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Lankford: Biden is ignoring our very open southern border

By US Senator James Lankford (R-OK)

Oklahomans know there is a crisis at our border, and they know who is responsible — Joe Biden.

Each month, President Biden has released thousands of illegal border crossers into the US. This has motivated a record number of migrants to illegally cross the border this year. The situation is so bad that we will exceed a 21-year high of illegal crossings at our southern border—all while President Biden pretends the crisis does not exist.

To build on top of an already growing crisis, last week Biden’s response to the massive wave of illegal migrants coming into the country was to cancel border contracts for “environmental reasons.” I found that the Biden Administration has wasted over $2 billion in taxpayer money not build the wall, and Biden’s failure to complete the border wall only makes it easier for illegal migrants, drug traffickers, and human smugglers to cross our border. This administration continues to make it clear they are not looking for policies that stop illegal immigration; they are looking for policies that promote it.

I’ve been to the border several times to see the situation first-hand. I’ve talked to our border patrol agents who tell me their hands are tied by President Biden’s failed leadership. DHS is refusing to fully enforce the law, as they are forced to release migrants into the country without a security screening or even a COVID-19 test. No matter how much the Biden Administration ignores the crisis, there is no denying our southern border is out of control.

When I went to the border in March of this year, the same facilities I visited in 2019 that were designed to hold 80 people are now holding more than 700 people. The gaping holes in the border wall can be seen from miles away and make it easier for drug cartels and human traffickers to illegally enter the country. When Biden finally sent Vice President Harris to the border, she visited a location that was nearly 800 miles from the actual crisis—and has yet to do anything since that time.

Meanwhile, Biden and his team say the border is under control. Biden’s failure to act at the border is failing America.

In August, Biden and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attempted to open an overflow facility in Hinton. I immediately stepped in and told DHS leadership we would not allow that to happen because Oklahomans do not want illegal migrants released into our state. Within 24 hours, Homeland Security announced they would not open the facility.

Since March, I’ve pushed DHS to end the failed catch-and-release polices that allow thousands of migrants into the US with a notice to show up to court two or three years later. I’ve consistently touted the benefits of the border wall system and shared Border Patrol’s support for the wall, but Biden keeps telling the American people what a great job they’re doing at the border.

It’s time for Biden to stop pretending the border crisis he created doesn’t exist. Our border is out of control. The solution isn’t hard—finish the wall and enforce the US law.