Ex-DHS officials back Johnson’s aggressive border stance in funding fight, say GOP must have ‘clear resolve’

FIRST ON FOX: Conservative former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials are backing Speaker Mike Johnson’s aggressive stance on border security when it comes to ongoing negotiations over a supplemental spending agreement — calling on Republicans to have “clear resolve” about the crisis. In a statement first obtained by Fox News Digital, former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Tom Homan, former acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan and former acting deputy Homeland Security Chief of Staff Lora Ries, say that “weaponized mass illegal immigration” is fueling the destruction of the economy, national security and public safety. “While the Biden administration and Left-wing lawmakers continue to purposefully drive chaos and carnage at our southern border, House conservatives have taken critical steps to end it, notably through passage of H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act—which continues to collect dust in the Senate,” they say.  JOHNSON CALLS MIGRANT CRISIS ‘TRULY UNCONSCIONABLE’ DURING VISIT TO BESIEGED SOUTHERN BORDER Homan and Morgan are visiting fellows at the Heritage Foundation, while Ries is the director of the organization’s Border Security and Immigration Center. They are part of a coalition that has said that H.R. 2 must be part of any supplemental spending deal currently being negotiated in Congress. Their statement comes as talks are still ongoing between lawmakers in the Senate and the administration. The administration has requested $14 billion for border funding as part of the $100 billion-plus package, which includes money for Ukraine and Israel. That funding request includes more staffing at the border, aid to communities accepting arrivals and removal flights. But Republicans in both chambers say they want stricter limits on asylum and the use of humanitarian parole by the administration to stop releases. Senate Republicans have issued their own proposals, while many in the House have said that H.R. 2 in its entirety must be included. Johnson, leading a congressional delegation to the southern border on Wednesday, said that H.R. 2 — which includes limits on asylum and releases as well as the restarting of wall construction among other provisions — is the “necessary ingredient.” “Because it has provisions that fix each of these problems and these things work together,” he said. If President Biden wants a supplemental spending bill focused on national security, it’d better begin by defending America’s national security,” he said. BIDEN ADMIN EYES MORE DEPORTATION FLIGHTS TO VENEZUELA AS MIGRANT NUMBERS SHATTER RECORDS The former officials say that uniting behind H.R. 2, as well as a separate move by the House Homeland Security Committee to begin impeachment hearings of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, are “imperatives demanded by Americans across the country.”  “H.R. 2 is the only effective and immediate solution to the madness that most of the conference has now witnessed firsthand. And Secretary Mayorkas is undoubtedly guilty of violating his oath and knowingly endangering the citizens he is supposed to serve,” they say. “We commend Speaker Johnson’s commitment to H.R. 2 and hope every lawmaker returns to Washington armed with the reality they experienced in Eagle Pass and a clear resolve in upcoming spending negotiations,” they say.  Democrats in the Senate have ruled out H.R. 2 and similar proposals as a non-starter. Even some reported concessions by the Biden administration, including the establishment of a Title 42-style removal authority, have been met with anger from some liberal Democrats. HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE SETS FIRST MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT HEARING The Biden administration, meanwhile, sought to pin some of the blame on Republicans for failing to agree to the funding request as it is.  “Speaker Johnson is continuing to block President Biden’s proposed funding to hire thousands of new Border Patrol agents, hire more asylum officers and immigration judges, provide local communities hosting migrants additional grant funding, and invest in cutting-edge technology that is critical to stopping deadly fentanyl from entering our country,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said Wednesday “We have House Republicans that are literally blocking the president’s effort to do something. That’s what they’re doing. They’re playing political games. They’re doing political stunts,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday. The administration has also said negotiations are moving forward. “Our negotiations with the Senate continued over the holidays, and we continue to be encouraged by the progress being made. And while we are not there yet, we believe we are moving in the right direction,” a senior administration official told reporters on Tuesday. But the former officials dismissed those negotiations in their statement. “While Biden’s appointees and allies continue to ‘negotiate’ in the Senate, lawmakers on the Left have proven they have no real intention of ending the record tide of illegal immigration,” they say. “If conservatives are united behind H.R. 2, the decision between the safety of a secure border and the chaos of unlimited illegal immigration lies solely with White House and their friends in the Senate. The American people are watching.”
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