Gus Bilirakis blasts Joe Biden administration over border inaction

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'I’ll continue using every single tool at my disposal, including the power of the purse, to force President Biden to enact meaningful border security reform.'

Speaking on the House floor, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis demanded action on the flow of migrants entering the U.S. at the southern border and called out President Joe Biden’s administration for what he described as inaction on securing the border.

His beef with Biden and his administration stems from what most conservatives believe is a lack of enforcement of existing statutes and the reversal of dozens of policy decisions made during the Donald Trump administration.

“December marked the highest number of illegal immigrant encounters in history — with 331 persons on the Terror Watch list entering the country since President Biden took office,” Bilirakis said.

ABC News reported last week that arrests for illegal border crossings from Mexico reached an all-time high in December, at nearly 250,000 crossings. That numbers was up 31% from November and 13% from December 2022, which had been the previous high.

A report from the House GOP, which U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik chairs, cited a similar number of individuals on terror watch lists entering the U.S. since Biden took office, but the number is slightly different, at 361.

“President Biden falsely claims that he needs Congress to act to give him the authority to take control over the border. Let me be perfectly clear: President Biden has the authority to close the border today. He can simply direct his staff to enforce existing laws and reverse the 64 Executive Actions he has taken to worsen the border crisis since coming to office,” Bilirakis continued during Tuesday’s remarks.

“I’ll continue using every single tool at my disposal, including the power of the purse, to force President Biden to enact meaningful border security reform, such as the provisions we passed in HR 2. Any action short of securing our border leaves our nation in peril and our citizens in jeopardy.”

House Resolution 2, known as the Secure the Border Act, has passed the House, but has not received Senate approval. It would amend immigration law to impose limits on asylum eligibility and require employers to utilize an electronic verification system to ensure employment eligibility for new employees.

Bilirakis is demanding the Biden administration implement at least parts of the resolution, including construction of a border wall; deploying technology to the southern and northern borders; increasing the number of border patrol agents and providing bonus pay; requiring more transparency from the Department of Homeland Security on the number of illegal border crossings; strengthening current laws regarding the protection of unaccompanied minors from human trafficking; ending the catch and release program; ending “abuse of executive immigration authority”; and strengthening and streamlining the asylum process.

House Speaker Mike Johnson likewise released a list of “Biden administration actions that have undermined border security and encouraged illegal immigration.” The list includes a Jan. 20, 2021, executive order halting construction of a border wall.

The order noted that “building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution” and calling it a “waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.”

Johnson’s list also cites executive orders “”further entrenching the unlawful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program”; Biden’s introduction of the U.S. Citizenship Act that would establish a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the U.S., but that conservatives oppose as amnesty; a moratorium on deportations and immigration enforcement; an order requiring alternatives to removal; ending Trump-era immigration policies; and more. In all, the list includes 64 actions either carried out or attempted.

Bilirakis is also supporting the impeachment of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. House Republicans this month released articles of impeachment against him in an attempt to remove him from office over the border crisis. The impeachment articles — two of them — accuse Mayorkas of “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and “breach of public trust.”

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


  • PeterH

    January 31, 2024 at 2:08 pm

    Republicans in the Senate rejected HR2. House Republicans demanded that DHS build Trump’s wall ….. but failed to provide any resources to build the wall or provide resources for border security personnel. A border wall is conservatively estimated to cost the American taxpayer $3 trillion dollars!

    Senate Republicans found substantial deficiency evidence in the House proposal known as HR2.

    Senate Republicans have developed a proposal that will meet the Constitutional immigration requirements and House members need to fall in line, reject Trump’s whining and do what is right for American border security.

  • Dennis Jay

    January 31, 2024 at 2:15 pm

    GOP does NOT want a resolution to the immigration issue. They desperately need it as a wedge issue to make Biden look bad. If they were serious, they would enact the BIPARTISAN proposal to provide more resources (border police and judges) to ease immigration. Bilikas knows this. He’s such a fraud.

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