Biden Created the Border Crisis. Now, Texas Is Stepping Up to Defend Our Sovereignty.

April 1, 2024

Since taking office three years ago, President Biden has taken every step necessary to make illegal immigration legal. In just his first 100 days, the President took 94 actions to open our border and weaken immigration law, including halting border wall construction, pausing deportations, and ending the successful Remain in Mexico policy. As a result, 9.2 million illegal immigrants—including countless cartel members, violent criminals, and suspected terrorists—have entered our country.

While President Biden continues to push his radical agenda, border states such as Texas are stepping up to do what the administration won’t: secure our border and secure our communities. To see firsthand how Governor Greg Abbott and authorities in the Lone Star State are working to keep Americans safe, last week I visited Eagle Pass, Texas—once a hotspot for illegal entry that has seen a dramatic decrease in migrant encounters.

One of the biggest reasons for the decline: border barriers—including buoys, shipping containers, and razor wire fences that Texas officials have placed in and along the Rio Grande river as part of the state’s Operation Lone Star campaign to deter migrants from illegally entering our country.

Texas Department of Public Safety officials and Border Patrol agents point to these barriers, more than anything else, as the driving force behind the state’s decreasing number of illegal entries: As the state has ramped up its efforts to put in place temporary barriers, illegal border crossings in Texas fell from 149,806 in December to 68,260 in January—a 54 percent decrease. Instead, illegal immigrants are now traveling further west to other border states, such as California and Arizona, that have much weaker restrictions on illegal entry.

At the same time, Texas has deployed thousands of National Guardsmen to the border to help block illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and human trafficking. In total, Texas authorities have apprehended more than 500,000 illegal immigrants and intercepted 467 million lethal doses of fentanyl, among countless other illicit substances.

One thing is clear: Under Republican leadership, Texas is accomplishing so much to secure our border, protect families, and save American lives.

Yet, without support from the Biden administration, the state and its localities face a tremendous burden in defending their communities.

While in Eagle Pass, I heard from ranchers who have had their property destroyed, stolen, or broken into by illegal immigrants crossing into our country from Mexico. In one instance, two migrants broke into a rancher’s home while his 16-year-old daughter was studying at home alone.

Texas law enforcement also warned about the ways cartels are using new technology to aid their smuggling operations, including by using Chinese-owned TikTok to recruit Americans into their human trafficking rings. At the same time, cartels are flying drones into the United States to scope out the location of border agents and redirect their smuggling routes.

More than anything else, authorities in Texas told me that they need more border wall construction, better technology, and additional agents to help combat this threat. But time and again, President Biden has refused to help them. Instead, his administration is suing Texas for placing barriers along the border to prevent illegal entries and for enacting a new state law that empowers local law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants.

Make no mistake: President Biden is targeting Texas because Texans are standing up to his open border policy. And if the President refuses to support the communities on the front line of combating his border crisis, Congress must step up.

That’s why in the U.S. Senate I introduced the Creating Obstructions Necessary to Address Illegal and Nefarious Entry Rapidly (CONTAINER) Act, which would empower border states such as Texas to place temporary barriers on federal land to protect their communities. No state or locality should face lawsuits from the federal government for trying to secure our border and protect the sovereignty of the United States.

I also introduced the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal (CLEAR) Act, which would reaffirm the authority of state and local governments to enforce federal immigration laws by apprehending, detaining, or transferring illegal immigrants to federal custody.

Among its important measures, this legislation would require the Department of Homeland Security to provide grants to state and local governments to help them enforce immigration law and construct detention facilities. It would also require DHS to take illegal aliens into custody within 48 hours after receiving a request from a state or locality and provide the Justice Department with essential information about illegal immigrants who have overstayed their period of stay.

After my visit to Eagle Pass, I know these pieces of legislation would do so much to support border states and communities that are forced to confront the consequences of President Biden’s border crisis every single day. It is far past time Congress took action to help them.