Lankford: Biden Admin Is Actively Working To Increase Illegal Border Crossers
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s remarks on YouTube.
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s remarks on Rumble.
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), lead Republican on the Border Management Subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee with jurisdiction over the southern border, today laid out what he heard directly from law enforcement at the border and what he’s hearing from their national leadership in Washington, DC, which is that the Biden Administration is working to help people cross our border more efficiently, not securing the border. Lankford was at the border last week with a delegation of Senate Republicans. Following his trip to the border, Lankford was briefed by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics on the rise of drug trafficking and drug overdoses.
Lankford continues to lead in the Senate to stand up against Biden’s open border policies and lack of law enforcement leadership, which he has discussed directly with border law enforcement agents and officers. Lankford recently spoke on the Senate floor in support of a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to dissolve a proposed Biden Administration rule that would illegally upend the process by which the US government grants asylum claims to migrants. Lankford joined Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and 29 Senators to introduce the resolution in April. The resolution failed to pass in the Senate in a vote of 46 to 48. Lankford shared his disappointment after the Supreme Court decided to allow the Biden Administration to start rolling back the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), otherwise known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy.
Lankford sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on his concerns about efforts to re-implement the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers. Lankford has repeatedly asked for information and raised significant questions about whether DHS followed the District Court’s order to resume the program in “good faith.”
Lankford is leading the charge to push back on the Biden Administration’s plans to revoke temporary, pandemic-related Title 42 authority and to stop the ongoing chaos at the southern border amid Biden’s hypocrisy about COVID. After the highest year on record for illegal crossings this past year, Lankford introduced the Public Health and Border Security Act to require all COVID-19 related national states of emergency to be lifted before Title 42 is officially terminated until a workable plan to replace it is put in place.
Senator Cornyn and Senator Cruz, thanks for pulling this trip together. Like all of us here, I’ve been down to the border multiple times. For me, it’s a big picture issue that I try to back up and look at it from the perspective of DHS and their responsibility. DHS has the responsibility to be able to help secure our nation.
For any one of us, if you came and asked us if we’re going to secure our nation, we would begin with things like the crime that’s happening in our cities. We’d begin with the drugs that are flowing into our cities. We’d ask the basic question: how do we reduce the impact of trans-national organizations? How do we take away the money from trans-national criminal organizations? How do we slow down the flow of drugs into our country and contraband? All of us would say a basic form of that strategy would be to stop illegal immigration at the border. That is basic big strategy in America. That is not happening.
I have a very simple question for the President of the United States: Do you want to stop the crime in our country? Do you want to stop the flow of drugs into our country? Do you want to stop illegal immigration in our country? Because if everything that we saw, and of all the people we talked to at DHS along the border, all their instructions include how to make illegal immigration more efficient.
From the multiple times that I’ve been there, my conversation is: how are we stopping this? This is a problem, how are we stopping it?’ It’s like, ‘We’re not. This used to take five days and now it takes three days.’ They would tell us, ‘Our instructions were this takes too long, so now we have to move this faster.’ Now people are moving illegally into our country in an eight-hour period, and if you go to the Southwest Border Command Center here in Washington, DC, they’re not just tracking the number of people crossing, they’re tracking the efficiency of how they cross. That’s the metric that they have on the board, is how fast that they’re moving people across the border.
Because their focus is not stopping illegal immigration, it’s keeping the cameras from seeing a crowd at the border. And so when people cross the border they move them into the country as fast as they possibly can. Load them into busses as fast as they possibly can. They don’t want crowds. They’re not trying to reduce the number of people, they’re trying to reduce the optics of the number of people. That’s what we’re facing in this Administration and that’s why all of us are so upset about this because they’re not even trying to enforce the law. They’re not even trying.
In fact, when I visit with Homeland Security officials, they tell me they have a new strategy that they’re working on now. Their new strategy is to do an online asylum process, where anyone from anywhere in the world could just sign up for asylum online and then they can fly into any airport in the United States and then just go through the process from here. Can I remind you—currently, there is an eight-year backlog in the asylum system. And they’re moving from ‘there’s a backup at the border’ to opening this up to even more people. They’re not interested in reducing illegal immigration, they’re actively developing plans to make illegal immigration easier and increase the number of people coming in to the United States.
So when I hear people, like the mayor of Washington, DC, saying they have a homeless problem because they have so many people that are coming here. And when she says they were tricked into coming here, I remind her that it wasn’t that long ago she was tweeting out and inviting people to be able to come, saying, ‘Washington, DC, is a sanctuary city.’ Well now sanctuary cities in the United States are finding out exactly what that means when they invite people from around the world because Joe Biden is currently in the process of making America a sanctuary country, inviting anyone form anywhere in the world.
We have, somewhere depending on the day, between 5,000 and 8,000 people illegally crossing our border every day now. Currently, with the restraints that the Biden Administration has put on ICE, we’re deporting about 203 people a day. You do the math on that—4,000 to 8,000 people a day illegally crossing that we know of, into the country, deporting 203.
One last comment on this—when we were visiting with people form the ports, people that handle border patrol in between the ports, asking them what was actually happening and trying to get the details, those that actually operate our ports were able to detail to us, just this year, just in the Rio Grande Valley, they’ve interdicted 144 pounds of fentanyl. They’ve interdicted 27,500 pounds of meth—27,500 pounds of meth just in the Rio Grande Valley, just this year. When I talked to the Bureau of Narcotics in Oklahoma, and we talk about the people that are dying in Oklahoma, they’ll say, ‘The number-one issue is meth coming into our country, and every drug that’s on the street now is laced with fentanyl—all of it. And it’s killing Oklahomans.
‘But,’ he said to me, ‘in 2,000 we saw the numbers drop off dramatically as the border was enforced.’ But now that number has skyrocketed that the border is not been enforced anymore and the drug numbers are overwhelming my state of Oklahoma.
This is a crisis across our nation. And DHS has a job to do. They’re the Department of Homeland Security. Can it not be a strategy to reduce illegal drugs in our country, to reduce criminal organizations in our country, to reduce the power of money and cartels in our country, and to reduce illegal activity? That should be baseline, but it is not.