Note: The following opinion-editorial item is provided to DeSoto County News by state Rep. Rodney Hall.
By Rep. Rodney Hall (R-Southaven)
Americans ought to be deeply troubled by the escalating crisis at our nation’s southern border. The latest statistics released by the House Committee on Homeland Security shed light on the unprecedented challenges faced by our border security agencies, signaling an alarming trend that demands immediate attention and collaborative action.
The facts are stark: In the final month of Fiscal Year 2023, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recorded a staggering 269,735 encounters at the Southwest border, marking an 86% increase from June 2023. The annual numbers are equally distressing, with over 2.4 million encounters at the Southwest border and more than 3.2 million nationwide. The impact of this surge reaches far beyond border states, affecting every corner of our nation.
Mississippi, like every state, is now a border state. The Biden administration’s open-borders policies have led to a situation where our fellow Americans are facing unprecedented challenges due to the influx of illegal crossings. As a Representative of the people of Mississippi, and a field grade officer in the Mississippi Army National Guard, I am deeply concerned about the potential ramifications for our state’s safety, specifically with the influx of illegal narcotics trafficked across the county.
I stand in solidarity with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the coalition of Republican Governors who have expressed their support for Texas’ constitutional right to self-defense. The federal government’s failure to enforce immigration laws has placed an undue burden on states like Texas and has far-reaching implications for states like Mississippi.
It is essential to recognize that the crisis at the border is not isolated; it affects every state, including ours. Mississippi, has a long and storied history of supporting border security efforts. Most recently, the MS Army National Guard deployed a Military Police Battalion to support Customs and Border Protection officers and agents at the Southwest border. The deployment is a clear indication that what happens at the border doesn’t stay at the border; the effects ripple through every state, including Mississippi. Criminal elements linked to South American cartels spread drugs like fentanyl through every corner of our communities. Human and child trafficking has surged across the southern United States, and Mississippi has not escaped unscathed.
As a field-grade officer in the Mississippi Army National Guard, I understand the importance of protecting our nation’s sovereignty. The current situation demands a comprehensive and bipartisan approach to address the root causes of this crisis. We must prioritize national security, uphold the rule of law, and ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens.
Republican Governors and Congressmen early on identified this crisis – I call upon the administration to recognize the severity of the border crisis and join hands in advocating for effective measures that secure our borders and protect the interests of all Americans. I stand with Governor Abbott and the governors supporting Texas’ efforts, emphasizing that it is time for a united front in addressing this pressing national issue. Together, we can safeguard our states, restore order to our borders, and uphold the principles that make our nation strong.
Rodney Hall is MS State Representative from DeSoto County, MS. A graduate of Marion Military Institute and Ole Miss Law School, he’s served nearly two decades as an Army Infantry Officer, including deployments in Afghanistan and Syria. Hall, an Airborne Ranger, initially enlisted in the 20th Special Forces Group, following his father’s legacy as a U.S. Army Paratrooper. Hall also worked in the U.S. Congress as Legislative Director for the 1st Congressional District of MS, focusing on Armed Services, Veteran Affairs, and Appropriations.