Administration must be held accountable for dangerous border policies
I am compelled to highlight the complete and utter failure of the Biden administration’s dangerous open border policies. In March alone, there were 221,303 migrant encounters at our southern border, a 542 percent increase from March of 2020, and a 33 percent increase since February of this year. Since President Biden took office, over 2.4 million migrants have illegally crossed into our country. This is the largest surge of migrants in American history. Of this group, 42 were on the Terrorist Screening Database. This historic number of migrants does not even account for the known getaways who were seen by border patrol agents but evaded capture or the countless others who are believed to have completely avoided detection by Customs and Border Patrol officers. God only knows how many in this group may have terrorist connections or wish to do our country harm. The Border Patrol officials are working tirelessly, but the system is clearly overwhelmed. This is a glaring national security concern.
These migrants are being dispersed into communities throughout the country, making every state a border state. However, the Biden administration refuses to coordinate migrant placement or even notify state and local officials when they are dispersing them throughout the country. To address this concern, I have co-sponsored the Early Migration Alert Program which would require the federal to notify local and state law enforcement/government officials before migrants are released into their communities. This is the least this administration owes our citizens.
As these illegal migrants reside comfortably in communities throughout our country, I am fighting the Biden administration on behalf of one of my constituents. This constituent, an American citizen, has been told by the Department of Homeland Security that his wife and daughter who have fled war-torn Ukraine must wait outside the country for up to two years for a VISA interview. The only logical conclusion is that President Biden’s policies reward those who violate our laws and punish those who try to do the right thing. This has to stop!
In addition to national security concerns and the outrageous incentives provided to those who break our laws, I am deeply troubled by the exceptional danger that our law enforcement personnel face at the border. One of the most recent and tragic examples is of Texas National Guardsman Spc. Bishop Evans, who drowned last week while courageously working to save individuals who were trying to cross the Rio Grande River illegally. It turns out those individuals were drug smugglers attempting to traffic drugs across the border. This tragedy underscores the dangerous drug problem that is occurring due to President Biden’s open border policies. In 2021, 11,201 pounds of fentanyl were seized. This is a 134 percent increase from 2020 and enough to kill every American nearly 7 times over. More than 100,000 Americans are dying annually from fentanyl overdose and the problem is directly linked to the border crisis.
Instead of addressing what has become a humanitarian, public health and national security problem, the Biden administration keeps announcing plans that will worsen the situation. President Biden has said that on May 23, he will repeal Title 42, an effective, Trump-era strategy that has been used to help deter illegal crossings. Title 42 protects our country by allowing officials to turn away illegal immigrants at the border. Repealing Title 42 is estimated to increase the number of daily illegal encounters from 7,000 to 18,000. Removing tools to secure the border in the middle of an unprecedented border crisis is foolish and dangerous. Fortunately, a federal judge has temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s ability to repeal Title 42. The Biden administration should take heed and abandon its plans. However, time and again, we have seen this administration refuse to do the right and pragmatic thing. Therefore,I’ve co-sponsored the PAUSE Act, which would stop President Biden from eliminating or weakening Title 42.
It is undeniable that the Biden Border Crisis is out-of-control. These staggering statistics are not accidental, but rather the result of deliberate policies of this administration. For over a year President Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have refused to secure the southern border. They’ve proven themselves to be unwilling or incapable of enforcing the laws of our country, which is why my colleagues have recently questioned Secretary Mayorkas’s suitability for office. He and this administration must be held accountable for the damage that has already been done and the horrific conditions they continue to facilitate.
Bilirakis represents Florida’s 12th District.