March 26, 2021
Facts don’t lie – the border is in a crisis. Border patrol is completely inundated. Reports indicate that nearly all border patrol sectors are above 100% capacity, with some sectors double, triple or even at significantly higher levels of overcapacity.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Former President Trump understood that border security is national security. He took real steps to secure the border by building the wall and made enforcing our immigration laws a priority. As a result, illegal crossings in the Yuma Sector decreased by 87% from FY19 to FY20 in areas with a new border wall system. In Rio Grande Valley Zone 1, an area that did not previously have border infrastructure, CBP saw a 79 percent decrease in apprehensions and a 26 percent decrease in narcotics seizures after completion of the border wall.
Securing our borders is an issue we should all get behind—every nation needs borders. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration doesn’t seem to agree. One of President Biden’s first official acts of his presidency—suspending the border wall funding and construction—resulted in a compromised southern border and a humanitarian and security crisis.
The current administration has prioritized a radical rollback of concrete, commonsense policies for the sole purpose of sticking it to Republicans, all while thousands of people pour across the southern border. We know a number of these people are coronavirus positive as well, adding additional pressure to our communities still recovering from the pandemic.
Even worse, everyone from President Biden, to newly confirmed Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas and the White House press secretary are failing to acknowledge the border situation’s severity, calling the skyrocketing border encounters a “challenge.” They won’t call it what it is: the Biden Border Crisis.
It is baffling to think that the Biden administration would clearly incentivize illegal immigrants to bypass the legal process, allowing illegal immigrants charged with heinous crimes to be released into American communities and allow asylum abuse to run rampant. Even a number of my colleagues across the aisle agree President Biden’s policy changes have caused this crisis we now find ourselves in. In February 2021, CBP had 100,441 border encounters, amounting to a 173% increase from the 36,687 encounters in February 2020—just one year prior. How could anyone deny this is a crisis?
We need to get back to building the wall along the southern border, and we also need to close the loopholes that illegal aliens use to come into this country. Smugglers and illegal aliens use false claims of asylum to gain entry to the United States. That must be stopped.
By reforming our asylum process, we can minimize false asylum claims, ease the backlog on our immigration courts and end ‘catch and release’—all while improving the process for those who truly need it. That’s why I introduced the Asylum Abuse Reduction Act.
My legislation is just one part of many actions we must take to improve our nation’s border security. Paired with building the wall, increasing support for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection and eliminating sanctuary cities, we can make meaningful reform to improve our immigration process and protect American families. To all of my Democrat colleagues who support President Biden’s failed immigration strategy, we can do better than this. These are real problems that need real solutions. We can work together to make them a reality.