Congressman Smith Capitol Report: My Trip To Biden’s Border
This past week I joined a congressional delegation down to the U.S./Mexico border to see what was happening for myself. Let me tell you: there’s a big difference between hearing about the border crisis on the news and seeing it with your own eyes. What has happened should anger everyone, regardless of political belief. Before I went, I thought the Biden administration was pursuing a policy of open borders – but I realized on my trip this administration is acting like there is no border at all.
On my trip, I saw sections of the border where wall construction was completely abandoned by the Biden Administration, where rebar and construction materials were rusting in piles on the ground. Despite the materials being ready to go to secure our border once and for all, our border agents made clear that without a completed wall, they must work longer and harder to try and stem the flow of immigrants thanks to the President’s policies.
It is also a misconception that solely Mexican and Central Americans are crossing our southern border. Just in the few minutes our delegation was standing there, we witnessed people from Romania and from India attempt to cross the border. The truth is foreign nationals from all over the world know our southern border is far from secure and are exploiting a massive loophole in our national security.
And the drug cartels are the ones who are profiting from this loophole the most. On my visit, Border Patrol shared that 93,000 pounds of methamphetamines were recovered at the San Diego station alone last year. And that’s just the amount of drugs that were seized from legal ports of entry. Think about how much is currently likely crossing through Biden’s border gaps.
People are risking their lives, contracting serious illnesses, and sacrificing themselves to international drug cartels because of the mistaken belief that they will be given a path to citizenship if they make it to America. Make no mistake: the rest of the world listened when Joe Biden made clear he no longer planned to enforce our country’s border security laws.
This crisis began last year when Joe Biden laid out his intention to roll back some of President Trump’s efforts to secure our border. Just three hours into his presidency, Joe Biden abandoned wall construction, reinstated catch-and-release, and ended the remain-in-Mexico policy. This has resulted in a massive crush of migrants making the trip to the border.
By the first week of April in 2021, the United States had already surpassed border encounters when compared to all of 2020 and there are no signs of it slowing down. More people illegally crossed our border in March alone than the entire population of Springfield, Missouri. There were over 178,000 apprehensions reported at the border in April, the highest amount in 20 years and a 944% increase compared to this time last year, But despite these massive numbers, the administration refuses to call the situation a crisis – and both the president and vice president have yet to visit the border.
At the end of March, the House Budget Committee held a hearing where I was able to press the government watchdog - the Government Accountability Office, to confirm that Joe Biden in fact broke the law when he abandoned border wall construction. This was funding that was appropriated on a bipartisan basis for a specific purpose, and the fact is Joe Biden can’t just unilaterally change the law. I am also leading the Budget Committee to press the administration to come clean with the American people on how much this crisis is costing the American people and the hundreds of millions, if not billions, that has already been spent.
Joe Biden’s policies are a disastrous combination: encouraging illegal immigration while increasing foreign aid to some of the most corrupt countries in the world that do nothing to stop it. It’s a recipe for disaster, and that’s exactly what we are facing.
Congressman Jason Smith, R-MO, represents Rolla in Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District.