Lankford: Biden’s Border Plan Won’t Stop Illegal Immigration, It Will Accelerate Illegal Immigration
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WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), lead Republican on the Border Management Subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, today called out the Biden Administration’s supposed “plan” to replace Title 42. Lankford, report in hand, quoted the Biden Administration’s own admission in their “plan” that “a significant increase in migrant encounters will substantially strain our system even further.”
Lankford is leading the charge to push back on the Biden Administration’s plans to revoke temporary, pandemic-related Title 42 authority as early as May 23 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 and 221,000 “encounters” of border crossers last month, 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. Clearly for Lankford, Biden’s “plan” released yesterday is not workable.
This is policy insanity. The Biden Administration is getting the immigration policy that they designed. They stripped away all the restrictions for actually people crossing the border. They get this result. Now, with record-high numbers of people illegally crossing the border, now they’re saying, ‘And we’re going to drop Title 42 as well.’ So we get record-high numbers now of illegal crossings, and they’re going to say, ‘We’re going to strip away the last piece that we hadn’t taken away before to increase this number even higher.’
May I remind everyone that’s here of the simple fact that 221,000 ‘encounters,’ as they called them, from the last month is a record-high number. What people are not talking about as well are the 66,000 what they call ‘gotaways’ that also happened last month. That is, the border patrol were so active trying to round up and engage this group of 221,000, they could see in the distance and count people crossing the border. There were 66,000 that we had no contact with that we literally watched them come across the border.
Who’s crossing the border, and what’s happening at this point?
Well it’s people from 157 different countries, just in the last six months, that have crossed the border. None of these individuals have a criminal background check actually carried out on them from their home country. They’re doing a criminal background check if they’ve committed a crime in the United States before, but we have no idea in the country they’re coming from if there’s a criminal background at all. And for the 66,000 gotaways that happened just last month, we have no criminal background check in this country or in their previous country.
This is opening up our nation to additional crime. While the American people are literally saying, ‘Let’s deal with the crime problem,’ the Biden Administration is opening up the border more and having even more people cross the border with no check with no evaluation of their previous history at all.
This is why I say it is policy insanity what they’re doing.
The plan that we were given yesterday, this plan statement that came in from Alejandro Mayorkas, this plan that was supposed to define out for us, is not a plan at all. It’s basically how they’re going to move people into the country faster. It notes things like currently they’re releasing people into the country and giving them eight years before there’s a hearing. They’re going to now just catch and release people the same at a faster pace, moving them into the country, and say, ‘Now you’ve got to check in within a year.’
But there is no evaluation. There’s no chase on those individuals if they don’t check in, so whether it’s an eight-year time period, where it is now, or whether they magically move that to a one-year time period, there’s no change. Fascinatingly enough, in this report, they say they’re lifting Title 42 authority at the border because there’s no COVID at the border, but they can’t detain individuals because there’s COVID in their detention facilities.
So there’s no COVID when you’re crossing the border, but if you actually hold people in detention, then there’s mass COVID. So we can’t actually hold people in detention. So they don’t increase bed space at all in this process. This is a major problem.
And can I tell you, if you read through the report—and I hope you do—from what they call a supposed plan. This is not a plan. This is just what they plan to be able to carry out to do to increase the numbers even more. It’s not a plan to decrease the numbers. And I can say that not based on my opinion, but based on theirs.
Go to the back of their report, of their supposed plan on this. They end with their conclusion statement. May I read this to you? The conclusion statement says, ‘Despite the best efforts of our dedicated DHS workforce and our partners executing this comprehensive plan, a significant increase in migrant encounters will substantially strain our system even further.’
So their plan is not to reduce the number of people crossing; they’re plan is: this is about to get worse. And we’re aware that this is about to get worse. This is not a plan to stop illegal immigration. This is a plan to accelerate illegal immigration. And they even admit it. This has got to stop. The American people just want the enforcement of our laws. That is not too much to ask.