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Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has vowed to block foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel unless the US reinstates specific border policies, including the “remain in Mexico” program.

During a radio interview with conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt, Johnson expressed his dissatisfaction with the Biden administration’s bundling of aid to Israel and Ukraine, emphasizing his focus on US border policy.

Johnson differentiated the needs of Israel and Ukraine, acknowledging the importance of supporting both but stressing the priority of securing the US border. He brought up a recent visit to the border with fellow GOP members, where he praised the “remain in Mexico” policy, a Trump-era initiative that required asylum seekers to wait in Mexico during their application processing. Johnson quoted Border Patrol agents and sheriffs who believe reinstating this policy could significantly reduce illegal crossings.

The “remain in Mexico” policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, faced controversy for relying on Mexico’s agreement to host third-country nationals and for creating makeshift refugee camps along Mexico’s northern border. Despite these challenges, Johnson praised the policy as a crucial deterrent.

During the interview, Hewitt emphasized the importance of building a border wall, considering it essential for any immigration deal involving foreign aid to Israel and Ukraine. He pressed Johnson to ensure that wall construction is a central component of the agreement. Johnson acknowledged the wall’s significance but broadened the discussion to include other elements of the GOP’s border strategy, specifically highlighting the benefits of HR 2, the House-passed GOP border bill, which includes the “remain in Mexico” policy.

Hewitt reiterated his stance, stating that including a physical barrier, specifically 900 miles of wall, is a non-negotiable condition for his support of any border policy legislation. He stressed the need for concrete action on wall construction as a prerequisite for any broader immigration policy agreement.


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