Border Walls Work

April 8, 2024

In just his first 100 days in office, President Biden issued 94 executive actions to reverse President Trump’s successful border policies and weaken our nation. Among them, few have been as harmful to Tennessee and America as the President’s decision to halt construction of the southern border wall, leaving hundreds of miles of the border unprotected.

At the time, the President claimed that continuing construction of the wall was “not a serious policy solution” and a “waste of money.” Since then, over 9.2 million illegal aliens have entered our country, costing American taxpayers as much as $451 billion a year, including $50 million a year just for the Biden administration to store unused Trump-era border wall material.

In the face of this crisis, however, the Biden administration has refused to change course, doubling down on the same broken policies that are making illegal immigration legal. Just last October—the same month more than 240,000 illegal immigrants crossed our southern border—Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claimed that there would be “no more wall construction” under his watch. Meanwhile, President Biden has repeatedly claimed that border walls fail to stop illegal immigration.

Thankfully, Governor Greg Abbott and authorities in Texas are proving the Biden administration wrong every single day with their Operation Lone Star campaign.

As part of the state’s efforts to deter illegal immigration, Texas law enforcement has placed buoys, shipping containers, and razor wire fences in and along the Rio Grande to prevent illegal immigrants from entering our country.

Late last month, I visited Eagle Pass, Texas, to see the state’s border security in action, and Texas authorities pointed to these temporary barriers as the driving force behind the Lone Star State’s declining number of illegal entries.

In fact, as Texas has bolstered its border barriers, migrants are traveling further west to states with weaker border protection, such as California and Arizona, to illegally enter the United States. As a result, illegal immigration into Texas dropped by 54 percent between December and January. In the Del Rio sector, which includes Eagle Pass, illegal entries fell by 76 percent.

Texas’s success with combating illegal immigration proves the obvious: Border walls work.

While the Biden administration pretends otherwise, this fact should come as no surprise. Border walls—from Ancient Athens to the Great Wall of China—have protected cities and nations for thousands of years. Today, border barriers are used on nearly every continent on earth to protect countries from illegal entry, drug smuggling, and terrorism.

Often, these border walls benefit our allies most of all. For more than seven decades, for example, South Korea’s border barrier has been essential to Seoul’s security against Communist North Korea.

While the circumstances may differ, all border walls have one thing in common: They help to prevent people from illegally entering a country. And in America, we are in desperate need of this protection.

Since President Biden’s inauguration, thousands of pounds of lethal fentanyl, hundreds of individuals on the terror watch list, and more than 30,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records have entered our country.

In total, under President Biden more than 1.7 million known “gotaways”—illegal immigrants who evade apprehension—have entered our country. On Easter Sunday alone, almost 1,000 of these migrant gotaways crossed our border, and we have no idea who these people are or what they are doing in our country.

Every day, we see the tragic consequences of President Biden’s open border policy. Just last month, an illegal immigrant—who was deported by President Trump in late 2020 before reentering the United States—shot and killed a 25-year-old woman during an attempted carjacking in Michigan, leaving the young victim’s body on the side of a highway.

This tragedy should never happen to anyone. That’s why, in the U.S. Senate, I have 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 our communities, especially from criminal migrants.

If President Biden refuses to do his job and protect the American people, it is imperative that we support the border states and communities that are stepping up to do the job he won’t: securing the border and building the wall.