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Republican Lawmakers Unveil Package to Secure US Southern Border

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: (L-R) Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-TN), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS) hold a news conference to introduce new immigration and border legislation at the U.S. Capitol on April 27, 2023 in Washington, DC. Blaming President Joe Biden and his Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for all the problems on the southwest border, Republicans said their proposed bill will be up for a vote in the House in two weeks. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Republican lawmakers revealed on Thursday that five of the nine sectors of the southern border of the United States are controlled by Mexican cartels.

House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green (R-Tenn), Vice Chairman Michael Guest (R-Miss.), Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) held a joint press conference on April 27 to announce a new border security bill being moved out of committee and to the House floor.

During the press conference, Green, a physician, businessman and combat veteran, outlined some of the damage that has been incurred during the Biden administration. The lawmaker asserted that the majority of border sectors are presently controlled by cartels, allowing for drug and human trafficking to run rampant.

Additionally, the Tennessee Republican said that, since Biden took office in January 2021, more than six million migrants have come across the United States border, which is more than the population of 25 states and more than every migrant under the Obama and Trump administrations combined.

He also said the administration did away with 89 policies under previous presidents that would have kept illegal immigration at bay, and let the return agreements with multiple countries lapse.

“This is intentional,” Green said of the change in border policies. “The drug cartels are seizing the day to get more fentanyl in here and make more money … Every single American is at risk for these ridiculous open door policies. Well, we’ve had enough.”

Green seemed to be referencing a Committee Field Hearing in McAllen, Texas, where Border Patrol Raul Ortiz said, “Cartels control an awful lot on the southern border, south of the United States.”

“We’ve seen across the southwest border, nine sectors, and out of those nine sectors, four of them have significant resources … But in five of those nine southwest border sectors, we have seen an increase in flow, and that has caused a considerable strain on our resources and really has forced the Border Patrol to move agents and even migrants to some of the other areas.

“And so, I have to move resources into those five southwest border sectors, and that forces me to make some adjustments across the entire 2,000 miles of the southwest border.”

Scalise said in his comments that the lack of a secure border has led to the fentanyl and other drug-related deaths of 300 Americans per day, and that the United States lost 100,000 individuals to fentanyl and similar drugs last year.

“What President Biden has done to open up the southern border has created a multibillion-dollar industry for the drug cartels in Mexico,” Scalise said. “President Biden is providing billions of dollars to the drug cartels in Mexico who now have operational control over our southern border. Every American ought to be outraged about that.”

The group introduced their Border Reinforcement Act of 2023 (H.R. 2794), co-sponsored by all Homeland Security Republicans, saying it provides solutions to restore order at the Southwest border and prevent future harm to operational preparedness to the country’s northern and marine borders.

According to the lawmakers’ introduction of the legislation, it was developed using first-hand information gathered during the committee’s border trips to El Paso, Texas; hearings, including a field hearing with U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz in Pharr, Texas; and conversations with numerous Border Patrol agents, border communities, and everyday Americans.

The act proposes resuming the border wall’s construction, which the present administration stopped. It also expands Border Patrol’s staff to 22,000 agents to address frontline needs, and prioritizes updating and improving CBP technology to keep field agents safe.

The act also requires the Department of Homeland Security to reveal to Congress and make public all monthly statistics, including monthly known “gotaways” figures, on or before the 7th of each month.

Additionally, it provides retention bonuses for U.S. Border Patrol agents who achieve specific conditions to safeguard the nation, and funds local law enforcement in land and marine border states to improve border security.

Finally, the act restricts CBP One app usage by restoring its original purpose and prohibiting DHS from utilizing it for non-commercial reasons, including immigration processing.

Just before the end of the press conference, Scalise again touched on the damage of an uncontrolled border, saying, “We’ve seen it, the rapes, the human trafficking, not only the deaths … [but] they’re making billions of dollars off the trafficking.

“Trafficking is disgusting. Joe Biden ought to be disgusted about it. Biden can do something about it. He created this problem. He needs to work with us to solve this problem.”

Source: ntd