Six House Democrats join GOP to pass bill blocking use of public lands for migrant camps

By Jen Krausz on
 December 2, 2023

Six House Democrats joined Republicans this week to pass a bill blocking the use of federal lands including national parks to house illegal immigrants by a vote of 224 to 203. 

The bill was proposed by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) after the federal government under President Joe Biden approved New York Governor Kathy Hokul (D) and New York City Mayor Eric Adams's (D) request to use Floyd Bennett Field to house thousands of illegal immigrants.

“Turning our federal parks into encampments for unvetted migrants from all over the world is unfair to surrounding communities and the taxpayers who are being forced to foot the bill while our Mayor bankrupts our city and slashes services from our citizens,” Malliotakis said in a statement.

The six Democrats who voted with Republicans on the bill were Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Don Davis (D-NC), Jared Golden (D-ME), Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D-TX), Mary Peltola (D-AK), and Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA).

Record-high border crossings

Illegal immigration is at record-high levels, with more than 8 million migrants being let into the country according to some estimates.

Border states are being overrun, and to alleviate this problem, both the Federal government and some state officials have been busing migrants to other parts of the country like New York City.

President Joe Biden had tried to get Democrats to vote against the bill citing the limiting effect it would have on the power of federal agencies like the Department of Agriculture.

But Republicans saw the need to limit that power precisely to prevent our national parks and other public lands from becoming little more than migrant camps to pack in even more illegal immigrants.

It's already happening

Unfortunately, Republicans don't have the power in the Senate to pass similar legislation, and neither body has a veto-proof majority.

Officials began moving migrants onto the historic airfield on Monday.

An initial 500 migrants are expected to reach 2,000 before it's all said and done, making Floyd Bennett Field the largest migrant camp in the U.S.

The airfield was used by residents of New York City for biking, fishing, camping, and hiking, but it won't be safe for that with thousands of unvetted migrants wandering around, not to mention the mess such an encampment would make.

The best Congress could do now is stop these camps from spreading all over the country in the next year, until Biden can hopefully be voted out of office and sanity can be restored to our border policy.

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