The federal government shouldn’t be permitted to use taxpayer funds to house illegal aliens on federal government land, under a bill passed by the House on Thursday. 

The legislation was introduced by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., and specifically prohibits federal funding from being used to provide housing for illegal aliens on land that is under the jurisdiction of federal land management agencies, including land belonging to the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Forest Service. 

“Turning our federal parks into encampments for unvetted migrants from all over the world is unfair to surrounding communities, and the taxpayers being forced to foot the bill while having their public spaces taken away,” Malliotakis said in a statement.  

The bill passed almost entirely along party lines in a vote of 224 to 203, with all Republicans voting for it, along with six Democrats.

The Biden administration announced that it “strongly opposes” the bill in a statement from the Office of Management and Budget on Monday.  

“The Administration opposes this legislation, because it would significantly restrict the ability of the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture to make decisions regarding the appropriate uses of their lands and resources, even in emergency or other situations,” the Biden administration said.  

The bill also would revoke the Biden administration’s lease, signed in September, with New York City to house illegal aliens at Floyd Bennett Field in the Gateway National Recreation Area in New York. 

While speaking on the House floor on Wednesday, Malliotakis placed blame at the feet of the Biden administration for needing to use federal lands to house illegal aliens.  

“The root of the problem is that the president of the United States chose to put in place executive orders that dismantle public safety, that took away the tools of our Customs and Border Patrol agents, that it allowed for the free flow of individuals into the country,” the New York lawmaker said.  

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order stopping all border wall construction. Under the Biden administration, Customs and Border Protection has encountered more than 8 million illegal aliens at America’s borders. An estimated nearly 4 million illegal aliens have either been paroled into the interior of the U.S. or have escaped Border Patrol to enter the county, according to data from the House Judiciary Committee. 

Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., expressed his opposition to Malliotakis’ bill on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday, writing that the bill “is not a public lands solution; it is cruel legislation that spreads anti-immigrant rhetoric.”  

Rep. Sylvia Rodriguez, D-Texas, said she opposes the bill, writing on X, “Anti-immigrant rhetoric will not make us safer.”  

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., co-sponsored the bill with Malliotakis and, in an interview on Fox News, called it “insane” that Congress has to propose legislation to prevent the White House from using public land to house illegal aliens. 

Given the bill’s largely partisan passage in the House, it’s likely to face an uphill battle in the Democrat-controlled Senate.  

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