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In 2021, several cities experienced their highest homicide rate recorded, and across the country, estimates suggest that the homicide rate went up by 6.3%. Violence is surging, and because of Democrat efforts to “defund the police,” law enforcement has never been stretched thinner. Democrats, from local city councils to the governor’s office, have been pushing soft-on-crime policies that have had devastating impacts on the people living there. In California, both violent crime and property crimes are up in 2021.

That’s not all: the impact that Democrat open border policies have had is being felt on communities across the country. At eight different ports-of-entry in Texas, CBP reported that fentanyl seizures were up by 1,066%. Since February 2021, almost 1.6 million illegal migrants were apprehended at the border. Cartels know that Customs and Border Patrol is underfunded and undermanned, which means that criminals can bring more drugs and weapons into the United States than ever before. To highlight the problems that Democrat policies have created, House Republicans brought together a panel of law enforcement experts to discuss the problems that they are experiencing  and more importantly, to hear what the lawmakers can do to alleviate the impact that rising crime has had on our communities.

Here are the takeaways from their conversation:

Rep. Pete Stauber (MN-08): “Radical policies and rhetoric have led to a drastic rise in crime — and an open border… As a former law enforcement officer of 23 years, I know that a properly staffed & trained police force is necessary to keep our communities safe.”

Rep. August Pfluger (TX-11): “This means that we’ve now endured a year of the federal government turning their backs on border states like Texas and Arizona that are marred by record- high illegal border crossings, drugs, and human trafficking that have crossed our border.”

Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04): “What makes it so outrageous is that the results we’re seeing right now are the direct results of bad policy choices on the border. President Biden inherited a secure border– President Trump’s policies worked.”

Rep. Debbie Lesko (AZ-08): “In Yuma, they were interviewing illegal migrants that were crossing the border, and a number of them said that they heard President Biden wanted them here. The policies of the Biden administration and my Democratic colleagues are incentivizing people to cross the border illegally.”

Rep. Clay Higgins (LA-03): “1.7 million documented interceptions at the border actually equates to over 2 million illegal crossings because we have about a 35% got-away rate… Law enforcement is overwhelmed at our border and restricted by Biden’s policies to do their job.”

Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21): “The American people are much less safe than they were a year ago. They’re, in fact, in danger as a direct result of the policies of this administration and the failures of this Congress to address it.”

Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council: “If they’re not going to be prosecuted, if they’re not going to be held accountable, they’re going to continue to violate the law.”

Rafael Mangual, Senior Fellow and Head of Research for the Policing and Public Safety Initiative at the Manhattan Institute: “In 2013, we had 713,000 police officers working in full-time uniform roles in this country. That number is now below 680,000… This really isn’t a job that people are lining up for the way that they used to just ten years ago.”

Sheriff Vernon Stanforth (Fayette County): “Literally across the country we’re seeing the impact of defunding the police. In the major cities, where councils have cut their budgets and realigned their funds, we’re seeing a rise in carjackings and home invasions.”

Sheriff Michael Milstead (Minnehaha County): We are seeing a significant decrease in applicants for police officers.. but with defund the police and the rhetoric that is out there… our applicant pool is down. our turnover rate is up.”