The situation at the southern border has emerged as an issue in the special election to replace ousted New York Rep. George Santos — offering a potential preview of the elections later this year to control the White House and Congress.

Democrat Tom Suozzi on Thursday blasted House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, for not committing to put a potential bipartisan immigration deal up for a vote on the House floor, should one advance through the Senate.

He told Spectrum News NY1 that it “should” be a “big vulnerability” electorally for House Republicans if they oppose a bipartisan agreement negotiated by their counterparts in the Senate, especially after loudly sounding the alarm about the border for months.

“If you’re refusing to even negotiate, what’s the purpose of you being in Congress?” he asked.

Johnson is demanding that any border deal embody the kinds of hardline policies central to a plan passed by the House GOP, known as HR 2.

It is considered dead on arrival in the Democrat-led Senate. But Republicans and Democrats in the Senate reportedly are close to a deal containing many policy changes that Democrats once opposed.

Many Senate Republicans have said if they can finalize that deal, House Republicans should embrace it. So far, Johnson has refused to make such a commitment. 

Suozzi urged his Republican competitor, Mazi Pilip, to call on the speaker to accept a “bipartisan deal.”

 In a statement, Pilip said lawmakers should reach a “bipartisan solution,” and said the “migrant crisis that Tom Suozzi and Joe Biden created is destroying our communities.”

“I believe Congress and the Senate need to come to a bipartisan solution to address it as soon as possible,” she said. “Time is of the essence, and partisan politics must be put aside, as the constant influx of migrants … continues to grow by the day.”

Pilip said that if elected, she would advocate for her own plan to address the border and the migrant crisis, including resuming construction of a border wall, tightening asylum standards, criminalizing “visa overstays,” and increasing border patrol agents.

The immigration debate also is taking center stage in the campaign ad wars.

The National Republican Congressional Committee just unveiled an ad labeling Suozzi an “open border radical,” accusing him of “bragging” that he “kicked ICE out of Nassau County” while serving as county executive.

Asked about the ad, Suozzi pushed back touting his record.

“I’ve been in politics off and on for the past 30 years,” he said. “People know me. The idea that I’m a member of The Squad or that I am sanctuary Suozzi … it’s absurd.”

In his own recently released TV spot, Suozzi said he would “work across the aisle to do what our leaders haven’t: secure our border.”

In the ad, he points to an op-ed he co-authored in 2019 with then-Congressman Peter King, a Republican, advocating for an immigration deal.