Top Republicans fired back at the White House this week after the Biden administration threatened that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would deport fewer illegal aliens if Republicans did not pass the Senate’s controversial border bill.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed to reporters on Wednesday that congressional Republicans were “choosing partisan politics over our national security” because they do not support the bill that many experts and critics say will make President Joe Biden’s illegal immigration crisis even worse.
“Here is what that means: ICE would be forced to reduce its removal operations, its total detention capacity, and more,” she said. “When ICE can’t conduct these operations, our national security and public safety will be harmed.”
Jean-Pierre’s attempt to shift blame for the administration’s border crisis onto Republicans comes as numerous recent polls have shown that the crisis is the top issue for many voters, and the overwhelming majority of Americans blame Biden for it.
Republican senators and House members responded to Jean-Pierre’s remarks on social media by saying they amounted to extortion by the Biden administration.
“And yet, in 2022, when I sought to provide more $ to deport CRIMINAL illegal aliens, every single Democrat voted against it,” said Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN). “Don’t believe this blame-shifting nonsense.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) responded: “Is Biden the President or a mobster? Attempting to shake down Republicans for a bad immigration bill won’t secure our southern border. It shows Biden can fix the problem that he created.”
“This is called extortion,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).
“This is blackmail,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) posted on X. “And an admission that Biden controls the level of illegal immigration. The entire border crisis is by design.”
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) responded: “The White House is threatening the American people.”
“They’ve already abandoned the field – but this is why we should not fund DHS until we force the border security that is necessary,” said Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX).
Rep. Austin Pfluger (R-TX) responded: “President Biden has now resorted to threatening the American people with an even worse border crisis. The President already has the tools and authority he needs to close the border. This crisis is intentional.”
“Proof that Biden was NEVER serious about actually securing the border,” added Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL). “It’s all a game for the White House to score political points.”