Chairman Green in The New York Post: “House Republicans Deliver on Commitment to Secure the Border — Because Biden Never Will”
April 24, 2023
Chairman Green in the New York Post: “House Republicans Deliver on Commitment to Secure the Border — Because Biden Never Will”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) penned an op-ed for the New York Post announcing the introduction of the Border Reinforcement Act of 2023.
Republicans made a Commitment to America last year to secure our borders and protect our communities.
Today, we are delivering on our promise by introducing commonsense border-security legislation crafted with the insight of those on this crisis’ precipice — Border Patrol agents, their families, business owners, state and local law enforcement and ranchers.
The Biden administration has abandoned our agents and sent the message that the laws concerning our sovereign borders are merely suggestions.
As a direct result of Team Biden’s open borders, 80 individuals on the terrorist watchlist have been stopped attempting to cross into America between southwest ports of entry since October 2022, and Customs and Border Protection has seized enough fentanyl to kill nearly 2.5 billion people.
The terrifying part: This is only what we know was encountered.
Federal officials say CBP seizes just 5% to 10% of illegal drugs smuggled across the southwest border.
These anti-security policies are wreaking havoc on our nation.
The House Committee on Homeland Security last week held Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas accountable for this crisis and the administration’s woefully inadequate fiscal year 2024 DHS budget proposal.
Unsurprisingly, Mayorkas doubled down on the Biden team’s reckless policies and his dishonest belief “the border is secure.”
When President Joe Biden and Mayorkas requested funding for “border management” instead of “border security,” they made clear they have no intention of securing our borders or restoring law and order.
That’s why the committee has spent endless hours meticulously crafting real solutions to do it.
In our bombshell field hearing last month, Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz admitted he disagreed with the Biden administration’s decision to end border-wall construction, which has cost the American people at least $72 million.
In his testimony last week, Mayorkas said he “stands by” the reckless decision.
We know physical infrastructure works. It’s crucial to meeting the challenges of a dynamic border threat environment and helping frontline law enforcement succeed.
The Border Reinforcement Act, introduced Monday, requires the DHS secretary to resume construction of the border wall, with no fewer than 900 miles of it at the southwest border until operational control is achieved.
While physical infrastructure is an important piece of homeland security, Ortiz testified he needs 3,000 more agents, and local law enforcement told the committee, “Border Patrol has no eyes on the ground.”
Far too many agents are stretched to the limit physically and mentally amid this crisis, and many have been pulled from their law-enforcement duties to assist with processing illegal aliens.
This creates a security gap of which criminals and cartels happily take advantage.
It is crucial for our national security that CBP is properly equipped with the personnel and technology needed to accomplish its mission to prevent terrorists, narcotics and weapons from entering our communities.
That’s why this legislation invests in closing the personnel gap, returns more agents to their law-enforcement critical mission in the field and addresses attrition by establishing a retention bonus for qualifying frontline personnel.
The Border Reinforcement Act of 2023 also requires CBP to develop a technology-investment plan and upgrade existing technology to ensure CBP officers and Border Patrol agents are equipped with the necessary resources to remain safe in the field.
Our goal is to give agents the tools they need to secure our border, not technological Band-Aids that incentivize more illegal immigration, such as the CBP One app.
This app was meant to facilitate the movement of perishable cargo into America quickly, but the Biden administration is using it as a tool to allow illegal aliens to schedule appointments at ports of entry and be expeditiously released into the country’s interior.
Our legislation returns the app to its original intent and bars DHS from using it for noncommercial purposes.
In the hope of hiding the chaos from the American people, DHS has buried the release of monthly border-encounter data in late-night news dumps before weekends and holidays.
No more. Our legislation requires DHS to disclose to Congress and make public all monthly data, including known “gotaway” numbers and known or suspected terrorist encounters, on or before the seventh day of each month.
Hiding behind the staggering numbers of illegal encounters is the true, immeasurable toll a wide-open border has had on the surrounding communities.
Local law-enforcement officers told us had it not been for Operation Stonegarden, they wouldn’t have had any success in combating this crisis.
That’s why our legislation increases this state-level support through grants to local law enforcement in border states.
Unlike Secretary Mayorkas, the Homeland Security Committee knows this border crisis is one of the greatest security threats facing the American people.
It is critical for Congress to pass the Border Reinforcement Act to deliver on our Commitment to America and restore order.