Illegal crossing at the U.S. southern border set a new record on Tuesday as 10,300 undocumented immigrants were apprehended in a single day. That’s the entire population of Raymond, N.H.
But on Thursday, New Hampshire Democrats stuck by their anti-immigration-enforcement position, voting against a border security plan that passed the House in a 219-213 vote.
“Joe Biden and Chris Pappas broke the border, and New Hampshire families will be less safe because of their extreme open borders policies,” said National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Savannah Viar.
The bill, H.R. 2, is in part a response to the massive flood of migrants entering the country in response to Title 42’s end. The bill would order construction of the southern border wall to resume. It would increase enforcement personnel at the border and enact new restrictions on asylum seekers. It would clarify federal policies on family immigrant detention and restrict funding “to any nongovernmental organization that facilitates or encourages unlawful activity, including unlawful entry.”
But Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas were a hard pass.
Calling the bill “extreme,” Kuster said in a statement she opposes the bill in part because it “reinstates failed policies from the previous administration” and “spends millions on an ineffective border wall.” Kuster calls the wall, which is supported by border agents and law enforcement, a “medieval approach to security at our border ignores all common sense and is nothing more than wasteful.”
In 2020, there were 405,000 “border encounters.” In 2022 there were 2.2 million, the highest number ever recorded. That figure is expected to soar in 2023.
According to a memo from the head of the U.S. Border Patrol, “For the past 7 days, USBP has averaged over 8,750 encounters per day. This is over double the average daily encounters of 4,284 in May of 2019, the highest month of the 2019 surge.”
The White House insists “the border is secure,” and Biden has pledged to veto the House border security bill if it makes it to his desk. Both Kuster and Pappas oppose deporting illegal immigrants unless they’ve also committed another, more serious crime.
The vote also came the same day news broke of the Biden administration’s new policy for handling undocumented migrants after it ends Title 42. During periods of high traffic like the one currently at the border, agents will release undocumented migrants into the U.S. interior “without court dates or the ability to track them,” according to NBC News.
“We’re already breaking, and we haven’t hit the starting line,” one DHS official said.
“It is unconscionable that our New Hampshire Democrat delegation voted essentially for open borders,” said New Hampshire GOP chairman Chris Ager.