House GOP Passes New Immigration Bill

( – The US Congress approved on a Thursday party-line vote a bill that will restart the border wall construction and bring back the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) asylum procedure.

Except for Kentucky representative Thomas Massie and California Representative John Duarte, every single voting Republican supported this Secure the Border Act, with every single voting Democrats voting against the bill. Duarte and Massie said they refused to support this bill because both had concerns about the E-verify provisions.

Before passing, GOP leadership bargained with grassroots members over clauses addressing drug gangs and seasonal labor. While the Senate is not expected to pass the bill, many believe this may catalyze discussions toward a broader deal.

The Secure the Border Act instructs the Biden administration to pick up where the Trump administration left off with the construction of certain sections of the border wall. The White House has been slow to fulfill its promise to close different gaps, while the previous administration constructed 452 miles of wall along the southern border. On his first day in office, President Joe Biden revoked the emergency declaration that had been used to fund the construction of the border wall.

Additionally, President Biden repealed the Migrant Protection Protocols asylum procedure, which required all asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while their legal cases were being treated. This asylum procedure ended last year, after GOP states lost a legal challenge that would have forced the White House to keep it in place. However, this new bill reinstates the MPP.

Republican representatives said that the Biden administration permitted the expiration of Title 42, making the passage of this new border bill more important. Prior to an anticipated surge in migration, US federal agents stationed along the southern border, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel have been told to release migrants who are currently in their custody to free up beds in shelters.

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