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Border crisis did not happen by accident

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By U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman
R-Arkansas

The historic crisis at our border is raging on, with each new day bringing thousands of illegal immigrants and deadly drugs into our communities. This crisis did not happen by accident. 

In President Biden’s first 100 days in office, he took 94 executive actions to weaken our immigration policies, including halting construction of the border wall. In August 2022, his Administration doubled down by formally ending the Remain-in-Mexico policy that had been proven to combat illegal immigration. Since then, there have been more than 7 million illegal crossings of our southern border, including hundreds whose names appear on the terrorist watchlist.

I visited the border last week in Arizona to survey the impacts of the border crisis on our federal lands. I saw firsthand that this is more than just a few migrants peacefully entering our nation illegally every day. The cartels are taking full advantage of Biden’s open border policies and are bringing thousands of pounds of deadly drugs and criminals into our country every single day right under our noses. It’s disconcerting that our president – our commander in chief – will not recognize this as the national security threat it is.

What’s happening at our southern border is one of the most significant national security threats our nation has ever faced, and the president has the authority to stop it. If Biden wanted to address the crisis, he has the full executive authority to end catch and release, reinstate Remain-in-Mexico, enter into asylum cooperative agreements, end parole abuses, detain inadmissible aliens, use expedited removal, rein in taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants, and issue a proclamation to suspend or restrict entry of illegal aliens (U.S. Code §1182(f)) – he refuses to do so. 

Rather than using the authority he has to secure the border, he and his Administration have used the outright disaster as a messaging tool to blame Republicans for the crisis that far-left Democrats designed.

House Republicans recognize that border security is national security; that’s why we passed a solution to the border crisis… but the Senate and President Biden have refused to consider it. H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act, is the most comprehensive border security legislation in history. It would resume the construction of the border crisis, aggressively crack down on the cartels, and combat illegal immigration and trafficking coming through Mexico.

H.R. 2 has been on Senator Schumer’s desk for nearly nine months, all while the border crisis has worsened daily. Senate Democrats and the Biden Administration must listen to the American people, prioritize our national security, and follow House Republicans’ lead by advancing bold policies to secure the southern border.

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