Weekly Columns

There’s chaos on our southern border. It’s a humanitarian and national security crisis that threatens the safety of Americans and the Biden administration’s careless rhetoric and progressive policies are undeniably at fault.

In May more than 180,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at our southern border. CBP recently reported this new 21-year high, marking the third consecutive month of record increases.

Despite the skyrocketing number of border apprehensions, the administration continues to deny a crisis exists. 

Vice President Harris, the point person tasked by the president to solve it, hasn’t even been to the border to see first-hand the challenges our CBP agents are experiencing as a result of these disastrous policies. 

Border facilities are overrun and border patrol agents are being diverted from interior drug checkpoints and regional stations to the Rio Grande Valley. The president’s budget, with no increase in funding to secure our border, offers no hope to border agents that help is on the way. 

That message is also another indication to criminal elements like human smugglers and drug traffickers that their inhumane and illegal activities can continue. CBP has arrested convicted sex offenders and four individuals on the FBI’s terrorism watchlist, in addition to having detained dangerous gang members crossing the border. 

The failure to enforce our immigration laws is intensifying the flood of crime and drugs into our country. Drug cartels are exploiting the chaos and increasing the flow of lethal drugs like fentanyl into our communities. Last month, more than 900 pounds of fentanyl was seized at the southern border, an increase of more than 300 percent from May 2020.

This unfortunate reality is leading to devastating consequences. In Arkansas, fentanyl has surpassed methamphetamine as the leading cause of overdose deaths. 

We’ve seen these problems growing for months, but the administration is so out-of-touch on this issue that it has not made a good faith effort to resolve a clearly dangerous, unsustainable situation. 

Luckily, we have a solution. It begins with enforcing our immigration laws. We are a nation of laws. This crisis has shown the damage selective enforcement can have on our country. 

The problem extends to local and state governments that offer safe-havens for illegal immigrants. These sanctuary cities undermine enforcement of federal immigration laws. Failing to uphold our laws threatens the safety of law-abiding citizens by protecting violent and dangerous criminals illegally in our country.

We’ve invested heavily in a border wall that remains incomplete while the cutting-edge technology to detect violators has been nonoperational. We need to finish the job.

We must end the failed ‘catch and release’ policy reinstated by the Biden administration that forces border agents and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers to release illegal immigrants as they await adjudication of their claims and potential deportation. 

The administration must also restore the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy to require illegal immigrants wait in Mexico until their asylum cases are decided. 

This crisis was avoidable. The Trump administration’s policies were succeeding at enforcing our immigration laws, disincentivizing unlawful entry and securing the border, but the Biden executive orders have reversed those effective measures and the administration has failed to demonstrate a willingness to get this problem under control. It’s time to face reality and do what needs to be done to secure our border, end this crisis and protect the rule of law.