01.29.22

Lankford Assesses Situation at US-Mexico Border

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s Facebook Live of new construction on the border on YouTube.

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s Facebook Live of new construction on the border on Rumble.

 

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s Facebook Live from border night watch on YouTube.

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s Facebook Live from border night watch on Rumble. 

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today returned from the Rio Grande Valley sector of the southern border, near Brownsville, TX, with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials. Lankford went to provide oversight of facility conditions and operations and further assess the areas Congress needs to address in law in our immigration, asylum, and detention procedures.

“Biden’s open-door policy has encouraged more than 2 million illegal border crossers to walk across our southern border just last year. I am taking this national security threat very seriously,” said Lankford. “President Biden is handcuffing federal law enforcement while releasing people who are illegally crossing our southern border. The policies of the Biden Administration are causing the enormous spike in illegal entry, and it is apparent that they have no intention of changing direction. This is chaos on our Southern border. In the past few months, the Biden Administration has announced they have restarted construction on the border wall to close the gaps and they have restarted the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy. When I arrived in south Texas, I found the construction of the fence was nonsensical, and the ‘Remain in Mexico’ hearings were more sleight of hand than justice.

“The new border fence that the Biden Administration built is a fraction of the height of the previous wall built by several administrations. The dozens of gaps in the fence are being closed by what they call locally a ‘guard rail’ rather than by a real border barrier. This is a waste of taxpayer dollars and an insult to the men and women of law enforcement along the border who want help discouraging record numbers of illegal crossings. The ‘Remain in Mexico’ hearings are designed to release people into the country, rather than provide a real deterrent to illegal entry. Enforcing the court-ordered ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy is vital to ensuring we can ever hope to manage the border crisis President Biden has created.

“I’m grateful to have an opportunity to hear directly from our hardworking men and women in uniform at the border and stand up on their behalf to this Administration who they say has prevented them from enforcing our laws.”

Lankford began the day Friday at the Brownsville (TX) Port of Entry, followed by an in-person assessment of the Brownsville Immigration Hearing Facility (IHF) facility to further discuss the reinstatement of Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), known as the “Remain in Mexico Policy.” Then Lankford was briefed at the Fort Brown Station on the MPP enrollment process, moving to the Donna Holding Facility for additional oversight of ongoing operations. Lankford was able to see firsthand areas of the fencing Biden has decided to construct as well as the current levee remediation sites proposed by the Biden Administration. Lankford concluded the day with an aerial ride along with CBP as they identified people illegally crossing the border, followed by a late-night ride along with Border Patrol on the ground as they encountered rafts of people coming across the river into the United States.  

Last year, Lankford traveled to the Arizona border to see first-hand the unfinished construction of the southern border wall. He was the first to expose the crisis at the border through Facebook so Oklahomans could see firsthand the crisis at the southern border in Texas.

After months of holding the Biden Administration accountable for its failures to enforce the law and preserve national security at the southern border, Lankford announced right before Christmas that the Department of Homeland Security would finish several gaps in the border wall located in San Diego, El Centro, Yuma, Tucson, El Paso, and Del Rio. This announcement came after Lankford released a report that exposed billions in waste to pay contractors to babysit the border wall materials at these sites while the Biden Administration “studied” it, even though Congress already allocated the money to build the wall.

Lankford grilled Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas on his ongoing delay to finish the wall and participated in a press conference in November to discuss the ongoing crisis at the southern border that Biden continues to ignore. Lankford successfully blocked President Biden’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office from opening a “surge overflow temporary facility” at the Great Plains Correctional Institution in Hinton, Oklahoma, that would have been used to process migrants who crossed the border illegally and release them into Western Oklahoma.

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