Secure the Border Act of 2023

Floor Speech

Date: May 10, 2023
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PFLUGER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of all Texans and all Americans whose lives have been put at risk by the untenable crisis at our southern border.

Let's just look at the numbers. In the 2 years that this President has been in office, there have been over 5 million encounters at the southern border, 1.4 million got-aways, and countless numbers of people who matched not only the terrorist watch list, but also criminal organizations. That totals nearly 6\1/2\ million people.

To put that in perspective, that is bigger than over 33 States in the United States. Among those 5 million, our Border Patrol have caught nearly 200 known and suspected terrorists trying to cross into our country illegally. This should not only concern every American, but it also outrages Americans who want law and order and safety to be considered.

What I am even more concerned about is: How many among the 1.4 million got-aways would match that list that we don't know about?

This is something that I have been sounding the alarm bells for my entire time in Congress. It is something that, unfortunately, my Democrat colleagues have buried their heads in the sand and refused to address for the last 2 years.

I could continue talking about the terrible numbers all day, about the 15,000 criminals arrested, the 14,000 pounds of fentanyl that have been seized, which, by the way, is enough to kill 3 billion people, and that is just in the last 6 months.

Instead, I will turn the focus of today's discussion about border security back to the tragedies, the human tragedies, which are affecting every district, including mine.

Americans like Elisa Tambunga whose 7-year-old daughter and 71-year- old grandmother were tragically killed by human traffickers doing 105 miles an hour with 11 illegal immigrants in the back seat who hit their car and instantly killed them. They are the victims.

Let's talk about the 700 unaccompanied migrant children who have been displaced and separated. These 700 unaccompanied migrants were dropped off in Midland, Texas, trafficked by traffickers away from their parents, and dropped off in the middle of the night. They are the victims.

What about fathers like Joe Warnick of Odessa, Texas, who found his 17-year-old son dead after taking a pill laced with fentanyl. He is a victim, along with 110,000 Americans last year who lost their lives to fentanyl.

The 53 migrants who died in the sweltering heat in the back of a tractor trailer south of San Antonio, Texas, last year, they are the victims. These are real people.

This is not just a border crisis. This is a national security emergency. Texans demand a solution.

Today, I am proud to join my colleagues in supporting H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act.

The timing of this legislation could not be more precise with the ending of title 42. Our bill will force the administration to restart construction of the border wall. It will deploy much-needed technology to the border. It will increase the number of border agents and give them the well-deserved bonuses that they need to maintain their services.

Several of my original provisions have been included in this package to require the administration to own up to the total number of known got-aways or known and suspected terrorists crossing the border each month, as well as outlining the costs that are incurred by States like Texas.

Mr. President, how many more lives will be lost?

How many will it take to take action?

That is why Republicans are not ignoring this crisis. We are taking action. We are restoring the security of our border.

I am extremely proud to stand here with Chairman Mark Green and his efforts, and Speaker McCarthy, to pass a bill that will finally secure the border and do what Americans put us here to do.

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