Speaking after apparent the collapse of the bipartisan border bill, negotiated in the Senate, Mr Roy, who represents the 21st District of Texas between San Antonio and Austin, called out those who claim that no legislation is needed.
Opponents of the bill claim that the president already has the power to deal with the border and even order it closed — something that they claim Joe Biden is refusing to do.
One of the most vocal critics of the bill — credited with tanking the legislation by calling around to loyalist lawmakers to persuade them to vote against it despite Republicans specifically asking for such legislation — is Mr Trump.
Speaking in the lower chamber of Congress on Tuesday, Rep Roy specifically called out the former president.
“We’re not going to just pass the buck and say any president can just walk in and secure the border,” he said. “I saw former president Trump make that allegation earlier today on one of his social media posts. All a president has to do is declare the border is closed, and it’s closed. Well, with all due respect, that didn’t happen in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.”
He added: “There were millions of people that came into the United States during those four years.”
Mr Trump has posted on Truth Social earlier in the day: “ALL A PRESIDENT HAS TO DO IS SAY, ‘CLOSE THE BORDER,’ AND THE BORDER WILL BE CLOSED. A COSTLY NEW BILL IS NOT NECESSARY!”
Roy: I saw Trump make that allegation on one of his social media posts. All a president has to do is declare the border is closed, and it's closed. Well, with all due respect, that didn't happen in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. There were millions that came in during those years pic.twitter.com/peA3TLy599
— Acyn (@Acyn) February 7, 2024
Conservative Republicans came out staunchly against a bipartisan agreement to restrict immigration and put in place additional border security resources in exchange for defence assistance funds for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.
The agreement – negotiated by Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Republican James Lankford of Oklahoma and Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut – dropped on Sunday evening. The legislation would require the Department of Homeland Security to “shut down” the US-Mexico border when it records an average of 5,000 migrants crossing per day for a week.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday took direct aim at Republicans in Congress and the former president, slamming both for blocking the carefully crafted bipartisan compromise bill.
ALL A PRESIDENT HAS TO DO IS SAY, “CLOSE THE BORDER,” AND THE BORDER WILL BE CLOSED. A COSTLY NEW BILL IS NOT NECESSARY!
Donald Trump Truth Social 07:51 PM EST 2/06/24
— Donald J. Trump Posts From His Truth Social (@TrumpDailyPosts) February 7, 2024
In remarks from the State Dining Room at the White House, Mr Biden described the legislation as a “bipartisan agreement that represents the most fair, humane reforms in our immigration system in a long time and the toughest set of reforms to secure the border ever”.
He also acknowledged that at this time, “all indications” show the bill has no chance of advancing in either the House or Senate, and laid out the “simple reason” Republicans are blocking the bill.
“Why? A simple reason, Donald Trump,” he said. “Because Donald Trump thinks it’s bad for him politically, therefore ... even though it helps the country he’s not for it — he’d rather weaponize this issue.”
Mr Biden noted that Mr Trump has done “nothing” in the last day except “reach out to Republicans in the House and Senate, and threaten them and try to intimidate them to vote against this proposal”.