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Rep. Laurel Lee: “The Emotional Toll of Mayorkas’ Border Crisis on Border Patrol Agents”

December 4, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Laurel Lee (R-FL) recently authored an op-ed for The Hill detailing the emotional toll on the men and women of U.S. Border Patrol as they face the worst border crisis in American history. Amid the crisis caused by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and President Biden’s reckless open-borders policies, these dedicated agents experience unthinkable trauma from the overwhelming influx of inadmissible aliens and violent human and drug smugglers at our borders. This op-ed highlights findings from the Committee’s third interim report on the devastating human cost of the border crisis and how Secretary Mayorkas’ refusal to enforce our nation’s laws has incentivized the chaos. Read Rep. Lee’s op-ed here

From Rep. Lee’s op-ed: 

“Within the first 15 days of September 2023, U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered a staggering 142,000 migrants at the southwest border, with CBP sources later confirming more than 260,000 encounters for the entire month. This record-breaking number of encounters brought the total number of border encounters in fiscal 2023 to more than 2.4 million at the southwest border and more than 3.1 million nationwide. 

“These unprecedented and unsustainable numbers represent Mayorkas and the Biden administration’s abject refusal to secure our southwest border, consequentially endangering communities across the country.

“Coinciding with this rise of migrants flooding our southwest border is the strain being put on the men and women of DHS law enforcement. These patriotic Americans signed up to protect our border and enforce our immigration laws, and they have been overwhelmed by the historic number of individuals crossing the border as a result of the Biden administration’s policies.

“Our Border Patrol agents and CBP officers also witness unspeakable human tragedies on a daily basis. For example, Border Patrol agents regularly discover the bodies of migrants of all ages who wash up along the Rio Grande, having drowned in the perilous crossing. Additionally, they also find men, women and children crammed into stash houses by criminal cartels, where they are regularly subjected to beatings, sexual assault and malnutrition. Facing these horrifying situations daily takes a serious toll on the mental health of the men and women of DHS law enforcement, and they have to take that burden home with them.

“Border Patrol agents deserve to feel supported in their job, and Americans deserve to feel safe in their communities. We cannot afford for more lives to be lost due to this administration’s failed policies — securing our border is crucial to our national security and putting an end to this crisis that has affected so many people.”