Michigan House Republicans
Representative Schuette Resolution Calls on President to Shore Up Border With Idled Program
RELEASE|June 18, 2024

With an ever worsening security crisis on our southern border under President Joe Biden, Representative Bill G. Schuette today introduced a resolution in the Michigan House that calls for the White House to reinstate a needed commonsense policy that would help secure the U.S. border with Mexico.

House Resolution 283 calls for the reinstatement of Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the Remain in Mexico program, for processing migrants and asylum-seekers looking to enter the country from Mexico.

“Our southern border is creating a humanitarian and national security crisis for our nation. We need to secure our border to stop the flow of dangerous drugs like fentanyl into our nation and protect our communities from the drug cartels and gang lords that are exploiting our porous border,” said Schuette, of Midland. “Under President Biden’s failed leadership we’ve seen this crisis only get worse and it is past time to get serious about this problem. Step one would be for President Biden to change course and reinstate the Remain in Mexico program.”

In Dec. 2018, the Trump Administration installed the program to help address illegal immigration at the southern border and head off a surge of non-meritorious asylum claims – allowing the country to process an enormous backlog of asylum cases while shoring up the border. The government of Mexico cooperated with the measure.

Unfortunately, President Biden began taking steps to unwind and eventually end the program immediately upon taking office as part of misguided political promises – even as it was acknowledged in a memorandum from his administration that the policy likely contributed to a decrease in migration flows. In Jan. 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that it was suspending new enrollments, and a month later Biden issued an executive order directing Homeland Security to review the program and determine whether to terminate or modify it. Homeland Security began bringing individuals waiting in Mexico under the program into the U.S., and the program was terminated in June 2021.

Data collected since has underscored the reckless nature of that decision and prompted significant concerns. In December, the U.S. Border Patrol recorded more than 250,000 encounters with migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border – setting a new all-time high. The new record marked the 10th time encounters have surpassed 200,000 in a month since 2021. In March, an illegal immigrant was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a Grand Rapids woman. The individual had previously been arrested in 2020 and ordered by a judge to be deported from the U.S. but entered back into the country illegally after removal.

The relaxed policies have also created a national security concern. Border Patrol encountered 172 individuals on the terrorist watchlist between ports of entry during the 2023 fiscal year – nearly double the number encountered in the previous fiscal year and more than the past six fiscal years combined. Since U.S. immigration authorities do not have the resources to detain every migrant encountered at the border, migrants instead are release en masse on humanitarian parole.

“Protecting our families and communities and securing our country’s borders is a common sense issue,” Schuette said. “The Remain in Mexico program promoted legal immigration that’s been a part of our country’s foundation and it allowed our country to enforce its laws. We’ve gotten a clear picture of what our southern border looks like without it. There is mass confusion and hardworking people charged with protecting our border are completely overwhelmed. People in our state and throughout the country are at risk the longer this program remains offline.”

HR 283 was referred to the House Government Operations Committee for consideration.

Michigan House Republicans

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