Biden’s Wide Open Border Is Killing Oklahomans

By: Senator James Lankford

Oklahomans have told me they don’t hear much about the southern border anymore on the national news, so it must be better. I’m sorry to tell you, it’s worse. The national media has just stopped covering it. I’ll let you guess why.  

Almost every family in our state knows someone who has destroyed their life with illegal narcotics. Recently, I spoke to leadership in the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and multiple district attorneys about our state’s drug issues. They all spoke about the rise of illegal drugs from Mexico over the past two years since enforcement at the border dropped significantly.  

During a recent trip to the Rio Grande Valley, Customs and Border Protection told me they seized over 27,500 pounds of illegal drugs this year in just one region of south Texas. Fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and meth are streaming across our border because the border patrol are too busy processing thousands of people instead of interdicting drugs. 

The catch-and-release policy of the Biden Administration encourages people to come illegally, knowing that they can stay in the country eight years while they await their hearing for asylum. Even if they don’t show up for their hearing, no one will come looking for them. The result of the open border policy is more than twice as many people crossed our border illegally last year as entered legally. 

Currently we have over 6,000 people a day illegally crossing our southwest border, but the Biden Administration has handcuffed federal immigration officers so only 161 people a day are being deported—6,000 in, 161 out. That math is not hard to figure out. The goal of the Administration is efficient processing of people illegally entering, not stopping illegal entry.  

Crime continues to grow in our country as young men and women work off their debt to the Mexican cartels that smuggled them across the border. In past years people who illegally crossed the border were predominately from Mexico. Now that has changed. So far this year people have crossed the border illegally from more than 150 countries, mostly from nations other than Mexico. Individuals who are caught by federal law enforcement at the border have a US criminal background check run on them, but no one is checked to see if they had a criminal record in the country they came from.

I have met with American families who live near the US border who are frustrated that the Biden Administration does not seem to care about their property rights. The risks they face every day and the pain of regularly discovering dead bodies in their fields and ranches.

Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas has said publicly that the border is secure. I’m not sure even the far left believes him.  

The border could be secure. We could finish the border wall, mount the cameras, install the counter-drone technology, and hold people requesting asylum at the border until their hearing date. We just need federal leadership willing to do it.