FIRST ON FOX: Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., returned fire at Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday after she accused Republicans of “playing politics” with the border crisis.
“Vice President Harris has had three years to secure the border and stop the open flow of illegal immigrants into our country,” Johnson told Fox News Digital.
“Yet, when asked about her solutions, she recommended that Congress grant mass amnesty and spend taxpayer dollars to process – not stop – more illegals. Her ‘solution’ is to spend billions of additional taxpayer dollars and incentivize the lawlessness and chaos.”
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House Speaker Mike Johnson is going after Vice President Kamala Harris after she accused Republicans of playing politics with the border. (Getty Images)
He was responding to a CNN interview Harris gave on Monday, when she urged negotiators working on a border security and immigration deal in Congress to focus on “solutions.” When discussing what those solutions could be, she suggested “meaningful” pathways to citizenship for illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers, as well as “putting resources” toward helping “process people effectively.”
“This answer from President Biden’s ‘border czar’ is exactly why the administration can’t be trusted to solve the catastrophe they, themselves, created,” Johnson said. “Their idea is to attract millions more aliens, cause more pain, and further surrender America’s national and economic security.”
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Early on in the Biden administration, Harris was given the task of finding long-term solutions to the worsening border crisis, specifically the root causes of mass migration from Central America.
However, she has not been seen with Senate and White House negotiators on Capitol Hill in recent weeks, as they work to find a bipartisan compromise.
Immigrants from Venezuela walk towards a U.S. Border Patrol transit center after crossing the Rio Grande into the United States on Jan. 8, 2024, in Eagle Pass, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Harris declined to directly discuss the current state of those talks. However, when asked about why border security reform has proved evasive for Washington for so many years, she admitted the immigration system is “broken” and pointed out one of the Biden administration’s first bills sent to Congress “included what we must do to create a pathway to citizenship and to put the resources that are needed into the border.”
“But sadly, people on the other side of the aisle have been playing politics with this issue,” she said.
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When pressed about those solutions, she said, “The solutions include putting resources at the border to do what we can to process people effectively, and putting in place laws that actually allow for a…meaningful pathway to citizenship.”
“I will tell you that the negotiations that are happening right now, I hope are going to be directed at solutions that are genuinely focused on fixing the problem,” Harris said.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agent walks to a vehicle along the border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, on May 10, 2023. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
Meanwhile, as those talks continue, Johnson and his House GOP conference have been steadfast in pushing for stricter border security measures than the Senate bipartisan talks are likely to produce.
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Johnson has so far advocated for policies similar to H.R.2, the border bill that House Republicans passed in May, which include severe restrictions on asylum, and would reimpose Trump administration-era policies like Remain In Mexico. However, the Democrats who control the White House and Senate have panned the bill as a “nonstarter.”
The number of people encountered at the border between the U.S. and Mexico last month is expected to have exceeded 300,000, an all-time historic high.
Fox News Digital reached out to the vice president’s office for comment.