A group of Republican senators, including John Barrasso, Ted Cruz, and Pete Ricketts, have raised concerns about national security during a press conference. They criticized the Biden administration’s border policies, which they argue have created a situation that poses an increased threat of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Senator Barrasso, the Senate Republican Conference chairman, emphasized the urgency of addressing the situation, stating that Border Patrol agents have discovered immigrants carrying explosive devices tailored for terrorism. While no specific incidents were mentioned, these claims highlight concerns about the potential misuse of the border crisis by individuals with ill intent.
Senator Cruz, who has led multiple groups of lawmakers to southwest Texas, noted that Border Patrol agents are frustrated. He highlighted that agents often apprehend dangerous individuals, only for them to be released by their superiors. Cruz also pointed out that minors are frequently accompanied by older men, and there is uncertainty about their actual relationship with the child. He cited previous instances under the Trump administration where DNA tests revealed that around 30% of adults were not related to the children they claimed to be with.
During a hearing in the Senate Homeland Committee, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas confirmed that there were over 600,000 “gotaways” at the border in fiscal year 2023. These individuals were not apprehended by Border Patrol and entered the country without being processed.
The Biden administration recently requested an additional $14 billion in funding for border operations, aiming to enhance processing, support for states and communities where migrants are released, and additional agents. However, Republican lawmakers argue that this request fails to address the core problem of the ongoing flow of migrants and the exploitation of the system by criminal organizations.
Senator Cornyn contended that there are no consequences associated with illegal entry into the United States, and criminal organizations have learned to exploit the system. While Congress prepares to negotiate a supplemental funding package, Republican lawmakers are pushing for changes to ensure tighter border security. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has emphasized the need for credible border security provisions in any funding package to address the ongoing border crisis and its national security implications.
Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn
Utah senator Mike Lee
— The Border Observer (@borderObserver) October 28, 2023