America Has A Border Security Crisis, Not An Immigration Reform Crisis

Senate Republicans Proposed Badly-Needed Border Security Policy Changes To Address The Southern Border Crisis, But Democrat Leaders Dismissed Them And Substituted Talk Of Unrelated Immigration Reform Measures

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “After three straight years of record-shattering overall border apprehensions, the alarming details of the national security crisis unfolding at the southern border on this Administration’s watch are coming into clearer focus. Last fiscal year didn’t just set a new all-time record for border apprehensions of individuals on the terror watch list. It saw arrivals from countries beyond Latin America triple. CBP personnel are now facing a human wave at the border that – according to Mexican officials – hails from 120 different countries and speaks 60 different languages. For three years – policy choice by policy choice – the Biden Administration has welcomed this historic flood of illegal immigration… And set the brave men and women of Customs and Border Protection up for failure. (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 11/07/2023)

  • LEADER McCONNELL:And it’s abundantly clear that the solution to the Administration’s border crisis is by replacing bad policies with sensible ones. Even Secretary Mayorkas admitted last week that, ‘policy changes are needed.’ But in reality, the supplemental request he’s selling on behalf of the President is much less focused on fixing policy than on throwing money at the problem. Instead of shutting off the broken asylum incentives that are driving record arrivals, the Administration wants to pay for faster asylum claim processing, a shower of grant funding for overwhelmed liberal cities that once proudly declared themselves ‘sanctuary cities’, and as Secretary Mayorkas put it, accelerated ‘work authorization for eligible non-citizens.’  Well the Biden Administration’s border crisis has created a fork in the road.”  (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 11/07/2023)
  • LEADER McCONNELL: “In the face of record illegal migration, Democrats are focused on getting more people into our country faster, no matter the cost. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are focused on securing the border and putting the American people back at the forefront of our border policy. I’m grateful to a group of our colleagues – led by Senator Lankford, Senator Graham, Senator Thune, and Senator Cotton – who are working hard on proposals to do exactly that.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 11/07/2023)

Democrat Leaders Immediately Rejected Republicans’ Proposal And Said Instead They Wanted To Talk About Immigration Reform

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “[W]hat they came up with is a total nonstarter.” (Sen. Schumer, Floor Remarks, 11/07/2023)

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WA): “… is headed nowhere in the Senate as far as I’m concerned.” (Sen. Murray, Press Conference, 11/07/2023)

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “I have long urged my Republican colleagues to come to the table and negotiate on a bipartisan basis to pass immigration reform. Today’s proposal from my Republican colleagues is not a good starting point – it is not consistent with American values and it would not secure our border. It includes many of the worst proposals from H.R. 2…” (Punchbowl News’ Andrew Desiderio, @AndrewDesiderio, Twitter, 11/06/2023)

“Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut said he had been talking to some of the Republicans as they wrote the border proposal, and the text released Monday evening ‘is not realistic.’ He said there are Democratic priorities, including preventing the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, that should be on the table as well.” (“Senate Republicans Outline Border Security Measures They Want As A Condition For Aiding Ukraine,” The Associated Press, 11/06/2023)

Yet Even Biden’s Embattled Secretary Of Homeland Security Admits That Border Security ‘Policy Changes Are Needed’

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): “When we have 21,000 people requesting asylum in 2010 and we have millions now, how do we reduce that flow specifically on asylum? Is it clarifying the definition of asylum? What is that that needs to happen on asylum? … [Are] policy changes needed?”

SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS: “Yes, policy changes are needed…. The asylum system needs to be reformed from top to bottom.” (Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Hearing, 10/31/2023)

Fiscal Year 2023 Was ‘The Third Record-Setting Year In A Row’ For Illegal Aliens ‘Caught Crossing The Southern Border Of The United States’

THE NEW YORK TIMES: ‘Crossings At The U.S. Southern Border Are Higher Than Ever’ (The New York Times, 10/21/2023)

“Migrants were caught crossing the southern border of the United States more times in the past year than in any other year since at least 1960, when the government started keeping track of the data.” (“Crossings At The U.S. Southern Border Are Higher Than Ever,” The New York Times, 10/21/2023)

There were more than 2.4 million apprehensions in the 2023 fiscal year, which ended in September. That tops the previous record, set a year earlier, of more than 2.3 million, according to government data released on Saturday. During the 2021 fiscal year, there were more than 1.7 million apprehensions.” (“Crossings At The U.S. Southern Border Are Higher Than Ever,” The New York Times, 10/21/2023)

“A record number of migrant encounters occurred at the southern border in the month of September, data released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) found…. There were more migrant encounters in Sept. 2023 than any month in the fiscal year of 2022, CBP data shows.” (“Record Number Of Migrants Seen At Southern Border Last Month,” The Hill, 10/21/2023)

The Overwhelmed U.S. Immigration System Is Being Strained By More And More Families Encouraged By Smugglers And ‘Who Are Difficult To Deport’ Entering Illegally

“Historically high numbers of people are illegally entering the U.S., straining an immigration system already overwhelmed by the number of families coming across the border to request asylum.” (“Illegal Immigration Is a Bigger Problem Than Ever. These Five Charts Explain Why.,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/22/2023)

“In the past, most migrants were single adults from Mexico looking for work. If caught by the Border Patrol, they could easily and quickly be deported. Now, a fast-growing share are families with children, who are difficult to deport to their home countries. The change started around 2014 and has exploded in the past two years.” (“Illegal Immigration Is a Bigger Problem Than Ever. These Five Charts Explain Why.,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/22/2023)

Apprehensions Of Illegal Aliens From Asia And Africa TRIPLED During The Last Fiscal Year

“Hundreds of thousands of migrants from all over the world are making their way to the Southwest border, with U.S. and Mexican authorities reporting a surge in apprehensions of people from Asia and Africa as human smuggling networks widen their reach across the globe. Arrests at the Southwest border of migrants from China, India and other distant countries, including Mauritania and Senegal, tripled to 214,000 during the fiscal year that ended in September from 70,000 in the previous fiscal year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data. Fewer than 19,000 migrants from Asia and Africa were apprehended in the fiscal year ended September 2021.” (“Migrants Are Flocking to the U.S. From All Over the Globe,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/04/2023)

  • “Travelers say they exchange information and share videos of U.S.-bound routes on Tik Tok and Facebook, while smugglers offer lodging and travel agencies advertise transport services. Most Asian and African migrants make multiple airport stopovers in what are coming to be known as ‘donkey flights’ to reach countries such as Brazil, Ecuador or Nicaragua, which have few or no visa requirements for some nationalities. Once they set foot in Latin America, they move north in buses or cars and stay at hotels booked by smuggling organizations. Many wear bracelets similar to those of an all-inclusive resort, with inscriptions that identify the organization that coordinated and charged them for the trip, Mexican authorities say.” (“Migrants Are Flocking to the U.S. From All Over the Globe,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/04/2023)

“For the second year in a row, arrests by the Border Patrol at the U.S. Southern border surpassed two million. Most of them, almost nine out of 10 apprehensions, are of migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean. But the surge in so-called extracontinental migrants poses a challenge for the U.S. because deporting migrants to Africa and Asia is time-consuming, expensive and sometimes not possible.” (“Migrants Are Flocking to the U.S. From All Over the Globe,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/04/2023)


Related Issues: Immigration, Border Security, Senate Democrats