Democrats’ Backwards Border Policies Are Failing America
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the crisis at our southern border:
“The Biden Administration’s bad decisions have brought many crises upon our country. One of the worst is the collapse of law and order on our southern border.
“Last month, Customs and Border Protection reported over 221,000 apprehensions. That’s up 33% just since February. It’s the highest monthly total in 22 years. We have already hit more than 1 million encounters in just the first half of this fiscal year.
“But this could still be just the beginning. The Department of Homeland Security is bracing for an even bigger surge in the weeks and months to come. Authorities are steeling for the possibility that we could see 18,000 new people showing up every single day.
“In 2020, President-elect Biden said that ‘end[ing] up with two million people on our border’ would be ‘the last thing we need.’
“But his own policies went on to produce exactly that outcome.
“In 2021, on President Biden’s watch, two million people from at least 160 different countries were stopped along our southern border. And now immigration officials are anticipating totals that could more than triple last year’s record.
“Against this backdrop, with illegal immigrants and deadly fentanyl pouring into our country, any Administration living in reality would be working overtime to secure the border.
“Instead, even now, President Biden is trying to throw away what little security still exists.
“For two years, since the start of the pandemic, a legal authority called Title 42 has empowered the government to simply turn around a large share of the people they catch and send them right back where they came from.
“Every month, CBP uses this tool to keep tens of thousands of illegal immigrants out of the catch-and-release pipeline and send them back to their home countries.
“But now, unbelievably, President Biden has announced he’s going to cancel these legal authorities.
“He wants to rip off the one remaining band-aid that’s preserved some shred of law and order.
“The Biden Administration is claiming the pandemic is over and finished on our southern border. Now, they don’t believe the pandemic is over for American citizens. Oh, no, Democrats actually want Congress to approve more funding specifically because COVID is not finished.
“The Biden Administration’s official position is that the pandemic is over for illegal immigrants but not for the American people.
“Every day brings more confusing spin from President Biden and his staff. Their latest claim is that Congress needs to fix their problem for them. That if these Title 42 authorities end, after President Biden has announced he will end them, it will somehow be Congress’s fault.
“But that’s absurd. The Administration has the discretion. The legislative branch has already given them the tool. It’s the same tool they’ve been using this whole time. They just need to have the courage to tell the radical left to take a hike and keep sending these folks back to their home countries.
“But apparently that is asking too much. The Biden Administration is stumbling through this core governing responsibility with no vision, no plan, and backward priorities. Democrats would rather appease their radical base with functional open borders than conduct the bare minimum in enforcement.
“The Administration’s decision is so obviously crazy that even a number of our Senate Democratic colleagues who have been marching in lockstep with the President for more than a year are now scrambling to make it look like they’re breaking ranks.
“Well, I welcome our colleagues who are finally making angry noises about this border crisis. The problem is that their lockstep Democratic votes for over a year helped produce it.
“For over a year, Senate Democrats have rubber-stamped every single aspect of the Biden Administration’s failed border policy.
“Not a single Senate Democrat opposed the confirmation of the heads of DHS and HHS who have presided over this crisis.
“Not a single Senate Democrat voted for commonsense Republican amendments to do things like preserve the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy and defund sanctuary cities.
“And the cost of their bad decisions gets worse every day.
“Last week, a heroic American servicemember paid the ultimate price. Specialist Bishop E. Evans of the Texas National Guard had been assigned to help contend with the flow of migrants across the Rio Grande. He lost his own life trying to save people who’d gotten into deadly trouble.
“And the White House’s response?
“Their spokeswoman was asked yesterday about this tragic loss. She brushed it off. She said he was there on behalf of Texas, not the federal government.
“That unbelievably tone-deaf response perfectly captures the Administration’s failure to take responsibility.
“Democrats have built this border crisis by letting the radical left run the show for more than a year.
“If my friends across the aisle really have experienced a conversion of heart and now believe in border security, they’ll have to do a lot more than issue indignant press releases and call it a day.”
Related Issues: Homeland Security, Immigration, Senate Democrats, Economy