Grassley Votes to Tackle National Security & Humanitarian Crisis Along Southern Border
Mar 14, 2019
WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa today voted against a resolution of disapproval of the Trump administration’s use of emergency authorities provided by Congress in the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to address the ongoing national security and humanitarian crisis along the southern border. He issued the following statement:
“Make no mistake: our nation is facing a prolonged and worsening security and humanitarian crisis on our southern border. Lethal drugs are flooding across the border at an alarming rate. Just last year, enough fentanyl to kill 88 million Americans was seized by border patrol agents between our ports of entry. We are also witnessing unprecedented levels of illegal immigration and are on track for the highest level of illegal immigration in more than a decade. That means more human trafficking, more forced labor and more exploitation of people along the dangerous journey to the United States. Failures by Congress to adequately address our immigration and border security issues have only exacerbated this crisis.
“As I’ve said repeatedly, even though the President is using the authority given to him by Congress, I share my colleagues’ concerns that too much authority has been delegated to the Executive Branch. In 1976, Congress gave the president the authority to declare national emergencies, so we shouldn’t be surprised when he seeks to use it, just as others have done. For this reason, I’ll continue working to pass meaningful legislation, like the ARTICLE ONE Act, to reclaim congressional power from the Executive Branch and improve congressional oversight of the National Emergency Act. I encourage my colleagues to join in this effort, which takes real action, as opposed to symbolic show votes that don’t address the root of the problem.”
Grassley has long voiced concerns about Congress ceding too much authority to the Executive Branch. He is a lead cosponsor of the ARTICLE ONE Act, which reclaims congressional authority granted to the Executive Branch in the 1976 National Emergency Act.
Background on border crisis:
The total volume of illegal immigration is increasing.
- Illegal immigration is on pace to exceed the highest level in more than 10 years
- 338 percent increase in family units from the Northern Triangle apprehended thus far in FY 2019 compared with same period in FY 2018
- 54 percent increase in unaccompanied minors apprehended thus far in FY 2019 compared with same period in FY 2018
Drug seizures are increasing between ports of entry.
- In FY 2018, U.S. Border Patrol intercepted 388 pounds of fentanyl between our ports of entry, enough to kill 88 million Americans
- Fentanyl seizures increased 73 percent between FY 2017 and FY2018
- Heroin seizures increased 22 percent between FY 2017 and FY 2018
- Methamphetamine seizures increased 38 percent between FY 2017 and FY 2018
Grassley has also raised concerns about the increased presence of suspected or known terrorists operating in Central and South America, who could exploit border weaknesses.