Editor’s note: Big Tent Ideas always aims to provide balancing perspectives on the hottest issues of the day. Below is a column from FreedomWorks for America Executive Director Noah Wall arguing that Rep. Tony Gonzales is undermining Republicans’ efforts to secure the southern border. You can find a counterpoint here, where Gonzales argues against HR 29, Rep. Chip Roy’s Border Safety and Security Act, and says that Republicans can improve border security without turning away legitimate asylum-seekers.
Last week, Republicans on the House Oversight committee heard testimony from two border patrol agents that detailed the continued crisis at our southern border. Securing the border and fixing our broken immigration system should be a priority for all Republicans, and it is time that they take a holistic approach.
Since President Biden took office in January 2021, the United States has experienced a historic surge in illegal immigration, with nearly 3 million illegal aliens having approached our southern border intent on unlawfully entering the nation. In December 2022 alone, Customs and Border Protection had more than 251,000 encounters at the southern border, the largest monthly number recorded in history.
The majority of illegal aliens come from Mexico and Central American states. The Biden administration blames failed governments, rampant corruption along with criminal activity and floundering economic opportunity for the record number of illegal border crossings. Still, this has been the regional status quo for decades. And under the previous presidential administration, illegal border crossings fell to a record low. How could this be?
Ignore the Biden team’s spin — this administration’s disregard for the rule of law is what has led to chaos at the southern border. The Biden administration has created the incentive for millions to make the dangerous — and oftentimes deadly — journey to the United States. They have done this by failing to enforce the laws on the books and affirm American sovereignty. Any reasonable American knows that President Biden, “Border Czar” Kamala Harris, and Secretary Mayorkas are to blame.
There is an easy fix to this situation, but partisan politics in Washington, D.C. prevents it. (RELATED: SPAKOVSKY And STIMSON: Make No Mistake About It, America’s Border Crisis Is Biden-Made)
President Biden doesn’t even have a plan to rectify the crisis on our southern border. All he’s done so far is pass the buck to Vice President Harris. Under her leadership, can she even make the honest claim that the situation hasn’t gotten worse? House Republicans, with their new majority, are right to make border security a priority in the new Congress. Why then, are there certain Republicans who seem fine with toeing the Biden-Harris line on illegal immigration? The “GOP” agent who is working with Biden to sabotage Republican efforts to secure the border is none other than Representative Tony Gonzales of Texas’ 23rd Congressional District.
Rep. Gonzales is undermining House Republicans’ asylum reforms and has blatantly threatened to upend common sense border reform legislation. He has even stated that he is opposed to the impeachment of Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas, despite the overwhelming evidence demonstrating his disregard for enforcing current immigration law. At this rate, Rep. Gonzales shares the blame for this crisis alongside Democrats like Biden, Harris, and Mayorkas.
There are currently dangerous, illegal migrants walking through his constituents’ backyards who are bringing in drugs and trafficking innocent children. Rep. Gonzales has paid lip-service to the idea of securing the border, but his actions show that he is out of touch with his constituents. In fact, he is leading opposition to fellow Texas Republican, Rep. Chip Roy’s (TX-34) H.R. 29, the Border Safety and Security Act of 2023, which would suspend entry of any non-U.S. national without valid entry documents. The bill would also work to help those seeking asylum for legitimate reasons by determining if such an individual has a credible fear of persecution rather than just releasing anyone seeking asylum into the United States.
Rep. Roy’s bill is a fair and reasonable piece of legislation that Rep. Gonzales won’t get behind. In fact, Americans widely support such reforms. But Rep. Gonzalez instead seems intent on spreading misinformation to his colleagues about the bill and the issue of asylum reform in general.
Not only is Rep. Gonzales weak on the issue of immigration at-large, he opposed the new House rules package that restores the ability of individual representatives to have a say in the legislative process. These changes include, among other things, requiring bills to have a single subject, ending proxy voting which ensures Members must show up to do their job, and allowing every member to offer amendments to bills on the floor. The fact that Rep. Gonzales’ colleagues had to fight so hard to achieve these common sense reforms tells us how broken Congress has become. Rather than support a House that works for the American people, Rep. Gonzales was the only Republican to vote against the rules package.
To go even further, this new rules package paves the way for The Texas Border Plan. Texas Republicans introduced this plan to combat record illegal border crossings, complete a physical barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, require the DHS to turn away illegal migrants, and support enforcement of our immigration laws. All such actions would no doubt provide for the safety of not only Texans, but all Americans. Rep. Gonzales couldn’t care less.
It is time for the voters of Texas’ 23rd Congressional District to consider whether their elected representative truly reflects their values and concerns in Congress. Texas’ 23rd Congressional District is a safe Republican seat. Will Rep. Gonzales see a challenger in his next primary? One who actually intends to faithfully represent the district?
Noah Wall is the Executive Director for FreedomWorks for America.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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