Share

Newhouse: Border Crisis is a Direct Result of President Biden's Policies

May 24, 2021
Press Release
Finishing our wall is not just a priority, it's a necessity.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dan Newhouse (WA-4) completed a southern border tour in El Paso, Texas, with several Republican colleagues.

“As a farmer, it’s hard to imagine not being able to walk through your orchards or fields without carrying a weapon. But down in El Paso, that’s the reality facing these men and women because of the daily threat they face from the drug cartels passing through,” said Rep. Newhouse. “For them, the best thing to happen for their safety was building a border fence, and they’ve made it clear that finishing our wall is not just a priority, it’s a necessity.”

He continued, “We need to stop incentivizing cartels from the massive amount of drug and human trafficking they are currently conducting. Children are being smuggled across the border by these cartels, with no agency or say in the matter. More fentanyl has been seized in the first four months of this year than in all of 2020 and the number of unaccompanied minors has already doubled since FY20. At night, hundreds of migrants are crossing through sections of the border that are older and in dire need of replacement, and our law enforcement officers simply cannot keep up. To make matters worse, we have the materials to replace these porous zones, but the Biden Administration has halted all construction at the border. This is petty, partisan politics and is needlessly putting our officers and citizens at risk.”

Rep. Newhouse, who served on the Homeland Security Subcommittee for two terms, was joined by Reps. Don Bacon (NE-02), Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), Pete Stauber (MN-08), David Valadao (CA-21), and Tony Gonzales (TX-23). The representatives participated in a roundtable discussion at a pecan farm with local ranchers and farmers; a visit to an unaccompanied minor facility; tours of the El Paso Central Processing Center and the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry; and a briefing with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents.

“Our law enforcement officers are working as hard as they can to mitigate this ongoing crisis, but they have made it crystal clear that should the Biden Administration revoke their Title 42 privileges as they’ve indicated, they will no longer be able to process migrants in the field, and will be forced to bring them into the country for processing,” said Rep. Newhouse. “Thousands of migrants are waiting for this to happen, and according to our officers, will completely overwhelm our facilities within 2-3 days. That is unacceptable.”

“There is no doubt about it, there is a crisis at our southern border. This Administration’s attempts to sweep it under the rug are harming our citizens, law enforcement officers, and the hundreds of thousands of migrants coming across the border – while emboldening the drug cartels to be even more blatant in their trafficking operations,” said Rep. Newhouse. “Our border is neither secure nor safe, and President Biden and his ‘border czar’ must take action now to change that.”

A link to Rep. Newhouse’s opening remarks at his media availability can be found here.

Background:

  • In April, CBP revealed that two additional suspects on the Terrorism Watch List were caught illegally entering the country on two separate occasions.
  • CBP encountered 178,622* individuals at the southwest border in April 2021, the highest number in a single month in over 20 years, and a 944% increase compared to April 2020.
  • Since January 2021, CBP has encountered 531,533* individuals along the southwest border. During the same time frame in 2020, CBP encountered 124,838 individuals.
  • Heroin seizures increased 97% from March 2021 and fentanyl seizures increased 34%. In FY21 so far, fentanyl seizures have already surpassed those from all of FY20, with 6,494 pounds through April 2021 compared to 4,776 pounds for all of FY20.
  • In FY21 to date, CBP has arrested 5,861* individuals with criminal convictions - more than double the number arrested in all of FY20.
  • CBP has conducted 5,787 search and rescue operations to protect children from child smugglers who traffic this vulnerable population across south and central America to the U.S.

*CBP figures only reflect actual physical “apprehensions” or “encounters,” these figures do not include successful illegal crossing numbers.

###

Issues: