February 7, 2024
Lankford Stands By Work to Secure the Border
Lankford: “In this building and in the 202 area code that is Washington, DC, border security is a political issue. But if we leave the 202 area code, everywhere else in the country this is not a political issue, it’s a national security issue.”
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 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management, spoke on the Senate floor today in support of his border security policy proposal for the supplemental national security request from the White House. Lankford continued to push back on misconceptions and mischaracterizations of the major border security updates and upgrades his proposal offers, some of which were directly requested by President Trump while he was in the White House.
Lankford penned an op-ed this week on his work to secure the border and close asylum loopholes being exploited by the criminal cartels in Mexico.
“In about an hour, this body will gather, there will be 100 senators here to make a decision about what we’re going to do to take a step on border security. It’s an issue that’s bedeviled, quite frankly, this body for decades. It’s been three decades since we’ve passed anything into law to be able to change border security.”
“Americans feel it. We feel it in our cities. We feel it in our schools, in our communities. We see the television, and we see all of the chaos on our southern border. Cities around the country have said, ‘Do something. Make this stop.’ Americans, whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent, are all unanimous on this issue. This is a problem that needs to be solved.”
“The bill that’s been put together has been a bipartisan effort. Welcome to the United States Senate. That’s what we have to do. While I have people from around the country and back home that say, ‘Do a Republican-only bill. Just get all of our priorities and none of theirs,’ I smile at them and say, ‘Welcome to governance.’ You can do a partisan bill in the House, but in the Senate we have to look at each other across the aisle, then figure out a way to be able to solve this. Sometimes it’s in committees, sometimes it’s a gathering, sometimes it was like this time, get members together, Republican, Independent, Democrat, to be able to sit down and hash out the issues, to say this a problem. We all agree—we’re not going to agree on the solutions, but we all agree this is a problem, but we have to figure out what the solutions might be. That’s what the solutions might be. That’s been the process the last four months. Four months to sit down and hash through the very difficult, very technical issues of border security in our nation, with one goal—let’s make progress.”
“The Border Patrol Council, the group on the ground managing the chaos, read through, they evaluated it. The Border Patrol Act of 2024 gives the United States Border Patrol agents authorities codified in law that we have not had in the past.’ They said, ‘While not perfect’—I’ll agree with them on that—‘The Border Patrol Act of 2024 is a step in the right direction and is far better than the current status quo. This is why the National Border Patrol Council endorses this bill and hopes for its quick passage.’”“In this building and in the 202 area code that is Washington, DC, border security is a political issue. But if we leave the 202 area code, everywhere else in the country this is not a political issue, it’s a national security issue.”
“Americans are frustrated and angry because our borders are open. They’ve seen the record numbers in the last four months. They know full well what’s happening. The 60 minutes from this last weekend about Chinese nationals using TikTok to find the holes in the fence and navigate it, to connect with Mexican cartel members to navigate through Mexico to be able to get through. Why is that such a big story? Because we used to rarely have Chinese nationals come across our border, but last year we had 37,000 Chinese nationals coming across our border—37,000. Americans watched the story of a group of migrants in New York City ruthlessly beating up a police officer this past week, and then seeing they were released again. They’re angry. They’re frustrated.”
“Americans I talk to, the Oklahomans I talk to celebrate legal immigration. They just don’t want illegal immigration. They want an orderly process. They want to know that the rule of law still matters in America. That’s what they want to know. They want to know their American way of life is protected, and that should not be too much to demand.”
“This very divided nation brings to us a very divided Congress. Currently we have a Republican two-vote majority in the House of Representatives and a Democrat one-vote majority in the United States Senate. It doesn’t get much closer than that, to being equally divided in two bodies. But that means if we’re going to solve something, we have to sit down together and solve it. That’s how it works when you make law. You can do press conferences without the other side, but you can’t make law without the other side in the United States Senate.”
“The House of Representatives last year passed a very comprehensive bill on border security that they call HR 2. It was one of their priorities. You know why? Because the House of Representatives at that time said we need a change in law. So they brought a bill to change the law for that. We said the same thing. We need a change in law.”
“What’s in this bill? Well, here’s what the bill includes. Let me just walk through some of the high points of it. It includes more border wall construction. Under the 18-foot, 13-foot bollard-style definition, in locations set by President Trump in those cases to build the wall. It ends our catch and release issue. The vast majority of adults end up being held rather than being screened there rather than being released. We add additional money for state, local, and tribal law enforcement to help with enforcement process. We have a tremendous increase in the number of ICE agents, the number of Border Patrol agents, more asylum officers, more immigration judges. We added detection equipment at our ports of entry to interdict fentanyl, one of the biggest threats to our nation right now. And we increased the sanction authority for the United States government to be able to sanction those ruthless cartels and members of cartels and those that facilitate them to be able to go after the fentanyl issue in the United States. “
“A few weeks ago I posted one of my favorite quotes from a preacher from England in the 1850s, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, where he said, ‘A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on.’ It couldn’t have proved to be more true in this. I’ve seen posts like, there’s amnesty in this bill. I would say some of my Democratic colleagues wanted to have amnesty, but there’s not. I’ve heard some say it weakens our asylum laws when it does the opposite. We can get to actual asylees faster, and those who are gaming the system are turned around. Some say it takes away the Remain in Mexico policy so it can never come back. It does nothing of that at all. Nothing of that. I’ve had folks say it gives away work permits. It’ll incentive more folks to come. It actually removes the 1,500 work permits passed out every day. And my favorite one: it lets 5,000 aliens in every single day from here on out forever. And I have just said, that’s completely absurd. Why would anyone, anyone sign a bill, approve a bill, or present a bill that locks us into this chaos? That’s what we have now. The 5,000 piece was very simple. If you get to 5,000 a day, we can’t process that many, everything is shut down so we can make sure that we can actually legally process people. We are detaining, screening, and deporting until we get to a break glass moment. And then we’re not even screening anymore. We’re just detaining and deporting because we can’t manage the numbers. But that’s not what’s been told. What’s been told has been false day after day a day after day.“
“I’ve had a few folks who have said, if I can’t get everything, I want nothing. I don’t find most Americans are that way just in their day-to-day life. We have high goals and aspirations as Americans. I don’t blame Americans for being really angry and frustrated at the border. But what I hear from most Oklahomans is, do something. Don’t just sit there. Do something. Make progress. But don’t allow this to keep going. Stop it where you can. So that’s what we worked to do.”
“Our asylum law is weak. Everyone knows it. In fact, when President Trump was president, he even made the statements about how weak our laws are on asylum. When President Trump was president, he said, ‘We do a very good job considering the laws are so bad. They’re not archaic. They’re incompetent. It’s not that they’re old. They’re just bad.’ Guess what this bill does? It fixes that, because the laws have a gap, and we should actually fix those things. What the president cannot do is change the asylum laws. He cannot change the faster deportations for people crossing. He cannot add an emergency authority like this. He cannot conduct faster hearings with limited appeals so we can get to deporting people that are not legal here and addressing those that are. He can’t do that without a change in law. So we need to change the law.”
“This is the pen that I was handed at that desk when I was sworn in to the United States senate. And I signed a book that was at that desk with this pen because I was becoming a United States Senator, because the people at home sent me here to get stuff home and to solve problems. There’s no reason for me to have this pen if we’re just going to do press conferences. I can do press conferences from anywhere. But we can only make law from this room, and to do that, you need one of these pens, and there’s 100 of them in this room, and 60 of us have to agree to solve a problem. And I’m determined to sit down with anyone who wants to solve the problem, regardless of what side of the aisle that they’re on, to figure out how we solve these things.”