Note: The following is Sen. Roger Wicker’s weekly report and commentary from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. and is provided by Sen. Wicker’s office.
6,000 Migrants Crossing U.S.-Mexico Border Daily
Last month, federal immigration officers dropped off roughly 90 migrants at a bus station in Natchez, Mississippi, causing confusion for both the migrants and station workers. Similar drop-offs have occurred this year in Louisiana, Texas, and Arizona as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) struggles to deal with the massive flow of migrants coming across the southern border. Because of the dire situation, ICE has now released 50,000 migrants into the country this year, thousands of whom have confirmed cases of COVID-19. Instead of being given court dates, these individuals are being told to report to an ICE office at a later date – something only 13 percent have done so far. Most will likely disappear into the country for good.
Biden Owns This Crisis
The crisis on our southern border began shortly after President Biden took office. President Trump had managed to stem the flow of migrants by building a border wall, increasing support for Border Patrol, and getting Mexico to use its military to block migrants from traveling north. Most importantly, Mr. Trump sent a clear message that the days of open borders were over.
President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris struck a much different tone, which has paved the way for the present crisis. Before taking office, Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris signaled their intent to stop deportations. Once in office, President Biden began rolling back immigration enforcement and proposed a plan to legalize millions of illegal residents without first funding basic border security priorities. These actions have sent a clear message of openness to migrants, who are now crossing the border at a rate of 6,000 per day.
One Million Border Arrests and Counting
Illegal border crossings have increased every month under President Biden. In June, Border Patrol recorded 178,000 border arrests – a 571 percent jump from June 2020. In July, officers in the Rio Grande Valley arrested 20,000 border crossers in a single week – the most ever recorded. Border arrests have now already reached their highest since 2000 and are on track to reach 1.8 million this year. And these arrests are just a partial snapshot of the situation, as many others are crossing our borders undetected.
This chaotic situation could get even worse because of a recent decision by the Mexican government. This past week, Mexico announced it will no longer take back non-Mexican migrant families who have been caught by U.S. border agents. This is a major shift from last year, when President Trump struck a deal with Mexico to have asylum seekers “remain in Mexico” while their applications were being processed. President Biden has clearly failed to exert the pressure needed to obtain Mexico’s help in solving the border crisis.
Stopping Amnesty in Congress
Even in light of the border situation, President Biden has continued to push for legalization of illegal residents without seriously improving border security. Democrats are now considering slipping an amnesty measure into their upcoming tax-and-spend bill. Republicans are united in fighting against such a proposal, which would only further inflame the border crisis by incentivizing more migrants to make the dangerous trek north. President Biden bears a solemn duty to protect our southern border, and he is clearly failing.