In the month of March alone, there were over 221,000 arrests at the border -- the highest recorded number of arrests in 22 years, yet President Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas want to claim that the our country's southern border is "effectively managed."
In his Fox News op-ed, Leader McCarthy lays out how the Biden administration's catastrophic policies are directly responsible for the humanitarian crisis at the border and calls on Secretary Mayorkas to take the steps necessary to actually secure the border: deploy better technology to the border, reinstate the "Remain in Mexico" policy, vigorously use Title 42 authority, and fully enforce our nation's existing laws.
Yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told Congress the Biden administration has "effectively managed" the ongoing border crisis. Having just returned from my second trip to the southern border since Joe Biden became president, I can tell you that the Biden administration's poor management and open borders policies not only caused the ongoing crisis at our border, but are now looking to make it worse.
In Eagle Pass, Texas, my Republican colleagues and I saw the harm these policies are causing to our border communities and our country.
We went to where the body of Specialist Bishop Evans was recovered earlier that morning. Spc. Evans, the brave 22-year-old Texas National Guardsman who dove into the river to save two illegal immigrants, exemplified the heroism of those who protect our borders.
We then met with a group of Eagle Pass residents who told us how the border crisis is upending their lives and businesses. One rancher who has lived on the border for more than 20 years told us he had never seen it this bad and does not feel safe on his own property. Every day, he worries about his children going outside. As he shared his story, he broke down in tears.
This is the reality of the Biden Border Crisis. These are the stories of its heartbreaking toll.
Our trip laid bare the severity of this crisis.
We learned that there were 259,594 border apprehensions within the Del Rio Sector in 2021 alone, more than the previous nine years combined.
And here's another alarming thing we saw in Eagle Pass: the Biden administration is providing illegal immigrants with free iPhones. I watched as ICE agents unlocked phones using facial recognition technology and handed them to a group of individuals who had been apprehended only moments before. This appears to be part of the Biden Administration's "effectively managed" border accountability to track illegal immigrants: by giving them taxpayer-funded phones they can easily discard.
The Biden administration's approach to border security is an embarrassment and threatens our nation's security. Worse, it is this administration's own policies that got us to where we are now.
President Biden ended Remain-in-Mexico, terminated the "safe third country" agreements with Central America, and paid contractors not to build the wall. He dismantled immigration enforcement and pushed for mass amnesty.
Now, President Biden wants to end an essential tool to turn away hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from entering the United States: Title 42.
It's hard to imagine a more dangerous policy change. If the Biden Border Crisis is unsustainable today, what will it look like a month from now?
It will get significantly worse, overwhelming a Border Patrol that is already stretched thin. Biden's Department of Homeland Security is bracing for 18,000 border encounters each day once Title 42 ends, more than double the current daily average.
It is questionable whether President Biden has the authority to end Title 42. This week, a federal district court temporarily blocked the Biden administration's decision to lift Title 42. This is welcome news, but we shouldn't have to rely on the courts. Congress must take immediate action to keep Title 42 and stop the border crisis Biden's policies created.
House Republicans have made securing the border a top priority. Since last year, we've introduced commonsense solutions to finish the wall, end catch and release, deploy technology to the border, support our brave law enforcement officers, and fully enforce Title 42. We will never stop fighting to protect the American people.
Democrats, however, have refused to join us. As recently as this month, 219 House Democrats voted to block consideration of Title 42 protections, despite the obvious need.
This is the same pattern of inaction we have seen from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas. The fact is everyone has known about this crisis for over a year, including Mayorkas. In August, he admitted, "we can't continue like this, our people in the field can't continue, our system isn't built for it."
Mayorkas was right then, and he has the power to fix it now. The Biden administration has the authority to restart border wall construction, end catch and release, and fully enforce Remain in Mexico. But for 15 months, they have refused to do so because they are prioritizing woke demands over the best interests of the American people.
Mayorkas owes Congress and the American people answers on why the Biden administration continues to undermine effective border security and how he will keep our country safe moving forward.
Later today, he will testify before the House Judiciary Committee. We need to hear him explain how he will stop the flow of fentanyl into our communities, secure the border, and protect our nation's sovereignty.
Mayorkas must come prepared with specific details, not more platitudes and spin like we heard yesterday. House Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan sent Mayorkas a letter outlining his questions more than a week ago. Mayorkas has had plenty of time to prepare. If he does not provide these details, it would raise further questions about his suitability for office.
We need to secure the border now. Biden and Mayorkas must step up and do their job, not abandon their responsibility to keep America safe.