We’re Once Again Facing A Crisis

March 15, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) spoke on the Senate floor about the crisis along the southern border, which has grown exponentially since the implementation of President Biden’s policies.

To watch Senator Blackburn’s speech, click below or here.

You can read the transcript recorded in the Congressional Records below or click here.

MRS. BLACKBURN: Thank you, Madam President.

The southern border. The situation at our southern border has

devolved into chaos. That is what I am hearing from some of my former

House colleagues who have been on that border today.

According to them, we are once again facing a crisis. Thirteen days

ago, Customs and Border Protection announced that they were deploying

more agents to help manage the spike and apprehensions of adults and

unaccompanied alien children.

Then, last Monday, news broke that Homeland Security Secretary

Alejandro Mayorkas had sent an email to DHS staff begging for

volunteers to go to the border and help with logistics and humanitarian

aid.

It is obvious they need help on the border. In January alone, the

Customs and Border Patrol detained nearly 78,000 people--more than

double the number of apprehensions in January of 2020.

In February, that number jumped to more than 100,000 arrests and

detentions. CBP took more than 9,000 unaccompanied minors into custody

that month, prompting the administration to open two overflow detention

centers to house them.

Listen to these numbers: 100,000 arrests and detentions in February;

9,000 unaccompanied minors being taken into custody that month--having

to open 2 overflow detention centers.

New data released last Wednesday shows that our agents are now

detaining more than 4,000 people along the border every single day--

4,000 every day.

Our facilities and resources are exhausted, and so are the agents

responsible for controlling this out-of-control situation.

It did not have to be this way. Secretary Mayorkas has accused the

Trump administration of ``dismantling our Nation's immigration

system.'' That is his quote. But if he wants to know who is really

responsible, he should look to the current White House.

I have stated time and again how disastrous President Biden's policy

of governing by Executive fiat has been. Thirty-four Executive orders

in his first 50 days--34.

Also, he has suspended construction of the border wall, jeopardizing

our national security. He has embraced DACA. He halted most

deportations. He cut domestic immigration arrests by 60 percent and

dismantled the migrant protection protocols.

This administration threw our existing immigration law out the window

and let the world know that when it comes to illegal entry, not only

will we look the other way, this administration is encouraging them to

come. Even their Cabinet nominees are playing by these new rules of

encouraging individuals to break our laws, to come to the country

illegally. They are encouraging this.

Last week, this Chamber voted to discharge Xavier Becerra's

nomination from committee. I voted no. He is one of the most flagrant

offenders out there when it comes to sending these signals. He has

openly admitted he would like to decriminalize illegal entry and offer

Medicaid to anyone who manages to get across the border.

They have made a lot of promises that they know they are not going to

be able to live up to, and now they are trying to walk it all

back, walk back the hope that sparked in thousands of people because

they have heard that the border was going to be open. They are even

wearing the T-shirts with the slogan, ``Biden, let us in.''

They are going to have to walk back the mess that is there on the

border, and I am fearful and concerned that their walk-backs are not

going to work because from what we are hearing about the border, they

have lost control of that border.

I look forward to traveling to the border for a briefing on the

situation. This administration does not want their critics to see what

is happening down there. There are days you would think they have got a

news blackout going at the border.

This isn't just a problem in Texas or California or Arizona or New

Mexico. Every town is a border town and every State is a border State

because of the drugs, the human trafficking, sex trafficking, and gangs

that are streaming across our border.

You know, it means that no matter how hard you try, you can't hide

the tragedy that inevitably unfolds when your immigration policy is to

have zero immigration policy at all, just open the border and let them

come.

I yield the floor.