What happens along the U.S.-Mexico border impacts every community in America, especially here in Texas. With the longest stretch of border of any state – over 1,000 miles – Texas cities and towns are left more exposed to cartels and cross-border crimes, including human trafficking, money laundering, and drug smuggling.
I have traveled to the Southern border many times to oversee the efforts of the brave federal, state, and local law enforcement agents protecting our borders and enforcing our immigration laws. As the member of Congress selected to lead the special task force addressing the 2014 crisis when 60,000 migrant children were displaced at the border, I know firsthand what a border crisis looks like. So, believe me when I say that our border is back in crisis mode.
According to Customs and Border Protection, law enforcement officers encountered over 100,000 migrants attempting illegal crossings last month alone. Illegal crossings are now up 113% compared to last year, and the number of unaccompanied migrant children has tripled in only two weeks. The Biden Administration has rushed to accommodate the increase, but not to contain it or change its upward trend. Texans are already suffering the consequences. After learning of the Biden Administration’s plans to convert family detention centers in Texas into rapid-processing hubs to screen and release migrants within 72 hours, I urged the Biden Administration to call the situation what it is—a crisis—and partner with us in Congress to address it.
Instead of offering serious solutions, the Biden Administration has downplayed the disorder at the border, calling it only a “challenge” while staying focused on their other priorities, like spending the last few weeks passing a trillion-dollar payout to progressives. Last week, I led a letter signed and supported by 25 of my House Republican colleagues to my Democrat counterpart on the House Appropriations Committee, Chair Rosa DeLauro, urging for hearings on the growing border crisis as soon as possible.
On Friday, I was proud to stand with more of my Republican colleagues as we spoke with one voice in a press conference at the Capitol demanding accountability and action on this Biden border crisis. As I said Friday, we cannot ignore this problem and hope it goes away: President Biden’s welcoming rhetoric and undoing of strong border policies has created a complex tragedy at our border, and an unnecessary public health, humanitarian, and security emergency. Again, I urged Speaker Pelosi and the Biden Administration to get their heads out of the sand, change their rhetoric, and work with us to fix it immediately.
Rest assured, I will continue working to gather the facts and find meaningful solutions to resolve this crisis. Until then, we owe a debt of gratitude to our law enforcement agents and the Texas Guard deployed along the Southern border to protect our safety and security. They, and the American people deserve better, and inaction cannot be an option.
Member of Congress