To: Interested Media
From: Kyle Herrig, Executive Director of the Congressional Integrity Project
Re: MAGA Republicans Don’t Care About Immigration Reform – They Just Want to Play Politics
Date: January 31, 2023
Jim Jordan and the MAGA Judiciary Committee would rather investigate the President and his team than use their majority to address immigration policy head-on. At the first Judiciary Committee hearing tomorrow, Jordan and House Republicans just want to exploit issues at the border for partisan gain – they don’t care about solving immigration or fixing the border. When presented with opportunities to address the challenges at hand, they have used the issue to campaign on and refuse to do anything about it after they win. They ignored the same border issues during the Trump administration, and they have consistently walked away from negotiations and obstructed progress as far back as George W. Bush. By investigating the Biden administration, the MAGA House is only looking to play partisan political games to harm President Biden and Democrats, gain power for themselves, and obstruct progress instead of addressing the issue head-on.
The MAGA Oversight 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 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 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.