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House Republicans Who Demand Border Investigations Must Deal with a Challenging Political Environment

During a visit to El Paso, Texas, this week, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy declared that House Republicans would look into the “collapse of our border.” Along with other Republican congressmen, he demanded the resignation of Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of homeland security, for what McCarthy called his “dereliction of duty” in the management of southern border patrol.

But according to analysts, Republicans, who will soon control the House, won’t have much power to change our immigration laws significantly. Southwest border contacts increased from 1.7 million to 2.3 million in the most recent fiscal year. Additionally, this fiscal year’s encounter rate is higher than the previous year’s rate.

On Friday, May 20, 2022, Border Patrol agents in Eagle Pass, Texas, wait to process migrants who had crossed the Rio Grande into the country.  Since President Joe Biden took office, McCarthy claimed there have been 4 million illegal border crossings, and he added that if and when the pandemic-era Title 42 public health regulation is lifted, they are “bracing for a wave.”

The secretary of homeland security came under fire from McCarthy for claiming that the southern border is secure. We had a full day with border patrol officers. I questioned everyone I spoke to about how secure the border is. McCarthy claimed at a news conference on Tuesday that they laughed. They said that it is not. It is among the worst moments in this country’s history.

McCarthy that Mayorkas step down, expressing concern for probes and potential impeachment. McCarthy declared, “We will utilize the power of the purse and the power of the subpoena.” “Let me be clear: those liable for this catastrophe will face consequences.”

McCarthy’s press conference was referred to as “political theatre” by the University of California, Davis political science professor Brad Jones. Jones claimed that immigration is a “red meat issue” for the Republican base, and this was probably done to increase support for McCarthy’s attempt to succeed Pelosi as the next Speaker of the House.

Additionally, Republicans in the House will only have a slight majority and will still have to contend with a Senate that is controlled by Democrats. According to John Hudak of the Brookings Institution via email, it is unlikely that legislation to address border enforcement or policy will be produced once the House is under Republican control. Hudak is a senior fellow in governance studies and the Center for Effective Public Management’s deputy director.

It’s “extremely doubtful” that a Republican-controlled House would draught legislation that the Democratic-controlled Senate would approve, he said. “Broad-scale reform around (immigration) is practically unattainable,” the author writes. “There may be opportunities to find minor increases in money for some isolated programs in some spending bills.”

According to Ernesto Castaneda, head of the Immigration Lab at American University, Mayorkas is unlikely to retire and shouldn’t either. Castaneda stated through email that there was no foundation for impeachment as well. The Republicans can convene hearings and subpoena Mayorkas to testify since they hold the majority in the House of Representatives. To attempt to portray a fictitious border crisis, which does not exist, would be a biased performance.

Castaneda claimed it is false to claim that historical levels of illegal immigration have been attained based solely on the government’s reported encounter figures at the border. He pointed out that since reporting total interactions is a recent practice following the pandemic, it is impossible to make an accurate comparison with pre-pandemic figures.

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He said, “There are apples and oranges.” Castaneda stated that bipartisan immigration reform would be a desirable development. On this matter, though, Jones believes that bipartisan agreement is unlikely. According to Jones, neither party is prepared to accept the underlying causes of the issues or work toward serious immigration policy reform.

As many Americans have expressed support for what Jones called more inviting immigration policies, such as paths to citizenship and guest worker programs, McCarthy and his colleagues, according to Jones, need to exercise caution in how they handle border enforcement.

According to the Pew Research Center, about 75% of Americans believe that tightening border security is essential to reducing unauthorized crossings, and 60% are in favor of creating a pathway for unauthorized immigrants to remain in the country lawfully.

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