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FACT SHEET: Jim Jordan and Judiciary Republicans Don’t Care About Immigration Reform – They Just Want to Play Politics

Feb 22, 2023

This week, Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jim Jordan plans to take the latest step in his partisan stunts: an “investigation” of the southern border, but it’s clear House Republicans care more about scoring points with their MAGA base than actually solving immigration or fixing the border. Instead of coming to the table with solutions to help fix our immigration system, Jordan and his MAGA allies on the committee are playing partisan games to harm President Biden and  Democrats for purely political reasons. They refused to provide oversight and completely ignored Trump’s failed border policies, so how can Jordan claim to have any authority to investigate the Biden administration’s policies now that he’s in charge? This hearing will be straight out of the Trump playbook with far-right witnesses and blatant lies, and further prove that Republicans and Jim Jordan cannot be trusted to conduct fair and legitimate investigations.

The MAGA Judiciary Committee Is Only Looking to Obstruct the Biden Administration. House Republicans have long planned to use their investigative power to obstruct the Biden administration, with the top target being Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Top Republican Steve Scalise (R-LA) told reporters that Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas “might have a reserved parking spot (at the Capitol) he’s gonna be up here so much,” and Lauren Boebert said investigations into Mayorkas would be President Biden’s “own demise.” Mayorkas has always been the number one target of the House GOP, with 31 MAGA Republicans signing articles of impeachment even before the midterm elections. The House GOP committee is only using investigations to disrupt the Department of Homeland Security and hinder the Biden administration.

The GOP House Is Just Using The Border As An Issue To Campaign On. The House GOP is using border policy as an endless crisis issue to campaign on. Several top Republicans serving on the MAGA Judiciary committee have echoed far-right lies about immigrants as part of a web of conspiracy theories known as “Great Replacement” theory, stoking racist sentiments about the country’s changing racial demographics. At least fourteen House Republicans serving on the Judiciary or Oversight committees have openly embraced the far-right theory. These lies demonstrate that the House GOP is only interested in inciting racially charged fears about demographic replacement in order to mobilize their base, instead of addressing the real issues associated with immigration and the border.

House Republicans Refused to Provide Oversight Into Trump’s Failed Border Policies. MAGA Republicans in the House are hypocritically investigating the Biden administration and attacking the very same policies and circumstances that transpired during the Trump administration. For years, Republicans ignored oversight of the Trump administration’s disastrous border policies. In 2019, the CBP declared a “humanitarian and national security border crisis.” Humanitarian organizations reported a sharp rise in human rights abuses during detention encounters as the administration mounted a failed response to the surge in border crossings. In spite of this, James Comer, Jim Jordan, and the Judiciary and Oversight Republicans opposed bipartisan efforts to investigate the policy of forced child separation along the southern border, including opposing subpoenas against Trump cabinet officials. House Republicans were virtually silent as evidence of waste and mismanagement at the border piled up, and Rep. Jordan instead took to Fox News to claim that Trump bore no responsibility for unrest unfolding during his presidency.

House Republicans Can’t Even Agree On Their Own Immigration Priorities. The MAGA House GOP is so focused on investigating the Biden administration that they can’t even agree on their own policy platform. Two Texas Republicans have introduced competing proposals to address deportation policy and the fate of asylum-seekers and both have threatened to completely derail debt ceiling negotiations over border security bills. Though Rep. Chip Roy’s proposal has been billed as the House Republicans’ prime legislative effort on border security, the fierce pushback shows that even their own caucus is in total disarray when it comes to immigration policy.

House Republicans Voted Against Billions In Border Security Funding Just To Spite President Biden. The FY23 government funding package that President Biden signed into law provided Border Patrol with $7.153 billion — a 17 percent increase from the year before. The funding package provided $65 million for 300 new Border Patrol agents, $60 million for 125 new personnel at points of entry; and $230 million for technology like autonomous surveillance towers.  House Republicans voted against border security funding in the FY22 and FY23 funding packages and a nearly $4.9 billion supplemental request for the border in December 2022.  And some powerful members, like Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, have called for extreme measures like cutting off all border security funding.  

House Republicans Don’t Care About Solving Immigration or Fixing The Border. Republicans have refused to work with the Biden administration or even the Senate on immigration reform or border policy. They spent millions campaigning on border issues and putting on elaborate political stunts like sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard to critique policies imposed or exacerbated by the Trump administration. Yet the House GOP’s talking points almost universally lack any solutions – they are happy to reiterate the Trump playbook and use immigrants as “political scapegoats” without outlining any achievable policy objectives.

The GOP Has Always Refused to Find Solutions. Today’s MAGA obstruction is no different than the past 15 years. In 2020, the GOP refused to update their policy platform on immigration, instead choosing to campaign on Trump’s calls for a failed border wall. They filibustered comprehensive, bipartisan proposals introduced in 2007 (Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act), 2013 (Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act), 2017 (DREAM Act), and 2021 (U.S. Citizenship Act). Congressional Republicans have wholeheartedly refused to act on immigration since passing the Secure Fence Act in 2006. Time and time again, Republicans have been unwilling to work towards comprehensive immigration reform.