Over the span of the 14 months since President Biden and Vice President Harris assumed office, there have been 2.3 million encounters at the southern border. Their negligence in securing the border has led to the worse border crisis in decades, a massive in-flow of fentanyl into our communities, and has left criminal cartels empowered.
Now the Biden administration is preparing to add in more chaos. Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it would be rescinding Title 42, a public health authority that authorizes it to be able to immediately expel those who are coming across the border — something that even President Biden’s administration admits will result in a “mass migration event.”
To get a better sense of how this decision will impact Border Patrol operations, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and members of the House Republican Conference were briefed by representatives of the National Border Patrol Council, the organization representing approximately 18,000 Border Patrol agents throughout the country.
They confirmed what members already knew to be true: agents are overwhelmed, morale among the ranks is low, and there is little to no hope this administration will take any action to fix the significant security flaws along the border.
Here are some key takeaways from the National Border Patrol Council briefing:
Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council: “If we had the proper policies, we could secure our border with the current resources… Now we’re talking about getting rid of Title 42. The only policy that this administration has kept in place that came from the Trump administration, once we get rid of that the floodgates are going to completely burst open.”
Jon Anfinsen, President, Del Rio Sector, National Border Patrol Council: “Last month, [in the Del Rio Sector], we had over 22,000 known gotaways… When Title 42 goes away, it’s not only gonna make our jobs somehow impossible to do, it creates this potential for all these people to request asylum, regardless of the legitimacy of their claims, which is going to bog down an already broken system. Agents are left wondering: ‘What are we going to do?'”
Chris Cabrera, Vice President, Rio Grande Valley Sector, National Border Patrol Council: “One of the things that concerns me with Title 42 going away is that it coincides with the heat and Texas summers, which means we’re going to see a lot more heat-related casualties… once they end Title 42, it’s going to turn out very bad for everybody involved, for the local communities, and the ranching communities.”
Afterwards, Leader McCarthy was joined by House Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member John Katko, Rep. Debbie Lesko, Rep. Chip Roy, Rep. Yvette Herrell, Rep. Tony Gonzales, and Rep. August Pfluger for a press conference where the Republican lawmakers told the press what the Border Patrol agents had briefed them on and how important Title 42 has been for protecting the country.
The members made it clear that President Biden’s catastrophic policies are behind the crisis at the border and the skyrocketing number of people who are crossing into the country. And without important tools like Title 42, apprehensions are going to rise and the southern border is going to be overwhelmed.
Here are some key takeaways from the lawmakers’ press conference:
Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23): “The [Border Patrol] agents talk about what overwhelming numbers they see today, and how they remove 55% of the people that come through with Title 42. There’s no longer a few border cities; every city is a border city… President Biden and Vice President Harris said they would do something about [the border], and they have not — they’ve only made it worse.”
Ranking Member John Katko (NY-24): “This is a national security issue that’s only going to get worse as time goes on this summer. It’s going to get much worse when they rescind Title 42, and it’s a damn shame because our country can’t handle it.”
Rep. Debbie Lesko (AZ-08): “Biden and the Democrats have done everything they can to totally support open borders — just think about it. On day one, he stopped funding the border wall. Then he took away all the Trump policies, including Remain in Mexico… I asked the Border Patrol officers in this meeting, what do they see with these girls and women being raped, and he said the Biden administration and Democrat policies are inviting the cartels to abuse and use vulnerable women and children that are then sold into sex slavery.”
Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21): “One hundred thousand people across the country last year died from fentanyl and opioid overdose. In the 80s, we were upset about 10,000 people dying from cocaine overdoses. Think about that: that’s the result of these open borders. Ask Democrats if they’re okay with all that.”
Rep. Yvette Herrell (NM-02): “This administration fails to hold into place the policies that actually work to keep our nation safe, and to think that we’re allowing this administration to put the health and safety of the American people at risk… what we’re doing right now is unsafe, it’s not smart, and there’s no reason for it.”
Rep. Tony Gonzales (TX-23): “Can we afford for this border crisis to continue? Can we afford for Democrats to continue to turn a blind eye? This should be bipartisan; everyone should want a safe and secure border…. if Title 42 goes away, these numbers will double overnight.”
Rep. August Pfluger (TX-11): “What we heard from Brandon Judd and other Border Patrol agents today is that there are times in that 240 plus mile stretch that it is completely unguarded because we have Border Patrol agents who are literally now being made into administrative officers, and there are times that we literally have no idea how many people and who is crossing our border — why won’t Secretary Mayorkas admit that our border is not secure?”