Today, I want to talk about the crisis at the
southern border. During the past several
months, the American people have watched as a full-blown crisis has developed. It’s
reached a catastrophic phase and it’s not getting any better.
And let me re-emphasize that whatever the Biden
Administration wants to call it, it’s a crisis.
Simply put, the Biden administration’s in denial. And
that denial has caused a humanitarian and national security crisis.
For example, border crossings are at the highest
levels we’ve seen in at least the last fifteen years. Last month, Customs and Border Protection
encountered more than 170,000 people attempting to cross at the southern
That number included almost 19,000 unaccompanied
children, which is the highest number ever recorded in a single month.
The surge has overwhelmed personnel and prompted the
Biden Administration to put out emergency calls for volunteers from across the
According to news reports based on recent Biden
administration emails, the administration is recruiting NASA employees to sit
with children at border facilities.
The border crisis is so bad the Biden administration
is trying to pull people from NASA and place them at the border.
Folks, this situation is out of control. This is a
humanitarian and national security crisis.
Terrorists, smugglers, and other criminals have seen
this as their golden opportunity, and are taking full advantage of it. This
I’ve written to the Biden administration. I’ve
visited the border in person. I’ve seen our overwhelmed facilities and heard
the calls of cartel members and human traffickers, yelling insults from across
the Rio Grande.
Senator Cornyn and I have written to the Chairman of
the Judiciary Committee strongly urging him to hold border security hearings.
During the Trump Administration, while I served as
Chairman of the full Committee and Senator Cornyn served as Subcommittee
Chairman, we held no less than 15 hearings on oversight of DHS and various
aspects of immigration policy. As Chairman of the Committee during the first
two years of the Trump Administration, I held hearings on immigration topics of
bipartisan interest to all Committee members, including Democratic Committee
Those hearings included oversight of family
reunification efforts and the Trump Administration’s decision to end the DACA
In the same way, I was hopeful that Chairman Durbin
would be willing to hold hearings on matters of great importance to me and
committee members on both sides of the aisle.
I’m ready to work with him to put together hearings
that address these problems productively.
During the Easter Recess, I instructed my oversight
and investigations staff to get a classified briefing from the Department of Homeland
Security, Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs
Enforcement. That briefing provided important and time sensitive information
that further solidifies my belief that the Biden administration’s border crisis
is a national security problem.
Moreover, the Biden administration’s denial that
there’s a border crisis is itself a national security problem.
You can’t solve a problem if you refuse to admit one
exists. This head-in-the-sand attitude will cost lives. That’s what’s so sad
about this situation. It’s not making
anyone’s life better. It’s putting lives
at risk – American lives and Immigrant lives. Yet, the administration refuses
to act to solve the problem.
Earlier this month, I requested that the Department
of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and
Customs Enforcement brief the full Judiciary Committee, Republicans and
Democrats, on a member level.
need to fully understand the national security problems at the border with
respect to terrorists, narco-terrorists, human smugglers and their criminal
must also be fully read-in to the methods and means that they use to plan and
accomplish their criminal goals.
in response to my request, the committee had that briefing. What
we learned is that the crisis at the border is getting worse and bad actors are
expanding their technological edge to become more efficient at accomplishing
their criminal goals. Human
smuggling networks, cartels, and other bad actors are continuing to take full
advantage of the crisis.
to where we go from here, the Biden administration knows it’s got a crisis on its
watch. It’s time to stop the denial and act
now to solve this border crisis.