|The crisis at our southern border unfortunately is nothing new. Since January 2021, illegal immigrants have been flooding our nation’s borders due to a new administration bringing new immigration policies. These open border policies led to record numbers of illegal border crossings last year that has only gotten worse in 2022. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Agents are encountering more than 7,000 individuals daily and 221,303 migrants in March alone. While some of those people are of course trying to go through the proper channels to get into this country legally, many are not.
Drug cartels are making billions of dollars bringing deadly drugs and criminals into our country. While we are not a border state, the speed with which drugs are moving through the U.S. has effectively turned communities who are nowhere near Mexico into border states. Drugs – specifically deadly fentanyl – criminals, human traffickers, and illegal weapons are flooding across our borders. There is enough danger taking place in our world, from the situation in Afghanistan this summer to the tragic war in Ukraine that continues to rage on. America should not be facing another battle here at home simply due to this Administration’s weak policies and inaction at our southern border. Unfortunately, that is where we are and there is potential for the problem to become exacerbated very soon.
The Department of Homeland Security estimates the worst is yet to come if Title 42 is lifted on May 23, with daily encounters potentially climbing to 18,000 migrants. Title 42 is actually a health policy established in March of 2020 by the CDC to stop migrants who were potentially experiencing COVID symptoms from coming across our borders. It gave CBP agents increased authority to turn away migrants who were attempting to come into our country illegally. During the last Administration, it proved to be an exceedingly effective policy in managing the overwhelming numbers at our southern border and has subsequently been extended several times. Now, the Biden Administration is saying Title 42 is no longer necessary, with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas saying just this week that “we have effectively managed the border.” The numbers continue to show that is empirically untrue, and if this critical policy is lifted our border patrol agents will be even more overwhelmed than they already are.
There is bipartisan support for keeping Title 42 in place. Democrats and Republicans alike on Capitol Hill have urged the White House to change its stance. This week, a Federal Judge in Louisiana issued an order to temporarily block the Administration from lifting Title 42 which could slow or halt the Administration’s efforts. But so far, the Administration has shown no willingness to let the program continue.
This week, 22-year-old Texas National Guard Specialist, Bishop Evans lost his life while attempting to save two migrants – who were later identified as suspected drug smugglers – from drowning while on duty. This story is as heartbreaking as it is infuriating. It is absolutely critical that we give these officers who risk their lives every day the tools they need to do their job effectively and return home safely. Extending Title 42 is the least we can do as we work toward that goal.