Can’t sweep border issue under the rug

Sen. John Thune

For the 22nd time in American history, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached a federal official: U.S. Department of Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The House put forward serious charges regarding the secretary’s actions as a chief architect of the Biden administration’s lax border security regime. The case deserved to be heard and decided on the merits, but the Senate was not given a chance to do so. Instead, Senate Democrats chose to rush to dismiss the charges without a trial.
Secretary Mayorkas and President Biden have presided over the worst border crisis on record: three successive years of record-breaking illegal immigration. If the current trajectory holds, we’ll have yet another new record this year. While there are many factors that affect migrant flows, the current border crisis is the result of actions that this administration has taken or failed to take. Border security has been dismantled. Asylum and parole programs have been abused to effectively provide amnesty to hundreds of thousands of individuals. And we’ve seen the unfortunate effects of illegal drugs and criminals that have come across the border and wreaked havoc in communities nationwide.
In total, 7.6 million illegal immigrants have been encountered at the southern border. Another 1.8 million known gotaways, who evaded authorities at the border, have entered the country, in addition to those that weren’t detected at all. It’s the gotaways that the chief of Border Patrol says keep him up at night. In just the last six months, 75 individuals on the terrorist watch list were caught trying to cross the border illegally. How many dangerous individuals have entered without being caught?
The border crisis is a national security crisis caused by the actions of this administration. Many Americans are concerned about the situation at the border, and the American people deserve accountability on this issue. The House of Representatives put forward serious charges, and it should not have been too much to ask that the Senate take this matter seriously, examine the facts, and render a verdict. But instead Senate Democrats chose to sweep the charges under the rug to avoid confronting the border crisis and its causes.
While Democrats may have effectively made the charges disappear, they can’t obscure the failures of Secretary Mayorkas and President Biden. Unfortunately, the border crisis continues, and its effects are far-reaching. Every state is effectively a border state. Cities far from the border are reeling from an influx of migrants. And deadly fentanyl continues to plague too many communities.
The president and Secretary Mayorkas have demonstrated their unwillingness to use their power to stem the flow of illegal immigration, and there appears to be no end in sight for this border crisis. There needs to be accountability for this crisis and its potentially dangerous consequences. My Republican colleagues and I will continue to hold the administration accountable and work to secure the border.

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