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April 12, 2021

Barrasso: There are Two Crises at our Southern Border

“Border Patrol agents told me directly: Finish the wall and bring back the Remain in Mexico policy. Until we do, the jobs of the Border Patrol agents are going to get tougher and tougher.”

Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) spoke on the Senate floor about his recent trip to the southern border to see the humanitarian crisis and national security crisis firsthand.

Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:

“I come to the floor to talk about the crisis on our southern border.

“The senator from Alabama and I traveled together along with Senator Cruz and Senator Cornyn, just a few weeks ago, we had a total of 19 senators, that went to see the crisis firsthand.

“In fact, it’s not just one crisis: it’s a double crisis. It’s a national security crisis as well as a humanitarian crisis.

“We went on a midnight patrol. What did we see? We saw and we heard the catcalls, traffickers who were taunting our U.S. Border Patrol agents. Saying in Spanish, ‘you cannot stop us now.’

“We saw signs on the ground directing migrants to the facilities where they will then turn themselves in.

“We spoke to the Border Patrol agents. They told us their jobs got an awful lot harder on January 20, when Joe Biden became President of the United States.

“President Biden flipped over the sign and sent the clear message around the world, it said: the United States border is now wide open.

“Because of that clear message, Border Patrol arrests and detentions have doubled since January.

“In March, Border Patrol took 171,000 migrants into custody.

“Nearly 19,000 of those were unaccompanied children.

“That’s an all-time record in the United States. The pace that we’re on now is to get to 2 million illegal immigrants crossing our border this very year.

“According to the secretary of Homeland Security, nominated by President Biden, this is the most in 20 years.

“The Biden White House has essentially told the world: anyone under 18 can cross our border, and we will let you in.

“It is no surprise that today we’re seeing a historic influx of children and teenagers crossing our border.

“Two-thirds of Border Patrol agents can’t do their regular jobs because they are too busy babysitting these children, or escorting adults to the areas where they will turn themselves in.

“More children today are now in Border Patrol custody than ever before.

“At a time of a global pandemic, I will tell you as I was there with the senators at a location designed for 250 immigrants during coronavirus, there were 7,000 crammed in like sardines, with foil blankets to huddle under. No social distancing, none at all.

“That is a Biden created, humanitarian crisis.

“Under the law, children can only be in Border Patrol custody for 72 hours. We wouldn’t want our own children there for 72 minutes. Yet there are thousands in custody for over ten days.

“About 10 percent of the young people who are being tested, are testing positive for the coronavirus.

“We watched the testing in the court yard where I was. They were all together and then they tested some, and if you test negative you go that way, and if you test positive, you go that way. But absolutely every one of them was exposed to each other. So that fact that 10 percent were testing positive it’s highly likely that the remainder will test positive as well.

“What is the Biden administration doing about that? They’re sending those young people, those just exposed to coronavirus, sending them all across the country.

“And so this is a humanitarian crisis. It is also a national security crisis.

“The Department of Homeland Security has arrested two men from the country of Yemen who are on the Terrorist Watch List.

“Border Patrol says they’re apprehending people not just from Central America or Mexico, they have apprehended people from 56 different countries there at the border since President Biden has taken the oath of office.

“Last week, Border Patrol agents outside San Diego arrested a member of MS-13, one of the most vicious criminal gangs in the world.

“These are just a couple of examples that we know about. Imagine the things we don’t know about.

“That’s what I hear about in Wyoming. I’ve just been home for two weeks talking to people and this is the number one topic that I heard about traveling the state of Wyoming.

“We have two crises at our Southern Border: A humanitarian crisis and a national security crisis.

“President Biden has caused both. President Biden can stop them.

“Yet the Biden Administration is still in denial. It refuses to even admit that there is a crisis.

“President Biden still hasn’t been to the border. Neither has the Vice President, and she is supposed to be in charge of finding a solution to the problem.

“Once again I call on President Biden and Vice President Harris to go to the border and face the truth.

“The president and vice president should talk to the Border Patrol agents, they should hear the stories like we heard from them.

“Border patrol agents told me directly: finish the wall and bring back the Remain in Mexico policy, because those are things that will make a difference.

“Until we do those two things, the jobs of the Border Patrol agents are going to get tougher and tougher. The vast majority of the American people support the Border Patrol

“According to the Associated Press, only one in four Americans approve of how President Biden is handling the border situation.

“President Biden should listen to the American people. We need to change at the border and we need it today. Our national security cannot wait.

“Republicans are going to continue to offer common-sense solutions that will make a real difference at the border.

“We want to finish the wall, and we want to bring back the Remain in Mexico policy. We want to stem this humanitarian crisis and national security crisis that is facing our nation today.

“We stand for enforcing the law, for closing the loopholes that encourage illegal immigration, and we want to secure the border.

“I urge President Biden and all of my Democrat colleagues to face the facts. Join us in our effort.

“It’s time to bring this crisis to an end.”