Virginia Democratic Congresswomen Jennifer Wexton (D-VA10) and Jennifer McClellan (D-VA04) react to House passage of (as Rep. Wexton describes it) “House Republicans’ extreme and partisan border bill today, which passed with only Republican support and would not make the border more secure or control the flow of illegal drugs and be disastrous for the economy.” As Rep. McClellan explains, the Republicans “Child Deportation Act…is an extreme, unworkable piece of legislation that would cripple our ports of entry, undermine America’s asylum system, jeopardize the safety and well-being of unaccompanied children, and create chaos at the border.” And, of course, almost all House Republicans voted for this lunacy.
Wexton Calls for Comprehensive Immigration Reform After Passage of Extreme GOP Border Bill
Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) reiterated her support for comprehensive immigration reform that secures our border, provides a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and solves the workforce challenges facing businesses across the country.
“Our immigration system is broken, and rather than work together on a bipartisan solution, extreme House Republicans have forced through a bill that does nothing to secure our border and would derail the economy while throwing families legally seeking asylum in jail,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “I hope my colleagues across the aisle will come together and work towards reasonable solutions that provide smart, strong border security, expand pathways to citizenship, and support businesses across our country who are facing dire workforce needs. There is an urgent need to take action and no time or place for these extreme partisan games.”
Wexton voted against the House Republicans’ extreme and partisan border bill today, which passed with only Republican support and would not make the border more secure or control the flow of illegal drugs and be disastrous for the economy. This extreme legislation fails to provide any additional resources for Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers at ports of entry, criminalizes non-profits and faith organizations who support asylum seekers at the border, and forces employers to use E-Verify systems which would cripple the agriculture industry. The bill also tears families living in communities in the U.S. apart by allowing for the permanent detention of asylum seekers who are fleeing violence, natural disasters, and persecution in their home countries while making it even harder for CBP officers to process the backlog of asylum claims.
Wexton has supported bills that increase resources for smarter, stronger border security and enhanced screening at ports of entry, as well as bipartisan legislation to allow a pathway to citizenship for millions of Dreamers and TPS holders, many of whom have known no other home than here in the U.S. Wexton has also voted to improve the high-tech and farm workforce visa systems, which are crucial to Virginia businesses and economy.
The extreme Republican border bill is opposed by numerous organizations including the AFL-CIO, Catholic Charities USA, the National Education Association, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, UnidosUS, and more.
McClellan Opposes Republicans’ Child Deportation Act
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan (VA-04) voted against Republicans’ H.R. 2, the Child Deportation Act, to protect our immigration system and stand up against cruel, ineffective border policies.
“H.R. 2 is an extreme, unworkable piece of legislation that would cripple our ports of entry, undermine America’s asylum system, jeopardize the safety and well-being of unaccompanied children, and create chaos at the border,” said Congresswoman McClellan. “H.R. 2 is not a serious attempt to fix our nation’s immigration system; it is a draconian deportation bill that would reimplement some of the most ineffective immigration and border security policies of the previous Administration. It doubles down on construction of a pointless border wall, which still is not being paid for by Mexico; expedites child deportation and the detention of unaccompanied minors; makes it more difficult for charities, churches, and local governments to offer humanitarian aid; and makes no effort to address the flow of illegal drugs through our ports of entry.”
According to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates, the Child Deportation Act would cost the American people $6.1 billion. H.R. 2 would affect the legal status of about 4.4 million people who would otherwise be granted asylum and would make humanitarian parole, like what has been extended to Afghan allies and Ukrainian refugees, illegal. It would also mandate the construction of at least 900 miles of border wall, despite Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reports which have shown new segments of border wall have been breached over 3,272 times.
“The Child Deportation Act is nothing more than Republicans’ desperate attempt to stoke culture wars and achieve their inhumane, xenophobic goals,” continued Congresswoman McClellan. “Speaker McCarthy and House Republicans are holding the American economy hostage and threatening a default due to ‘spending concerns,’ while they peddle this legislation that would end our asylum immigration system at a cost of $6.1 billion dollars. I voted no on this divisive piece of legislation, because it does nothing to improve our nation’s immigration system.”
The House passed H.R. 2 on a vote of 219 yeas to 213 nays.
Read a section-by-section fact sheet here.
UPDATE: Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08) weighs in as well: