House Republicans are pursuing a two-pronged strategy to demonstrate their commitment to border security, despite skepticism from some members of their own party. On one side, the Judiciary Committee is pushing forward with a comprehensive border and immigration plan after weeks of closed-door negotiations. Meanwhile, some Republicans are laying the groundwork to potentially impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. During a recent appearance before the Homeland Security panel, Republicans previewed their argument against Mayorkas amid criticism of his handling of the border.
Despite the efforts of House Republicans, neither of their initiatives is likely to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Additionally, some centrist GOP members have expressed reservations about the immigration plan, fearing that it goes too far in limiting asylum claims. They have also expressed discomfort with conservative demands to impeach a Cabinet official.
The failure of House Republicans to pass meaningful border security measures through the one chamber of Congress they control would be a significant setback for their party on a crucial issue for their base. However, Democrats are using their colleagues’ opposition to the immigration legislation to make a political case against it.
While the Judiciary Committee’s bill is advancing, some intra-party fights have taken center stage. For example, Rep. Tony Gonzales, a critic of the Judiciary Committee’s bill, remains locked in a public dispute with Rep. Chip Roy, who has been pushing more conservative immigration measures. Although Roy’s bill is not included in the Judiciary package, some of the proposed changes to asylum laws reflect sections of the Texas Republican’s plan.
Many Republicans have defended the Judiciary Committee’s bill, arguing that it is necessary to push back against more than two years of Biden administration policies and to restore successful Trump policies. They contend that the border influx was much more manageable under the former president when the Trump administration placed significant limits on migrants’ ability to claim asylum.