Some Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are touting chairman Jim Jordan’s leadership on efforts to secure the besieged southern border — just as the migrant crisis is hitting new records, and Jordan could soon be the next speaker of the House.
The committee has been central in the House’s push to force the Biden administration to take what Republicans see as a stronger stance against border security and illegal immigration.
Judiciary was one of the main committees involved in the Secure the Border Act, the signature Republicans border security and asylum overhaul which passed the chamber this year and which Republicans pushed hard to include in a continuing resolution last week.
While it has failed to pick up Democratic support, it represents a sweeping and detailed blueprint of how GOP lawmakers want to reform the asylum system and crack down on illegal immigration at the border, with measures from E-Verify to limits on parole to border wall funding and Border Patrol agent hiring.
Now, days after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted by a motion to vacate, Jordan has put his hat in the ring to replace him — and his supporters are pointing to the committee’s work under his leadership. Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wis., who is backing McCarthy for speaker and is on the Judiciary’s immigration subcommittee, stressed Jordan’s credentials on the border to Fox News Digital.
“House Republicans passed the strongest border security bill in history to end the failed policy of catch-and-release, finish the border wall, reinstate Remain in Mexico, and block taxpayer financing of the open-border NGOs that are actively facilitating this invasion,” he said. “This effort was spearheaded by the House Judiciary Committee.”
“There’s no stronger person on border issues than Jim Jordan,” he added.
Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., who is also on both the Judiciary Committee and the immigration subcommittee, said he was specifically supporting Jordan in part due to his leadership on border security.
“That’s one of the reasons I’m supporting Jim Jordan for speaker. I think he’ll be a great speaker and particularly on this issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, a source familiar with the committee’s operations pointed Fox News Digital to the work of the committee under Jordan — including the first field hearing on the crisis in Yuma, Arizona, along with eight committee and subcommittee hearings, 10 transcribed interviews and more than 50 letters to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pushing for information related to policy.
The committee also released a detailed report into the murder of Kayla Hamilton, which it called a “case for immigration enforcement and border security.”
Jordan has also picked up the support of other Republicans who are hawkish on the border. Homeland Security Committee Chair Mark Green and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., are among those backing Jordan. On Friday, he received the backing of former President Trump, who declared Jordan “STRONG on Crime, Borders, our Military/Vets, & 2nd Amendment.”
Despite the drama over the speaker’s chair, the committee is keeping going, with a transcribed interview with an ICE official due to take place next week. Officials in multiple committees have emphasized that their efforts to secure the border will not be affected.
“The work that we do is essential. We cannot stop and we will not stop on the immigration,” Van Drew said. “We’re going to keep pushing hard because it is literally about the future of the republic.”
Van Drew also pointed to the grillings, both in letters and in hearings, that Mayorkas has received.
“I think we’ve gone hard at him. I’ve questioned him hard. And certainly, again, the chairman has really pushed hard on this issue.”
Van Drew said it was an issue that Republicans needed to keep pushing on, given the severity of the crisis at the border. Sources told Fox News last week that there were more than 260,000 migrant encounters at the border in September — marking a new record.
“They’re doing catch and release, but some of them don’t even go through that process. Some of them are just getting in and without a doubt, documented, we have people who are part of the drug cartels and…they are now moving into the United States, establishing businesses in the United States and changing our entire fabric of our country. It is truly frightening.”
Van Drew emphasized he believes both Jordan and Majority Whip Steve Scalise — also in the running for speaker — are “great people” but that he was backing Jordan.
“I think this time and this place, just for that one issue alone — because we are in just the worst of times here and we’re in a crisis situation for real. And that’s why I believe we need Jim Jordan.”