House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., is urging President Biden to use his executive authority to impose strict measures to combat the ongoing migrant crisis at the U.S. southern border.
“The wide-open border has caused unspeakable human tragedy for migrants and certainly for our own citizens. During FY2023, CBP seized ‘enough fentanyl to kill the entire U.S. population,’ and fentanyl poisoning is now the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18-45. Countless children and adults have been victims of human trafficking and cartels have been emboldened and enriched,” Johnson wrote.
“Local communities have been devastated and terrorists and dangerous criminals have entered illegally and dispersed across our country. We are now more vulnerable to a terrorist attack on our homeland than ever.”
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials warned this week that the thousands of migrants coming across the border daily was straining their resources to critical levels, as communities along the border continue to also be stretched thin.
“All of this is the direct result of your administration’s policies,” Johnson wrote. “You have clearly undermined America’s sovereignty and security by ending the Remain in Mexico policy, reinstating catch-and-release, suspending asylum cooperative agreements with other nations, ignoring existing restraints on the abuse of parole, and halting border wall construction.”
He called on Biden to impose an executive order empowering border agents to “turn back or detain all illegal aliens encountered between ports of entry,” as well as vastly narrowing parole authority for migrants.
Johnson also demanded that Biden reinstate the Trump administration’s controversial Remain in Mexico policy, strengthen expedited removal processes and resume construction of the border wall.
Republicans in the House and Senate have forced the White House to the negotiating table on border security by holding up Biden’s $110 billion supplemental aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other causes. The bill also includes funding for the border, but GOP lawmakers argued that the money is meaningless without significant policy changes.
Johnson has maintained both in public and in private that House Republicans would not agree to Ukraine funding unless the Senate takes up their marquee border security bill known as H.R. 2.
The White House did not immediately respond for comment to Johnson’s letter.