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.