Washington, D.C., May 11, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.), the Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, this morning joined U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) and 12 colleagues at a press conference where they discussed the growing crisis at the southern border as the Biden Administration prepares to stop exercising Title 42 authorities at midnight today.
Senator Britt recounted her multiple trips to the southern border and the opportunities to witness the Biden Administration’s border crisis firsthand. She called on President Biden to work to seal and secure the border by enforcing existing immigration laws and by putting commonsense policies, like Title 42, back in place.
The transcript of Senator Britt remarks follows:
I went to the border three times so far in my tenure in the United States Senate. I want to put that in perspective for you. So, three times in two months, whereas Joe Biden has only been three hours in two years. And when we went, we asked for the real, unvarnished truth. What I am here to tell you is that we have a humanitarian and a national security crisis at our border every single day. As a mom, it was gut-wrenching to watch pregnant women attempt to cross the border with multiple tiny children behind them. To look into the eyes of our CBP agents who said, “Look, I pulled a woman from this very river last week who was pregnant with twins – she drowned.” As a mom, to sit across from a young woman who told me it wasn’t that she was raped every day, it was how many times a day she was raped at the hands of the drug cartels. As I’ve traveled the great state of Alabama sitting across from a parent who told me he lost his son to fentanyl poisoning. When in the world is this Administration going to wake up? We must seal and secure our border, put back in policies that just make sense, and that keep Americans safe and our communities strong. Listen, what we are about to see happen over the next few days is going to be catastrophic, but it is nothing that we didn’t know was coming. On January 26, Joe Biden came out and said, “We are ending the public health emergency and Title 42 on May 11.” Now, I want you to pay close attention to this timeline because then on March 9th, he came out with his budget, his budget that cut the Department of Homeland Security by 1%. Now, let me tell you something. President Biden wasn’t afraid of increasing things when he thought they needed to be, because he increased EPA by 19%. That decrease made it even more challenging to secure our border, to combat fentanyl, and to make sure that we put these traffickers in their place and enforce our existing immigration laws. There is no doubt that it is open season for human traffickers, drug cartels, and terrorists. I plead with the Administration: the men and women behind me and in this building, we have real solutions. Come to the table. Let’s secure our border. Let’s put the American people first. Let’s put the safety of our children and communities all across this country before anything else. Thank you.
Video of Senator Britt’s remarks can be viewed here.
This comes after Senator Britt as Ranking Member last week led a Homeland Security Appropriations hearing on fentanyl and human trafficking.
Senator Britt has made border security and the safety of American children, families, and communities a top focus during her first few months in office, including three visits to the border. She continues to lead on this issue, having introduced a robust package of four pieces of legislation and has already cosponsored an additional eight 11 related to the border crisis and the fentanyl crisis, including Senator Marsha Blackburn’s (R-Tenn.) Stop Taxpayer Funding of Traffickers Act; Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) Immigration Parole Reform Act of 2023 and Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act; Senator Ted Budd’s (R-N.C.) Build the Wall Now Act; Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) No Coyote Cash Act and Felony Murder for Deadly Fentanyl Distribution Act; Senator Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) Stopping Border Surges Act; Senator Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) Border Safety and Security Act, Senator John Kennedy’s (R-La.) Fairness in Fentanyl Sentencing Act of 2023; Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-Tex.) Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act; and Senator Tim Scott’s (R-S.C.) FEND Off Fentanyl Act.