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Lankford, Colleagues Demand President Biden Secure the Southern Border, Address Crisis

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s remarks  on YouTube.

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today joined Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) and their colleagues in a press conference on the ongoing national security and humanitarian crisis at the US southern border, created by President Joe Biden’s failed policies of open borders and amnesty. Tomorrow Lankford will participate in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the southern border, and Lankford will finally have an opportunity to question Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on why the crisis at the southern border is not being addressed.

Lankford took a trip to the Arizona border in March, during which he visited the unfinished border wall system on the southern border that was halted by the Biden Administration. Lankford also traveled to Texas with a delegation of Senators to tour the Rio Grande Valley area of the southern border as part of his ongoing work to provide necessary oversight of the crisis. Lankford spoke about the situation at the southern border on the Senate floor and sent a letter to GAO Comptroller General Gene Dodaro highlighting President Biden’s suspension of border wall funding and construction without lawful justification.

Lankford and Scott were joined at today’s press conference by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, City of Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd, former Acting Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan, as well as Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Ted Cruz (R-TX). 

“Secretary Mayorkas will finally be in front of our committee tomorrow after asking for weeks for him to appear,” said Lankford. “We’ve reached out to both DHS and DOJ for just basic information on what’s going on at the border, but the Biden Administration has done to us what they’ve done to the media; they’ve blocked us out. That’s why we had to go to the border, to be able to see for ourselves and take pictures for ourselves of what’s happening there. We can pass laws, we can do oversight, but if the Executive Branch doesn’t carry out the law, none of this works. We need to ask Secretary Mayorkas about the $1.4 billion that was allocated to finish the wall. Congress made it clear in a bipartisan vote that we need to complete that. We need to ask Secretary Mayorkas why they’re calling on individuals from multiple federal agencies to volunteer their time to help at the border. We need to know how many agencies are being asked to do that. There are key questions we expect the Secretary of Homeland Security to focus on, what’s happening in America and with our security. People crossing the border are not being properly vetted, and we need to know why.”

“There is a manmade crisis on our border and it’s 100% caused by Joe Biden’s reckless open borders and amnesty policies,” said R. Scott. “I saw it firsthand when I traveled to the border with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey in March. Everyone outside of DC knows what this is. The mayors, law enforcement and Customs and Border Protection agents on the front lines know it’s a crisis because they’re living it every day. I was honored to be joined by some of these individuals today and hear them share their stories and the challenges they face.

“While Republicans are unified in our commitment to securing the border, Biden and Harris won’t even visit the border and see the crisis they’ve created. Biden and Harris have made a mockery of a very serious crisis, and instead of taking action, are playing pretend and hiding from the facts. This isn’t a game. Biden is doing nothing to help or protect American families. It’s time to ditch his failed open borders and amnesty strategy and secure the border now.”

“The Biden Border Crisis is here to stay. We have all seen it firsthand. We’ve been to the border. We’ve witnessed what the Border Patrol and elected officials from Texas and Arizona are talking about,” said Barrasso. “We’re here standing with them and are part of their fight. Joe Biden says it’s not a crisis. It is a crisis, it’s chaos, it’s a catastrophe, and it’s all the result of Joe Biden failing to secure or nation’s border.”

“Our national security is at risk and it’s a real shame,” said Johnson. “We had the immigration problem solved until President Biden came into office. President Biden and Vice President Harris knew full well the inhumanity and human depredations that their policies would cause. They were warned about this, yet they blew up the successful policies of the Trump administration, and you have to ask them why. Our national security is at risk because Democrats have turned border security into a partisan issue.”

“The smugglers, cartels and coyotes—emboldened by these policies and promises—are so comfortable in the knowledge that their work will not be frustrated by this President that they taunt our Border Patrol officers at the border,” said Lee. “I heard it myself standing on the banks of the Rio Grande. Whatever the administration might say, these policies have had real and tragic results – creating a humanitarian crisis that could easily have been avoided. The American people deserve to know how our own laws and policies are enriching and empowering coyotes and cartels, and hurting vulnerable women and children. They deserve to know what is happening at our border.”

“President Biden has created the worst border crisis we have seen in 20 years and he refuses to appropriately acknowledge or address it,” said Cruz. “During my visit to the Rio Grande Valley in March, I saw firsthand the appalling conditions of the migrant processing centers for illegal migrants streaming across the border, many of whom were unaccompanied children brought over by violent human smugglers. In his first days in office, President Biden created this crisis by ripping up the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, ending border wall construction, and returning to the reckless Obama-era practice of catch-and-release. This is why I am proud to join my fellow senators today in unequivocally calling on President Biden to address this crisis and end the radical immigration policies that created it.”

“What is needed is effective policy implementation. It is needed immediately,” said Nicholls. “The dire situation at the border is not sustainable for our communities. The trafficking of people is inhumane, and we as Americans cannot stand by and ignore the exploitation of any people in exchange for an ideological perspective.”

“President Biden reintroduced the catch-and-release magnet driving this unprecedented crisis,” said Judd. “His policies are encouraging vulnerable children and woman to put themselves in the hands of cartels to be physically abused, sexually assaulted and at times murdered. His policies are allowing these same cartels to generate billions of dollars in profits while trafficking in human misery. Politics should never come before the sanctity of life.”