May 11, 2023 - Politics & Policy

House GOP passes sweeping border security bill along partisan lines

Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, speaks during a news conference. Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Republicans passed a big, hawkish border package on Thursday evening — ahead of the end of a pandemic policy allowing the rapid expulsion of migrants and asylum seekers.

Why it matters: It's unlikely to go anywhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate. But the politics are clear — holding up a wishlist of harsh policies as federal law enforcement, humanitarian groups and local officials across the country grapple with a surge in migrants and asylum seekers.

How we got here: Republicans in leadership and several committees have spent months piecing the package together and whipping support.

  • After a final, tumultuous Rules Committee meeting on Wednesday, the bill passed 219-213 on Thursday.
  • President Biden has already made clear he would veto the package if it made it to his desk.

The details: The package is chock-full of former President Trump's most controversial policies that would ramp up deportations and detention while significantly cutting off asylum access.

  • It would cut federal funding for NGOs that are relied on to provide initial shelter and care for migrants and asylum seekers who have recently crossed the border.
  • These groups are often critical for ensuring Border Patrol stations and city shelters are not overrun when border numbers surge.

The big picture: Border crossings have already exceeded 10,000 a day as a border policy enabling the rapid expulsion of hundreds of thousands migrants, called Title 42, ends Thursday.

  • Border Patrol shelters are already beyond capacity, and cities across the U.S. have had to surge resources for migrant care.
  • Tens of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers are estimated to still be waiting in northern Mexico, ready to cross.
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