The chamber approved H.R. 2 in a vote of 219 to 213, with the opposition of all Democrats and two Republicans — Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY-04) and John Duarte (R-CA-13).
President Biden pledged he would veto the legislation, and the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate is unlikely to act on the bill.
The Secure the Border Act would continue the construction of the border wall and reinstate the “remain in Mexico” policy that was in use under the Trump administration. It would also add border patrol agents and technology for the southern and northern borders.
The office of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-20) also said it would “strengthen and streamline the asylum process” and end the misuse of executive orders on immigration matters.
“Moments ago, House Republicans passed the strongest border security bill this country has ever seen. This bill secures the border from President Biden’s record crossings, record carelessness, and record chaos,” McCarthy said in a news conference after the bill passed.
Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16) called H.R. 2 a “shameful, unserious bill that would shudder our country’s asylum system and make the situation at the border much worse.”
“For decades, congressional Republicans have blocked efforts to reform outdated immigration laws choosing to focus only on the border, believing that if we can be cruel enough, that would deter desperate people from seeking asylum at our nation’s front door,” Escobar said on the House floor.
She claimed Republicans want “no immigration at all” and are seeking to use “cruelty” to achieve that goal.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08) characterized the bill as “extreme” and “irresponsible.”
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Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."