House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and freshman Rep. Lisa McClain are leading the effort on a resolution aimed at voicing support for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in an attempt to oppose progressives’ recent push to reduce funding for the agencies.
The resolution comes as Republicans continue to push for the Biden Administration to reinstate Trump administration border policy, arguing that the reversal is responsible for the record-smashing surge in illegal immigrants entering the country.
Sixty-two lawmakers signed on to the measure, which was introduced on Tuesday.
The resolution states that “the Department of Homeland Security and all its law enforcement agencies conduct critical operations to keep the United States safe and secure,” highlights the CBP’s role in preventing “criminals from entering our country illegally” and filter “contraband, such as illegal drugs and firearms,” noting that ICE “seizes 4,000 pounds of narcotics, $4.93 million in illicit currency and assets, and manages 3.26 million immigration cases.”
Should Republicans force a vote on the floor, the resolution could place moderate Democrats in a difficult position, requiring them to take a public stand against their party.
Scalise (R-La.) praised McClain (R-Mich.) for her efforts on the measure before taking a swing at Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), accusing them of caving to the far left on policy decisions.
“At a time when tens of thousands of migrants and drugs are illegally entering our country, it’s disturbing to see Speaker Pelosi’s far-left allies advocate for defunding DHS, ICE, and CPB,” the Louisiana Republican said in a statement.
“I am proud to support Congresswoman McClain’s resolution because House Republicans will always stand with our Border Patrol agents and those who honorably keep the American people safe. President Biden must stand up to the extremists within his own party and condemn all efforts to defund law enforcement agencies that prioritize securing the border.”
McCain echoed Scalise’s sentiments, adding that she feels cutting funding to the agencies would be “irresponsible and dangerous.”
“Now, more than ever, the brave men and women of the entire Department of Homeland Security deserve our thanks and gratitude. As they deal with the impact of President Biden’s disastrous immigration policies, they deserve to be praised, not defunded,” she said.
“Any calls by elected officials to defund the department and its components are irresponsible and dangerous. Without DHS, our country and the entire world would be less safe.”
Republicans have been vocal in their criticisms of Democrats’ approach to border policy, and plan to make it a key component in their messaging strategy to take back the House. GOP lawmakers have cited instances including progressive Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-Mich.) remarks this month, that immigration agencies should be defunded because they “terrorize” migrant communities.
“Look, the simple answer to that question is we must eliminate funding for CBP, ICE and their parent organization, DHS,” Tlaib said in an interview with Just Futures Law.
“Time after time we have seen it as advocates on the ground, as human services agencies on the ground continue to see over and over again, that these agencies are inept to humanely guiding migrants through our immigration system and instead they further continue to terrorize migrant communities located within our communities.”