The legislation “does nothing to address the root causes of migration, reduces humanitarian protections and restricts legal pathways, which are critical alternatives to illegal entry,” he said.
Congressional Democrats sharply criticized the bill when House Republicans unveiled it in late April, saying it would go beyond the scope of border security and punish all non-citizens, including legal residents, victims of trafficking and refugees.
Contacted by NBC News, the office of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, DN.Y., noted his comments during a news conference Wednesday, where he called the bill the «Deportation of kids» and characterized it as «one of the top priorities of MAGA’s extreme Republicans.»
“How do you propose to address our broken and fragile immigration system? Well, they want to waste billions and billions of taxpayer dollars on a medieval border wall, a 14th century solution that won’t work for a 21st century challenge,” Jeffries said. «They continue to bend the knee to the former president of the United States of America, twice indicted in terms of his political proposals.»
“The Republican approach is rooted in xenophobia and fans the flames of hate and mistrust and irresponsible policies that will do nothing to solve the problem,” he added.
The office of the leader of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. Pete Aguilar of California, also referred NBC News to his comments during a news conference Wednesday.
“What the Republicans are bringing to the ground this week is not substantive, it is extreme and it recycles the same failed policies from the previous administration that did nothing to help our situation on the southern border,” Aguilar said.
Rep. Nanette Barragan, D-Calif., chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, echoed her fellow Democrats’ criticism of the bill on Thursday, casting it as a «product of the cruel and unworkable immigration policy of extreme Republicans.» «.
“This bill is an adoption of failed Trump-era policies that call for the criminalization of the right to seek asylum,” Barragán said during a press conference.
Barragán argued that the bill is a «political trick» that «falls so short, so short, in what we are as a nation.»
“He is anti-immigrant. He is anti-Latino and anti-American,” he said. “It is time for comprehensive immigration reform that is humane, that expands legal avenues for migration, protects its dreamers, and addresses the root causes of migration.”
The United States is set to lift Title 42, the pandemic-era restriction that immediately removed immigrants without an asylum hearing, just before midnight Thursday. The expiration of the policy is expected to attract more immigrants and reduce processing times for immigrants in Border Patrol custody.
More than 11,000 migrants crossed the southern border on Tuesday, exceeding expectations of 10,000 a day that Department of Homeland Security officials predicted when Covid restrictions are lifted.