President Joe Biden says he will veto a House Republican bill that would strengthen border security and enact immigration reforms, according to a May 8 statement from the White House.
Biden’s vow to veto H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023, comes as between 700,000 to 1 million illegal aliens are expected to enter into the U.S. after the government’s Title 42 emergency powers, which allow expedited deportations of migrants, ends this Thursday.
House lawmakers are planning to vote on H.R. 2 the day Title 42 expires.
“While we welcome Congress’ engagement on meaningful steps to address immigration and the challenges at the border, this bill would make things worse, not better,” according to a statement from the White House Office of Management and Budget quoted by the Associated Press. “Because this bill does very little to actually increase border security while doing a great deal to trample on the nation’s core values and international obligations, it should be rejected.”
In an official statement, Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee said, “Under President Biden & Secretary Mayorkas, our border is in complete chaos, and after Title 42 ends this week, it will only get worse. Passing [the] Secure the Border Act will take needed steps to clean up this admin’s mess and restore order to the border.”
The House GOP bill would authorize significant changes to border policy, including finishing construction of the 200-mile fence on the U.S. southern border. It would also increase the use of tower surveillance along the border, tunnel detection technology, and unmanned aerial surveillance systems.
Lawmakers would also task the the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with producing a report on whether 11 Mexican drug cartels meet the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organization.
Under the new plan, the government would have to certify that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have real-time access to criminal history databases for the countries of origin for migrant background checks, as well as certification that those databases are accurate, current, digitized, and searchable.
“As a result of the Biden Administration’s open border policies, our nation is at unprecedented risk,” Rep. Mike Johnson wrote in a May 8 post on Twitter, referencing the upcoming vote on H.R. 2. “We MUST act to keep America safe.”