The House Homeland Security Committee has approved Texas Republican Mike McCaul’s border security bill in a party-line vote of 18 to 12. The same committee passed a bill also sponsored by Congressman McCaul in the last Congress with broad bipartisan support. There are a number key differences between the two bills. This bill would require DHS to gain “operational control” of the border within five years. Under the bill, that would mean stopping all illegal entries in to the US, something DHS officials believe is impossible. DHS officials would face harsh financial penalties if they fail to meet the goal.
The bill has been the source of serious infighting in the GOP. Some conservatives believe the bill will become a vehicle for other immigration bills that would be unpalatable. The bill has already been panned by the Center for Immigration Studies as well as anti-immigration members of Congress like Congressman Steve King and Senator Jeff Sessions.
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