President Biden is vowing to “shut down the border” if Congress passes the bipartisan immigration deal he claims would give him “emergency authority” necessary to stop the years-long surge of migrants.
Biden said in a Friday press release later published on social media that the border security measures, which are tied to a Ukraine aid package opposed by the GOP, would be “the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had as a country.”
“For too long, we all know the border’s been broken,” the president said. “It’s long past time to fix it.”
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“What’s been negotiated would — if passed into law — be the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country,” Biden said. “It would give me, as president, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law.”
In the White House statement, Biden urged lawmakers to provide funding to aid Ukraine that was requested in October, which would include funds for an additional 1,300 U.S. Border Patrol agents, 375 immigration judges, 1,600 asylum officers and more than 100 inspection machines to help prevent the smuggling of fentanyl into the United States.
It would also increase visas by 250,000 and bolster green card eligibility.
“For everyone demanding tougher border control, this is the way to do it,” Biden said. “If you’re serious about the border crisis, pass a bipartisan bill and I will sign it.”
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Hours earlier, House Speaker Mike Johnson wrote a letter to his colleagues in the Senate signaling the legislation addressing the border and aid to Ukraine has no future in the House if Republicans there feel it doesn’t do enough to address the record numbers of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States.
“I wanted to provide a brief update regarding the supplemental and the border, since the Senate appears unable to reach any agreement. If rumors about the contents of the draft proposal are true, it would have been dead on arrival in the House anyway,” Johnson wrote. “Many of our constituents have asked an important question: ‘What is the point of negotiating new laws with an administration that will not enforce the laws already on the books?’”
Johnson suggested that the GOP was not interested in negotiating the bill because Biden has failed to enforce illegal immigration laws already on the books.
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“I am emphasizing again today that House Republicans will vigorously oppose any new policy proposal from the White House or Senate that would further incentivize illegal aliens to break our laws,” Johnson said.
Biden’s claim that the bill was necessary to confer him with the authority to close the border received notable pushback from conservatives, who pointed to a variety of powers currently at his disposal to stop the hundreds of thousands of migrants pouring into the U.S.
“No laws need to be passed,” billionaire Elon Musk, who owns the X social media platform, responded to Biden’s announcement. “All that is needed is an executive order to require proof before granting an asylum hearing. That is how it used to be.”
Just this week, Border Patrol agents near El Paso, Texas, caught 40 migrants involved in two human smuggling operations as the border hit its highest rate of migrant encounters last month, blowing away previous statistics.
Sources with Customs and Border Protection told Fox News Digital that migrant encounters hit a staggering 300,000 incidents in the last month of 2023, reaching a level thought unimaginable just years ago.
Between Dec. 1 and 31, more than 302,000 migrants were documented attempting to cross the U.S. southern border.
It is the highest total for a single month ever recorded. It is also the first time migrant encounters have exceeded 300,000.
Fox News Digital’s Louis Casiano and Brie Stimson contributed to this report.