Republicans aren’t playing anymore games.
On Monday, Representative Mike Johnson (R-La.) declared his intent to obstruct foreign aid allocations to Ukraine and Israel unless specific measures, such as the reinstatement of the “remain in Mexico” policy, are incorporated into the United States’ border policy. Speaking on conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Johnson expressed concern that the Biden administration had combined aid packages for Israel and Ukraine in a supplemental budget request. Despite acknowledging the importance of supporting both nations in their respective conflicts, Johnson emphasized that securing the U.S. border is his top priority.
During the radio interview, Johnson recounted his recent visit to the border with 64 members of the GOP conference and praised the effectiveness of the “remain in Mexico” policy. This Trump-era policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, involved returning asylum seekers to Mexico for processing. Johnson highlighted the policy’s potential to reduce the flow of migrants by 70%, asserting that reinstating it would send a global message that the U.S. does not have an open-door policy.
While acknowledging the significance of a border wall, Johnson emphasized that the issue extends beyond physical barriers. Hewitt, a prominent figure in conservative politics, pressed Johnson on the inclusion of a border wall in any immigration deal, establishing it as a crucial condition for his support. Johnson, in response, stressed the critical priority of the wall but also discussed the merits of H.R. 2, the GOP border bill passed by the House, which includes provisions related to the “remain in Mexico” policy.
As the discussion continued, Hewitt reiterated his insistence on the construction of 900 miles of physical barriers as a non-negotiable requirement for supporting any border policy bill. The conversation highlighted the complex interplay between foreign aid, immigration policies, and border security in the current political landscape.