Just when you thought Biden’s border catastrophe couldn’t get worse, along came 2022 and its record-shattering wave of illegal immigration.
From October 2021 to October of this year, law enforcement encountered more than 2.7 million people trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Ninety-eight of those individuals were on the terrorist watchlist, a number nearly four times higher than the last four years combined. If that’s not alarming enough, U.S. Border Patrol also apprehended 312 members of MS-13, a notoriously violent transnational gang that has made a name for itself installing cells in U.S. cities.
It is official. Joe Biden has created the worst border crisis in history.
At first glance, these high numbers could be perceived as good news. U.S. Border Patrol officials are successfully arresting these criminals and illegal immigrants. Except that the Biden administration is not deporting them back to their country. They are forcing law enforcement to quickly release illegal immigrants they’ve arrested into the United States. Deportations have plummeted under Biden, and he has released at least one million illegal immigrants into our country since taking office.
Further, these numbers don’t account for the known and unknown “got-aways” that slipped past Border Patrol. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports they are aware of approximately 600,000 illegal immigrants who escaped into the United States this year alone. How many evaded Border Patrol undetected? How many known and unknown “got-aways” are on the terrorist watchlist? How many are dangerous criminals? How many smuggled deadly fentanyl into your communities? We have no way of knowing the answers to any of these questions because our Border Patrol officials are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of illegal immigration under President Biden.
The American people are right to be concerned about criminals and drug cartels exploiting our southern border. In May, an Iraqi man made headlines when the FBI uncovered his plot to assassinate President George W. Bush and smuggle his accomplices across the Mexican border. In August, ten MS-13 gang members were indicted on murder and racketeering charges. Last month, a Guatemalan national with a criminal record in California was charged with fatally stabbing two people and wounding six others. According to ICE, he was in the U.S. illegally. All it takes is a quick internet search or scroll through the CBP’s social media accounts to find hundreds more horrifying stories that prove every town is now a border town.
Meanwhile, President Biden and his “Border Czar,” Kamala Harris, have refused to devote time to listen to law enforcement officials on the front lines of the border catastrophe. But they have had time to throw a party to celebrate their disastrous spending sprees and visit an embarrassing number of ice cream parlors and bakeries.
The White House doesn’t want you to worry, though. According to former White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the President “did drive through the border when he was on the campaign trail in 2008,” and he “know[s] it well.” Yes, you’re reading that correctly. The last and only time President Biden reported visiting the border was when he drove through it over a decade ago.
As someone who has made several recent trips to speak with our Border Patrol officers, I have watched the situation spiral out of control over the last decade. Literal waves of people are swarming the border. This year, CBP seized about 14,700 pounds of synthetic opioids like fentanyl, seven times more than what they were handling just five years ago. Ranchers walk outside to find migrants lying dead in their fields, and their crops destroyed by smugglers. Joe Biden may think he knows the border, but he has not truly seen the full extent of the mess that open border policies create.
This goes far beyond “mismanagement” – this is the very intentional, very destructive agenda of the Biden administration at work. It’s also a grave national security risk. After 9/11, the United States established strict measures to protect Americans, including a no-fly list, the Terrorist Screening Database, and Visa Security Program. Those safeguards are useless if terrorists can still walk across the open southern border unchallenged. Until Biden and his administration take this emergency seriously, the United States will continue shattering records. Above all, the Biden White House will be complicit in jeopardizing the safety and security of every single American.
Senator Marsha Blackburn