Biden border crisis felt here at home

Published 6:00 pm Saturday, July 23, 2022

Since President Biden took office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has encountered more illegal immigrants attempting to cross our southwest border than the population of our State of Mississippi. President Biden’s disaster at the southwest border is a national security threat that endangers the lives of the American people and threatens the stability of our communities. The border crisis worsens each day with an overwhelming and record influx of illegal immigrants, drugs, violent criminals, sexual predators, gang members, and suspected terrorists. Even more terrifying, these numbers don’t include the skyrocketing number of known “gotaways” who successfully evade the U.S. Border Patrol and flee into the interior of the United States. Since October 2021, the number of “gotaways” stands at 440,000. This is unacceptable. The Biden administration never hesitates to hobble and vilify the brave men and women of CBP who are attempting to keep our nation safe and secure. Under the failed policies of the Biden administration, CBP will lose operational control of our border with Mexico.

We need to return to policies that worked. The Trump administration implemented common-sense border policies that created a successful deterrent against cartels smuggling humans and illegal drugs into the United States. Two of the Trump administration’s highly successful policies were building the border wall and implementing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), commonly known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. The border wall works. Ask Border Patrol agents on the ground along our southwest border and they will tell you the value of the wall. But on his first day in office, President Biden halted all border wall construction without exception, creating an opening for cartels and smugglers while costing the American taxpayers millions of dollars in broken contracts.

MPP, another successful border security policy implemented by the Trump administration, sent asylum seekers to wait for their immigration hearings in Mexico. This policy stemmed the flow of illegal immigrants by weeding out those who knew they would not be able to disappear without a trace into the interior of the United States. President Biden again took immediate action to terminate MPP. However, a federal court found the attempts to terminate MPP unlawful and ordered the Biden administration to reinstate the program, which they did, but unconscionably slowly, enrolling a very small number into the program.

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We are living in perilous times; a quick glance of recent headlines show that our nation is suffering from the largest drug trafficking and drug overdose epidemics in the history of the United States. These epidemics are due, in large part, to the stream of illegal drugs that are flowing across our nation’s borders. However, there are steps that can be taken to shut down these illegal pathways. And thankfully there is a federal task force dedicated to this purpose. I recently introduced a bill in Congress, the Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) Act, which would help stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States. It would also enhance state and local law enforcement participation by supporting salary reimbursement for those municipalities that join BEST.

Border security is national security, and the current policies of the Biden administration have turned every state into a border state—something we know very well here in Mississippi.  In response to the Biden administration dropping busloads of migrants off in our communities without any notice to local law enforcement, I introduced another piece of legislation to ensure law enforcement agents and public services are not caught off guard by this reckless practice. My bill would force the Biden administration to take accountability regarding the crisis facing our country. The Early Migration Alert Program (E-MAP) Act would require the Department of Homeland Security to develop an alert system for local communities to receive information when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or CBP is planning the imminent release of migrants. The Biden administration cannot be allowed to continue dropping off migrants in towns across America at all times of the day and night without notice.

Going forward, our country needs strong border policies enabling CBP to maintain operational control of our borders, including finishing the border wall and fully reimplementing MPP. Given the current administration’s disregard for the security of our communities, the Republicans in Congress need to continue working to support our border law enforcement and holding this administration accountable for their actions. I am helping fight for these important policies for our Mississippi communities through my work in the U.S. House of Representatives and leadership role within the House Committee on Homeland Security.

U.S. Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.)

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