The crisis on our southern border is real and It could get worse
In the coming weeks, President Biden is expected to re-open the southern border.
This might come as a surprise to my fellow Hoosiers who have watched the crisis at the border go from bad to worse over the past six months. Based on the record entries we’ve seen, one might think the border couldn’t become even less secure than it is right now.
But it can.
At the beginning of the pandemic, then-President Trump issued a public health order that helped limit the number of illegal crossings. The Biden administration will soon lift that order.
Visual chaos isn’t new.
In the mid-90s, during my service as a U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer, I served in the Yuma sector along our southern border. We flew drones in an area plagued by human and drug trafficking. A few years after I left, a wall was built, and illegal border crossings plummeted.
The crisis on our southern border — in areas that neither President Biden nor Vice President Harris have visited — is real.
While the Biden administration is asleep at the wheel, here are the facts regarding the untenable situation on our border.
In May, over 180,000 illegal immigrants tried to enter our country, which is higher than the figures in February, March, or April when the Biden-Harris border crisis began.
Drug trafficking is up. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, we have seen a nearly 300 percent increase in fentanyl seizures, along with other drugs, when already 90 percent of illegal drugs purchased in the U.S. come from Mexico. This increase in the flow of illegal drugs into our country by narco-terrorists will only exacerbate the opioid crisis, a foreign attack on our homeland which has contributed to the deaths of approximately half-a-million Americans over the last two decades.
The Biden-Harris administration’s complete disregard for enforcing our border laws is also enabling ruthless cartels to traffic tens of thousands of children into our country. The cartels load these vulnerable children into the backs of vans and often abandon them once they cross the border. The Associated Press recently reported a group of trafficked children who were smuggled across our southern border were sent by the Biden administration to Iowa with no notice and then later bussed to Fort Wayne, Ind., and other Midwest cities.
During the Trump administration, Republicans worked with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to secure funding and the necessary tools — which included building a physical barrier in the most porous locations along the border — to address illegal immigration. We were making real progress, which is why it’s frustrating that the Biden administration is undoing our work.
In one of his first actions, President Biden withheld border wall funding that Congress had already appropriated — a clear violation of the Constitutional separation of powers. My colleagues and I fought back against this action, but the Government Accountability Office took a political stance rather than a legal one and allowed the President’s power grab to move forward.
I recently pressed DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for clarity on how many terrorists are being apprehended at the southern border — a number that continues to change no matter who you ask. The classified response I received was eye-opening and sobering.
My fellow Senate Republicans and I will continue to take action to try to alleviate the border crisis. Someone has to.
Young is the senior senator from Indiana.