“Border security is the most basic and necessary responsibility of a sovereign nation.”
Former Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielson is exactly right. Sadly, President Biden and Democrats in Washington have failed on this most basic responsibility. And the worst may be yet to come.
Last week, despite outrage from me and dozens of Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate, the Biden administration announced its plan to end Title 42 protections at our southern border. Title 42 is a commonsense regulation that gives government officials the authority to quickly turn around migrants at the southern border to protect public health. Since President Trump implemented this measure in March 2020, it has played an integral part in stemming the flow of illegal migration.
So far, Title 42 has been used to expel 1.7 million migrants. In February alone, 55% of encounters were processed for removal under Title 42. This is one of our country’s strongest border security tools, and if revoked, border agents have confirmed it will worsen the crisis at our southern border. Right now, border agents are seeing an average of 8,000 illegal crossings a day. A border patrol section chief told me we lose operational control of our border at 5,000 crossings per day. The Department of Homeland Security estimates up to 18,000 migrants per day will illegally enter our country once Title 42 is revoked.
The decision to end this policy is just the latest misstep in Biden’s border crisis. Since Biden took office and ended the “Remain in Mexico” policy and stopped construction of the wall, nearly 3 million illegal immigrants have been apprehended at our southern border. These numbers do not even account for the thousands of migrants who have been able to evade our border patrol agents. Just last week, Customs and Border Patrol confirmed over 300,000 illegal immigrants evaded border personnel over the past six months, including 62,000 in March alone.
Title 42 is one of the few policies left that are working. Yet, President Biden seems determined to end the policy and appease those on the Left who want to open our borders.
Unfortunately, Washington Democrats’ tendency to promote a far-left agenda over the safety and security of the American people is not limited to their failure at the border.
Last week, Democrats also continued their assault on American energy. Over the past year, they have tried to shift blame for this crisis onto COVID-19 and Vladimir Putin. Last week at an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing they tried to pin rising gas prices on oil companies. The American people are smarter than that and know pain at the pump began long before Russia’s heinous invasion of Ukraine and started the first week of Joe Biden’s presidency when he canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline.
After canceling American pipelines and placing restrictions on domestic oil production, gas prices have risen every month of Biden’s presidency. This, along with the highest inflation rates in 40 years, is costing the average household an extra $5,200 this year compared to last.
The American people need solutions – not excuses – to the challenges facing our country.
This starts with securing our border. While I firmly believe we are a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws. Our immigration system is in need of repair, but any reform effort must begin by securing our borders. We must finish construction of the border wall, increase funding to border patrol, reinstate the “Remain in Mexico” policy, and maintain Title 42 protections.
Additionally, President Biden and Washington Democrats need to stop playing the blame game and instead pursue measures that will address inflation and gas prices in a real way. This includes passing my American Energy Independence from Russia Act, a bill that will boost our domestic energy production and drive down costs across the board.
Rest assured I will not stop fighting until we have worked to secure our border and end this inflation crisis impacting you and your family. Our nation’s security and our children’s future depend on it.