Feburary 5, 2024
By Emily Russell
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and more than a dozen Republican lawmakers held a press conference last week about the southern border.
“The numbers do not lie,” said Stefanik. “Our country is being invaded right now, right in front of our very eyes because of Joe Biden’s catastrophic border policies.”
Border crossings under President Biden are more than double what they were under President Trump, according to US Customs and Border Protection. Stefanik said last week that Biden was “rolling out the red carpet for illegal immigrants.”
“This is a national crisis,” said Stefanik. “Every single community has turned into a border community because of the open-border policies of Joe Biden.”
For months, though, Biden has been in talks with Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, coming close to a deal on the border. It would set aside $20 billion for border security and make it harder to apply for asylum. The President went so far as promising to shut the border down if the bipartisan bill passed.
But that bill has started to unravel in recent weeks. Former President Donald Trump is campaigning against it, calling for even stricter border security measures.
Top Republicans like Stefanik have shifted the focus back to blaming Democrats like Governor Kathy Hochul. Stefanik wrote a letter to Hochul, urging her to “take efforts to secure the Northern Border.” Fellow North Country Congresswoman Claudia Tenney signed that letter.
Then this week, Hochul pushed back, publishing a letter from her administration. It urged Stefanik, Tenney, and other New York Republicans to support the bipartisan bill on border security.
Hochul addressed the issue at an event on Monday. “The only thing standing in the way is that the House Republicans refuse to take action,” said Hochul. “They don’t want there to be a resolution because they want to keep the chaos going.”
The bill includes $1.4 billion to help states and localities with the migrant crisis. Hochul said New York needs some of that money to deal with its own influx of asylum seekers. But House Speaker Mike Johnson reiterated on Monday that the bipartisan border security bill is dead on arrival in the house.