Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick recently completed two policy trips, one to Asia and another to the U.S.-Mexico border.
The trips came amidst ongoing debates in Washington D.C. over national security and immigration policy.
In late December, Fitzpatrick, a Republican, embarked on an Asian tour, visiting Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan.
The trip, according to his website, was aimed at assessing “national security and intelligence-related matters with counterparts” and strengthening ties with key strategic partners in the region.
“Congressman Fitzpatrick met with Sandra Oudkirk, Director of the American Institute in Taiwan; Wellington Koo, Secretary-General of the National Security Council for Taiwan; Hosaka Yasushi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs for Japan; Kim Tae-hyo, Principal Deputy, National Security Advisor / Secretary-General of the National Security Council for South Korea, and American troops stationed overseas,” the office said on its website.
Fitzpatrick, who chairs the National Intelligence Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and is a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, offered limited further details on his website on his Asia visit.
Fitzpatrick’s office, following a policy established in late 2020, has declined to respond to questions or interview requests from this news organization, including one regarding the recent overseas trip. The policy, according to people close to the congressman, stems from discontent following a 2020 scoop on then-President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Fitzpatrick.
Following his Asia visit, Fitzpatrick joined U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson and fellow Republican members of Congress on a Wednesday visit to Eagle Pass, Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The visit came as debate intensifies over President Joe Biden’s immigration policies and enforcement of existing laws related to immigration.
In a social media video, Fitzpatrick labeled the border situation a “humanitarian crisis,” a “counter-intelligence” issue, and a “national security threat.” Additionally, he called for more robust action from the administration in response to the influx of people crossing the border illegally.
Emphasizing the need for legislative action, Fitzpatrick urged the U.S. Senate to consider the Secure the Border Act and called on the administration for a reinstatement of the Trump-era “remain in Mexico” policy.
The border visit happened as the administration and U.S. Senate were working on a potential deal on immigration policy. The deal, according to reporting, would be tied to a White House request for close to $106 billion in funding to aid in Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and the operations at the U.S. border.
In a Thursday press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre commended on the visit: “While Senate Republicans and Democrats in a bipartisan way are trying to find a way — bipartisan agreement to deal with border security, you have House Republicans who left. They left in the middle of December. And I think they come back next week. Maybe they’ll get some work done. Instead, they’re playing politics.”
Over the past two decades, Democrats and Republicans have been unable to pass major immigration bills and have had differing views on how to best secure the border, which is 1,951 miles and among the largest in the world.
With more than 483,000 encounters recorded by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in fiscal year 2024, the focus on the border continues to escalate.