Freshman Rep. Lisa McClain is taking aim at progressive members’ calls to reduce funding for immigration enforcement agencies, calling the idea “ridiculous and appalling” as the country grapples with a massive influx of illegal immigrants at the southern border. 

McClain’s comments come one day after the Michigan Republican, alongside House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), introduced a resolution aimed at voicing support for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 

McClain highlighted the measure during an appearance on “Fox and Friends First” on Wednesday, noting that Border Patrol agents have seized “4,000 pounds of illegal narcotics this year,” and arguing that Squad members’ criticisms of the agency are unwarranted.

Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) said The Squad’s criticisms of immigration enforcement agencies are unwarranted.
Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) said the Squad’s criticisms of immigration enforcement agencies are unwarranted.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag

“The Squad is spewing this rhetoric. And if you notice, they have these crazy ideas that aren’t backed by fact. They’re backed by feelings and opinions. And I led a resolution with my Republican colleagues to stand up against not only the socialist Squad, but also we need to be praising and thanking these Border Patrol agents and agents that work for DHS,” she said. 

“Think about this for a second. They’ve seized this year over 4,000 pounds of illegal narcotics.” 

McClain went on to liken defunding border agencies to being opposed to locking doors at night. 

“These people at the border, these men and women at the border are keeping us safe and we’re ridiculing them. We’re trying to defund them,” she continued.  

Squad members Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and Rep. Ilhan Omar seen at a news conference in Washington, DC.
Squad members (from left) Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) at a news conference in Washington, DC.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag

“I wonder if the Squad locks their doors at night? Is that what’s going to be next? Are we going to defund locking our doors at night? It’s ridiculous.”

Her criticisms of progressives’ rhetoric come in the wake of Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)  alleging that immigration agencies should be defunded because they “terrorize” migrant communities.

“Look, the simple answer to that question is we must eliminate funding for CBP, ICE and their parent organization, DHS,” Tlaib said in an interview with Just Futures Law.

“Time after time we have seen it as advocates on the ground, as human services agencies on the ground continue to see over and over again, that these agencies are inept to humanely guiding migrants through our immigration system and instead they further continue to terrorize migrant communities located within our communities.”

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) introduced a resolution aimed at voicing support federal immigration and protection agencies.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) introduced a resolution aimed at voicing support for federal immigration and protection agencies.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag

Republicans have been vocal in their criticisms of the Biden administration’s decision to reverse the Trump administration’s border policies, arguing the policy reversals are responsible for the surge of people attempting to enter the country illegally.

GOP lawmakers are expected to make immigration a central part of their messaging strategy as they look to take back the majority in the lower chamber in 2022. 

Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), the leading Republican on the House Budget Committee, recently called for the Biden administration to provide data on the level of federal funding used to litigate and pay settlements over its decision to halt construction of the border wall.

Venezuelan immigrants board a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle after crossing the Rio Grande on May 18, 2021 in Del Rio, Texas.
Venezuelan immigrants board a US Border Patrol vehicle after crossing the Rio Grande on May 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas.
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The administration has faced a number of lawsuits from red states calling for construction of the wall to continue.

“It is important that the American people are aware of any costs DOD is incurring or will incur due to the resulting litigation and contract disputes that will come from the Administration’s misguided actions,” Smith wrote in a letter to the administration, according to Fox News.

“The American people are picking up the tab for President Biden’s failed policies, and we intend to find out exactly how much this disastrous decision is costing hard working families,” Smith said in a statement, according to the outlet.



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