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Lankford Challenges Biden Admin to Actually Secure the Border Amid Executive Order Announcement


View the video here.

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) ahead of the release of the Executive Order shared a Facebook Live video to react to the Biden Administration’s planned Executive Order, and he challenged the Biden Administration to secure the wide-open southern border. Lankford serves as the lead Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management.

Last month, Lankford pushed back on the Senate Democrats’ partisan push on the border security package. He called attention to the growing national security crisis amid the 1.5 million illegal crossings in 2024 and urged his colleagues to prioritize securing the border instead of pushing political messaging.


This is Senator James Lankford here. I just stepped outside of the Capitol itself. I’ve been reading through [the] same thing some of you might have been reading through, and that is the information about the new asylum changes that the Administration says they’re planning to be able to make and to be able to read through it. It reads like a document that looks like it’s going to do a lot, but when I go through it, I asked the some of the basic questions—’What’s missing from this?’

So let me just [give] my initial reaction, as I’m still waiting to be able to get the full details on it. First reaction is pretty simple on this. It only deals with very high numbers. If there’s very high numbers coming across, then they ‘kick in’ this new authority on it.

The bill that I was actually working on several months ago…the bolt on piece at the end was the high numbers. We affected the very first person—the bill that I helped write was the first person that came across—their screening would be different. They would have a faster process. They would have fewer appeals. So it was set up to say the first person that comes across will be arrested, will be quickly screened, and quickly deported. This doesn’t do anything until they get into high numbers. 

They’re also using the number 2,500 as the number that they’re going to say is a high number. That sounds like it when people say, ‘Well, your number…[was] like 4 or 5,000’—totally different. It’s apples and oranges on it. You got to read what they’re not including. They’re not including all the people in the CBP One app—that’s about 1,600 people a day they’re bringing in. They’re not including the Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuelan folks that are coming across—they’re getting parole—those are going to all be exempted. They’re all exempting all the folks that are unaccompanied minors coming in. So this number is going to be 4 or 5,000, pretty high on it as well. That was always my push back to say, ‘That’s too high of a number,’ but they’re also just starting with that number, then doing nothing for those folks that are coming in.

They’re also using authority that they know is going to beenjoinedby the Court immediately, rather than doing the things that they know they could do immediately. So here’s my frustration. There are things this Administration could do right now, today, that they know won’t beenjoinedby the Court. They could turn off the parole authority they turned on. That’s about 2,500 people a day that they’re currently welcoming in that this Administration started, that they could turn off immediately. So that the 5,200 or so people coming in a day right now, they could turn off 2,500 of those immediately.

They could also put in place the State Department things that they’ve had in the past, both negotiations with Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and others to be able to turn people around. They turn those off, this Administration did. Those things could be turned back on. They could do the remain in Mexico. There has to be some kind of conversation with Mexico if they’re saying they’re going to turn people around. They could do the remain in Mexico. That would be a stronger policy. They could do the State Department of recalcitrant country policies before that if people come in [from a] recalcitrant country, they could turn them around quickly. They could do Department of Justice action that if you’re a repeat offender coming across multiple times, that’s a felony. They could be prosecuted as a felony rather than just being released in the countries. All of those things they could do for free, they don’t need additional money at all for those things. 

Those are things they could already do. They’re choosing not to do any of those, but they’re announcing some big change that they want to be able to put in place, that they know the Court’s going to enjoin immediately on it so they can then say at the end of it, ‘We tried to do something on it,’ rather than do the things that they know would be effective right now. So I’m going to hope that something actually works on this, because we desperately need this Administration to take immigration seriously and what’s happening on our border.

My challenge to them is enforce the border. You’ve got the same law President Trump had. The same law President Obama had. If they enforce the law, if they don’t want to enforce it like President Trump did, if you go back to President Obama, we had half-a-million people illegally crossing a year—half a million. Now we have 2.5 million people illegally crossing. If this Administration will just do what President Obama did, that’d be better than what they’re doing.

But right now, this Administration [has] continued to be able to wave people in. They’ve created a crisis. And now, literally months before an election, they’re trying to be able to put out a statement to say, ‘Here’s how we’re going to fix it’ in ways they know or not going to be either allowed by the courts, or will take months and months and months to actually implement on it. So I hope I’m wrong. I’m willing to be able to see the rest of the details on it, but as I read through the initial proposal, I’m extremely skeptical on how they’re going to implement this and what they’re going to do in the days ahead. But I’ll continue to track it like everybody else does at this point. I’ll let you know what I see when I see the rest of the details.