House Dem Centrists Push For Border Security After Biden Signs Foreign Aid Bill
Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Wash., walks down the House steps after a vote at the U.S. Capitol on Friday, April 19, 2024.
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

A group of centrist House Democrats called on President Joe Biden and Congress to take steps toward securing the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday.

Reps. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA), Jared Golden (D-ME), Mary Peltola (D-AK), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), and Don Davis (D-NC) — all of whom have 2024 races rated “toss up” or “lean Democrat,” according to The Cook Political Report — released a statement after Biden signed a $95 billion foreign aid package into law.

“Our national security interests don’t stop at our physical borders. That is why we voted to send more weapons to Ukraine for its fight against Russia,” they said. “The lesson of Pearl Harbor must not be forgotten: appeasement invites aggression against us. As Speaker [Mike] Johnson stated last week, we would rather send ‘bullets than American boys.'”

Beyond defending U.S. allies, the group said they “strongly agree” with the National Border Patrol Council on the view “that Congress and the President must act and bring order to the Southern border.”

“That is why we also voted for H.R. 3602 on Saturday,” they said, referring to border security legislation that failed to pass as lawmakers considered a bill series for the foreign aid package, “and why we all voted last month for $19.6 billion for Border Patrol so that it could ramp up its efforts to secure the border.”

The Democrats said they were “calling today on President Biden to use the authority given the executive by Congress to immediately reimplement” a section of U.S. Code geared toward returning migrants to Mexico pending court proceedings.

And they called on leaders in both the House and Senate to “to pass legislation to give Border Patrol back the expulsion authority that expired last year, alluding to the pandemic-era Title 42, which allowed authorities to quickly turn away migrants at the border on public health grounds.

With a presidential election coming up in November, border security as well as immigration have become top issues for Americans as the backlog of asylum seekers and migrants living in the U.S. is projected to reach more than 8 million by October.

Hardline Republicans who opposed the foreign aid package — which seeks to boost U.S. allies such as Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan — lashed out, in part, because of a dearth of provisions geared toward alleviating the border crisis in the final product.

The statement from the House Democrats included a quote that Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, gave to Fox News last weekend.

“We are beyond disappointed that the House would give aid to secure the borders of foreign countries but gave nothing to allow the Border Patrol to secure the safety of the United States,” Judd said.

“There’s nothing more backwards,” he added, “I wouldn’t have even expected taxpayers’ dollars. They could have given us policy, and that would have been enough.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  House Dem Centrists Push For Border Security After Biden Signs Foreign Aid Bill