biden that Mexico will enforce its immigration laws however it chooses and America is SOL if they don’t. Now the bipartisan group trying to reach a consensus on immigration and asylum reform faces even greater pressure.
“Bipartisan border security negotiations are essential to the Senate’s efforts to address critical national security priorities,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement. “Challenging issues remain, but we are committed to addressing needs at the southern border and to helping allies and partners confront serious threats in Israel, Ukraine, and the Indo-Pacific.”
New York Sun:
Mr. Johnson has been amping up his criticism of the Biden Administration’s handling of the border issue in recent weeks. In mid-December, Mr. Johnson called on the administration to detain all migrants encountered between ports of entry and to reinstate President Trump’s remain-in-Mexico policy. He also called on Mr. Biden to “renew construction of the border wall.”
Johnson wants to hold any illegals entering the country outside of a designated port. ICE will hold tens of thousands who are claiming asylum.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s year-end reports show that the number of encounters at ports increased from 2.8 million in 2022 to 3.2 million in fiscal 2023. Border patrol reported 309,000 interactions in November 2023 and a total of 308,000 in December 2023. December 2023 saw the largest flow of people ever recorded in a single month.
Mr. Johnson’s visit coincides with reports that a caravan of migrants of 6,000 people is traveling 1,000 miles from the border of Southern Mexico to the border of the United States.
The current waiting time for asylum seekers can be up to seven years.
After surveys revealed Democrats’ unpopular policies, talks on immigration agreements have intensified. The question remains whether they will offer enough to make a real difference at the border.