In the ongoing negotiations over President Joe Biden’s $106 billion package for security needs in Ukraine and Israel, House Speaker Mike Johnson has declared that sweeping changes to U.S. border policy will be the Republicans’ “hill to die on.” However, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has strongly criticized these proposed changes, stating they “do violence to our fundamental values.”
During a recent interview on CNN, Mayorkas addressed the GOP demands, which include limiting asylum, resuming border wall construction, increasing the number of Border Patrol agents, and narrowing Biden’s power to parole illegal migrants. Mayorkas emphasized that while some proposals are reasonable and deserve discussion, others are not.
Mayorkas reminded viewers that the United States is a country of refuge, with well-established asylum and refugee laws. The nation also upholds its longstanding international obligations. Any changes that undermine these principles would be contrary to the country’s core values.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) shared a video of Mayorkas’ interview, with the RNC claiming that his views echo Biden’s characterization of the proposed border security measures as “the most draconian actions possible.” The RNC criticized Democrats for linking border security to funding for Ukraine, accusing them of prioritizing Ukraine over the safety of the American people.
In a letter to the White House, Johnson reiterated his stance on border security, emphasizing its importance in light of the threat posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He warned that the U.S. could not provide weapons and assistance to Ukraine without adequate funding.
The New York Post reported that since Biden took office, approximately 3.8 million people have entered the U.S. through its borders, with over 1.5 million classified as “getaways.” The RNC highlighted the continuous influx of individuals attempting to cross the border, expressing concern about the release of individuals into U.S. communities without sufficient vetting. They also noted that the number of individuals on the terror watchlist encountered at the southern border in the last fiscal year exceeded the previous six years combined.
This clash between House Republicans and the Biden administration underscores the deep divisions on border security and the fundamental values that shape U.S. immigration policies. As negotiations continue, finding common ground will be essential to address the security concerns while upholding the nation’s commitment to its core principles.