Nov 08 2023
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) pressed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on the administration’s failure to secure the border.
“By every metric the border is a disaster. Despite the rhetoric of the administration the numbers reported by the Border Patrol of caught and known gotaways are off the chart. Our border states and our communities have been overrun, and now many of our major cities, most of them [run by Democrats], are saying literally that you’re in the process of destroying their cities,” Boozman said in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing examining additional funds for the border.
The administration has requested nearly $14 billion to support its efforts at the border. Boozman has rejected the plan.
The senator demanded changes to the open door policy instead of funneling more taxpayer dollars to process asylum claims of illegal immigrants.
“What you’re proposing, at best, just maintains the status quo,” Boozman said.
Since President Biden took office, the number of illegal immigrants apprehended at the southern border has grown each year. In Fiscal Year 2023, the U.S. Border Patrol reported a record 2.5 million encounters at the southern border, and apprehended 169 individuals on the terrorist watchlist trying to cross illegally – more than in the previous six years combined.
Boozman also questioned the secretary’s characterization of the department’s seizure of fentanyl at the border. He highlighted the devastating impact the illegal drug is having in Arkansas as the number one cause of overdose deaths.