Lankford Holds Biden Responsible for Ignoring National Security Crisis at the Southern Border
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s remarks on YouTube.
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), the lead Republican on the Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management, today participated in a press conference to discuss the ongoing crisis at the southern border that Biden continues to ignore. Lankford is demanding Biden finish the border wall, enforce our laws, and stop allowing individuals to illegally cross our border, enter our country and then vanish into our communities.
Lankford continues to lead the Senate to hold the Biden Administration accountable for its failure to address the national security crisis at our southern border. Lankford traveled to the Arizona border earlier this year to see first-hand the unfinished southern border wall that was halted by the Biden Administration. 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.
In July, Lankford released a report that exposed billions in waste to pay contractors to babysit the border wall materials while the Biden Administration “studies” 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.
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.
Lankford expressed support for border law enforcement personnel who have told him they feel they are “handcuffed” by DHS leadership who tells them what immigration laws they can and can’t enforce. Lankford held a press conference with Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado to discuss Lankford’s blistering report of the $2 billion Biden has wasted to not build the wall, the ongoing national security threat at our southern border.
I have heard for months people in the press say, ‘Well this is the highest number of people illegally crossing the border in the last 21 years.’ That’s about to be updated because when the numbers come in the next couple of days for September, we will exceed the number from 21 years ago. And this will be a record number of individuals that have crossed our southern border.
For some strange reason, people still seem to say, ‘This is some kind of cyclical event.’ This is a problem based simply on the policy changes that happened in January the 20th of this year when President Biden stopped the border wall construction, when President Biden stopped doing enforcement of catch and release and he decided they’re just going to release people into the country and say, ‘Show up for a hearing in two or three years in the future, and we’ll check in with you then,’ when he dramatically changed the policies on how we handled immigration over the past several years, he actually released into the country millions of people.
Here’s the challenge that we face now. This Administration knows full well how to be able to do this. They know how to be able to finish the wall. The pieces are already sitting there on the ground. We’re paying millions of dollars to be able to watch those pieces just sit there in the desert. They know how to be able to finish the construction there. They know how to be able to do MPP, that is the Remain in Mexico policy, because a federal court has mandated that they actually reinstitute that, though they’re dragging their feet to actually do what the federal court has told them to do.
This Congress has put forward multiple different options of ways to be able to actually deal with the illegal immigration, but for whatever reason, they’re choosing not to enforce the law, they’re choosing to ignore federal courts. They will not turn over basic information to us and the numbers when we ask or it takes months to be able to get numbers and information from them that should take hours that we know full well that they have. This Administration is intentionally dragging their feet, and while they say we do not have an open border, the entire country is watching what’s happening on our southern border. Everyone sees what’s going on except the Biden Administration.
We’re not asking the Biden Administration to do anything other than help the humanitarian crisis that’s on our southern border and stop incentivizing people to be able to come to the southern border knowing that they’re going to be released and to take that dangerous journey to be able to come.