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Lankford Says Halting Border Wall Construction Compromises US National Security

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) issued the following statement after President Biden made it one of his first priorities to terminate the Trump Administration’s declared national emergency at our southern border and halt funding and ongoing construction of the physical barrier at the border in as soon as one week:

“After setting up walls and fences throughout Washington, DC, for the inauguration, President Biden announced that he does not believe fences promote our national security on our southern border,” said Lankford. “I have seen first-hand at the southern border the innovative ways that our brave Border Patrol agents work to stop the flow of drug and human traffickers into our nation, and they have told me that a physical barrier makes that national security task safer and simpler. Halting construction of the physical barrier at the southern border sends a dangerous message to the cartels in Mexico and the ‘coyote’ human smugglers that this Administration will not do everything possible to deter their illegal trafficking of drugs or people. Securing our southern border is vital to our national security and safety and has to be the cornerstone of any larger immigration conversation in our nation. Legal immigration is good, but we must do everything we can to deter illegal immigration.” 

Lankford has been outspoken on securing the US southern border through physical barriers and modernized technology. This week, in a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to consider the nomination of Alejandra Mayorkas to be the Secretary of Homeland Security, Lankford reiterated his commitment to safety and law enforcement at our borders and points of entry. Lankford recently supported a bipartisan bill to provide nearly $1.4 billion in funding for continued construction. He visited the US Southern Border in July 2019 at the Hidalgo Port of Entry, near McAllen, Texas in order to conduct oversight of facility conditions and operations. He continued to push the issue in February 2020 during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing. Lankford stressed his support for ICE on the Senate floor after his oversight trip, providing a first-hand account of the care they provide. Lankford penned an article with Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on why calls to abolish ICE would worsen child smuggling and other US-Mexico border problems. He has also sought answers on the human smuggling crisis at the southern border during previous Homeland Security hearings