WASHINGTON, D.C., September 21, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.), the Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee for the Senate Committee on Appropriations, joined a group of colleagues this week at a press conference to highlight how the Biden Administration’s disastrous border policies and continued denial of this national security crisis have incentivized illegal immigration and created a safe haven for terrorists.
The press conference was led by Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and included Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Hoeven (R-N.Dak.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
Since President Biden took office, there have been more than 7 million illegal crossings at the southern border, including more than 1.5 million known “gotaways.”
Just yesterday alone, there were more than 10,000 encounters at the border, and daily encounters have been more than 9,000 for four consecutive days.
A transcript of Senator Britt’s remarks from the press conference this week follows:
I want to thank Senator Hagerty for getting all of us together, and also want to encourage anyone who hasn’t read his op-ed to do so. It clearly lays out what President Biden’s intentions are, and it is not to secure the border. It is to, rather, further continued migration into this nation into a space where it is unsustainable.
If you look back over his administration, there have been 2.3 million people that have come here (last fiscal year alone). Guys, you need to put that in perspective. Alabama is the 24th largest state in the nation, and that is about half of our population of 5 million. That was the last fiscal year alone. If you look at the total compilation to this point in his administration, we’re at about 7 million.
To what you heard earlier from my colleagues, we’re hitting about 9,000 migrants at our border a day. At the current rate, we will hit 3 million in this next fiscal year alone. That’s over 10 million migrants who have come here illegally, across our border, during President Biden’s tenure.
Now listen, we’ve got to put real policies in place that make change. We’ve got to secure our border. You heard Senator Ernst talk about the unused portions of the border [wall] that we have all seen. Listen, President Biden knows that walls work, because he’s building one around his beach house in Delaware, quite secure. But yet, not affording everyday Americans that same respect.
We’ve got to do more. You heard Senator Capito talk about 6 million people being in our interior right now under ICE. We only have 6,000 ICE agents. That’s where we need to be investing our money, not in NGOs, where we create a shinier object for the drug cartels to use to lure people here. What’s happening is we’ve created an environment where human traffickers, drug cartels, and terrorists rule the day.
Over 844 people died at the border last year, and you all read the story about an 8-year-old drowning. As a mom, that is completely and totally gut-wrenching and unacceptable. I have talked to women who have not just told me that they were raped, but they’ve told me how many times a day they were raped at the hands of the drug cartels.
You look at the drug cartels and what they’ve done with fentanyl in every community around this great nation. Last year alone in Alabama, we had to use Narcan 15 times the first two months of our school year because of overdoses on campus. There is a mom, a dad, a brother, a sister, a cousin who is sitting around a dining room table tonight who is missing somebody because President Biden will not do his job.
And then you look at terrorists. The numbers here don’t lie guys. Look at the last administration. The last administration, in that total time span of those four years, do you know how many people we found on the wanted terrorist watch list at the border? Eight. Do you know how many people on the terrorist watch list that we have caught at the border in the [current] fiscal year alone? And we’re not finished yet. 244.
Because of President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, he has created a hotbed of terrorism and now the American people are paying the price. We must do something, and I commend my colleagues for standing here, once again, and we just hope our other colleagues on the other side of the aisle will wake up, join forces, and do something for the American people. Our children are counting on it.
Video of the full press conference can be found here.
Senator Britt has made border security and the safety of American children, families, and communities a top focus during her first several months in office. Recently, she joined Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and 25 colleagues in introducing the Secure the Border Act. Senator Britt earlier this year introduced a robust package of four pieces of legislation and has cosponsored an additional 12 related to the topic, 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 Cruz’s Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act; Senator Tim Scott’s (R-S.C.) FEND Off Fentanyl Act; and Senator John Cornyn’s (R-Tex.) joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to strike down President Biden’s Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule.
High quality video of Senator Britt’s remarks can be downloaded for media usage here.