House Republicans unite in the new year with the same border stalemate

By kicking off 2024 with a renewed focus on immigration, congressional conservatives hope to raise the stakes without risking deja vu

Speaker Mike Johnson
Speaker Mike Johnson
(Image credit: Photo by Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images)

Against a backdrop of corrugated metal and rings of razor wire, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) kicked off the 2024 legislative season with a show of political force at the country's southern border with Mexico, declaring the recent surge in migrant crossings a "catastrophe" and a "disaster of the president's own design." Enveloped by more than 60 Republican lawmakers at his press conference in Eagle Pass, TX on Wednesday, Johnson — less than three months into his tenure as speaker — framed immigration as a matter of national security, claiming the Biden administration had "laid out a welcome mat to illegal immigrants, smugglers and cartels" while predicting that the GOP would succeed in flipping the White House, regain control of the Senate, and expand its House majority "in large measure because of this issue."

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