Submitted by Senator Roger Wicker

The Mississippi Senator says the President’s Administration has feigned ignorance.

Our nation is facing many challenges, but none has gone more ignored by President Biden than the crisis on our southern border. Since the President took office, border states have been overwhelmed by waves of illegal immigrants and vast quantities of dangerous drugs. This year alone, Border Patrol agents have encountered a record two million border crossers and counting – nearly quadruple the 458,000 that were counted in 2020.

In the face of this worsening catastrophe, the Administration has feigned ignorance. Vice President Kamala Harris, the Administration’s “border czar,” recently made the absurd claim that “the border is secure.” Meanwhile President Biden still has not visited the border in his nearly 21 months in office. Because of this inaction, some border state governors have resorted to relocating migrants to cities like New York and Washington, D.C., to get the Democrats’ attention. Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Biden advisor, made the governors’ point for them by saying these communities “are not prepared to receive them,” even though the administration has been distributing migrants to other jurisdictions across the country for months.

Deadly Drugs Pour Into Our Communities

One deadly symptom of the President’s failure on the southern border is the sharp increase in U.S. deaths from fentanyl. The drug, which is being imported by Mexican cartels, is 50 times more potent than heroin. Over the past two years, fentanyl overdoses have become the leading cause of death among adults aged 18-45 in the U.S.

The rise of fentanyl deaths is directly linked to the flood of illegal immigration. Uncontrolled migration keeps the Border Patrol occupied, giving drug traffickers more of an open lane. Fentanyl seizures nationwide have gone up by 200 percent, indicating that drug cartels are ramping up their operations.

With so much lawlessness, it is no surprise that violence and crime are also becoming more commonplace in our border communities. Sheriffs are reporting a dramatic uptick in the number of migrants found dead while attempting to cross the border.  Recent estimates indicate 10,000 illegal immigrants with prior criminal records entered the U.S. last year. And from summer 2021 to summer 2022, Border Patrol agents apprehended 78 confirmed terrorists at the border.

Republicans Call for Solutions

Despite more than half of Americans agreeing there’s an “invasion” at the southern border, Democrats have done nothing to address the issue this Congress. This month, I was heartened to see Republican leaders roll out a legislative agenda that would make securing the border a top priority if Republicans win back control of Congress next year. This plan includes restarting construction on our southern border wall and providing additional funding for advanced technology to prevent illegal crossings. These are simple but effective policies I have voted to support through multiple administrations.

Republicans have also pledged to eliminate many of the incentives that have drawn migrants to the U.S. and emboldened traffickers. We will work to end the “catch-and-release” policies of the Biden Administration and crack down on crime along our border. Recently, I joined Senator Marco Rubio in cosponsoring the Felony Murder for Fentanyl Distribution Act. If enacted, this bill would allow prosecutors to charge dealers with murder for selling fentanyl if it results in a death. This would send a loud and clear message that the U.S. will not tolerate this drug.

There are already many tools at the President’s disposal to tackle the problem of illegal immigration, but all of them require him to take the catastrophe at our border seriously. Americans will continue to suffer until he does.

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Submitted by Senator Roger Wicker