March 15, 2021 - Issue: Vol. 167, No. 48 — Daily Edition117th Congress (2021 - 2022) - 1st Session
Border Security (Executive Session); Congressional Record Vol. 167, No. 48
(Senate - March 15, 2021)
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[Page S1521] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] Border Security Mrs. BLACKBURN. Thank you, Madam President. The southern border. The situation at our southern border has devolved into chaos. That is what I am hearing from some of my former House colleagues who have been on that border today. According to them, we are once again facing a crisis. Thirteen days ago, Customs and Border Protection announced that they were deploying more agents to help manage the spike and apprehensions of adults and unaccompanied alien children. Then, last Monday, news broke that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had sent an email to DHS staff begging for volunteers to go to the border and help with logistics and humanitarian aid. It is obvious they need help on the border. In January alone, the Customs and Border Patrol detained nearly 78,000 people--more than double the number of apprehensions in January of 2020. In February, that number jumped to more than 100,000 arrests and detentions. CBP took more than 9,000 unaccompanied minors into custody that month, prompting the administration to open two overflow detention centers to house them. Listen to these numbers: 100,000 arrests and detentions in February; 9,000 unaccompanied minors being taken into custody that month--having to open 2 overflow detention centers. New data released last Wednesday shows that our agents are now detaining more than 4,000 people along the border every single day-- 4,000 every day. Our facilities and resources are exhausted, and so are the agents responsible for controlling this out-of-control situation. It did not have to be this way. Secretary Mayorkas has accused the Trump administration of ``dismantling our Nation's immigration system.'' That is his quote. But if he wants to know who is really responsible, he should look to the current White House. I have stated time and again how disastrous President Biden's policy of governing by Executive fiat has been. Thirty-four Executive orders in his first 50 days--34. Also, he has suspended construction of the border wall, jeopardizing our national security. He has embraced DACA. He halted most deportations. He cut domestic immigration arrests by 60 percent and dismantled the migrant protection protocols. This administration threw our existing immigration law out the window and let the world know that when it comes to illegal entry, not only will we look the other way, this administration is encouraging them to come. Even their Cabinet nominees are playing by these new rules of encouraging individuals to break our laws, to come to the country illegally. They are encouraging this. Last week, this Chamber voted to discharge Xavier Becerra's nomination from committee. I voted no. He is one of the most flagrant offenders out there when it comes to sending these signals. He has openly admitted he would like to decriminalize illegal entry and offer Medicaid to anyone who manages to get across the border. They have made a lot of promises that they know they are not going to be able to live up to, and now they are trying to walk it all back, walk back the hope that sparked in thousands of people because they have heard that the border was going to be open. They are even wearing the T-shirts with the slogan, ``Biden, let us in.'' They are going to have to walk back the mess that is there on the border, and I am fearful and concerned that their walk-backs are not going to work because from what we are hearing about the border, they have lost control of that border. I look forward to traveling to the border for a briefing on the situation. This administration does not want their critics to see what is happening down there. There are days you would think they have got a news blackout going at the border. This isn't just a problem in Texas or California or Arizona or New Mexico. Every town is a border town and every State is a border State because of the drugs, the human trafficking, sex trafficking, and gangs that are streaming across our border. You know, it means that no matter how hard you try, you can't hide the tragedy that inevitably unfolds when your immigration policy is to have zero immigration policy at all, just open the border and let them come. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.