Biden is putting states on clean-up duty
Published 3:39 pm Friday, August 26, 2022
Over the last several months, Americans have watched news broadcasts and cell phone videos of buses filled with illegal immigrants traveling cross-country from the southern border. This footage, while dramatic, does not exaggerate the severity of the situation. The chaos creeping into our communities is just one of the many dangerous consequences of Joe Biden’s open border agenda.
Since the start of the fiscal year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has arrested 1.82 million illegal immigrants, and they are on track to hit two million by the end of September. We have evidence that cartel members, gang leaders, and known terrorists have concealed themselves in the large waves of migrants, and that some (but not all) of them have made it into the country. CBP reports that since last October, they have arrested at least 66 migrants listed in the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB). This influx has created a security and humanitarian disaster and put a tremendous strain on state resources. In the Lone Star State, which has long been the busiest hub along the U.S.-Mexico border, more crossings have meant spending more taxpayer money to do the federal government’s job. Texas officials are currently sending busloads of migrants to Washington, D.C. and New York City to prevent limited state resources from running dry.
In Tennessee, the increase in illegal immigration has put a heavy burden on law enforcement. Just this month in Chattanooga, a McDonald’s employee called the police after she caught illegal immigrants harassing customers for spare change. Beyond petty crime, deadlier than normal drugs have made it into the hands of local dealers, courtesy of cartel mules. Illegal drugs laced with fentanyl are now responsible for 79% of drug overdose deaths in Nashville. When I talk with sheriffs about the impact of drug trafficking in Tennessee, they tell me what they used to measure in ounces, they now measure in pounds.
Against all odds, state, county, and city leaders have done a tremendous job managing the effects of illegal immigration. Meanwhile, Biden is desperate to make local leaders’ jobs more difficult. The “Biden Welcome Package” for illegal immigrants includes free healthcare, free transportation, and free phones; if that wasn’t enough, this month Biden ended President Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy which was crucial to deterring illegal border crossings. Under Joe Biden’s watch, every town is a border town, and every state is a border state. In Tennessee, leaders are finding new ways to address these challenges, and on Capitol Hill, I joined legislation to stop drugs from flowing into Appalachia and prevent the Biden Welcome Package from getting even bigger.
What we are seeing on TV screens, on social media, and in our towns isn’t the result of state-level mismanagement. It’s the result of Joe Biden’s open border agenda. If Biden has any chance of fixing the damage he caused, he needs to stop encouraging illegal immigration and start securing the border.
(Marsha Blackburn represents Tennessee in the U.S. Senate)