Mike Garcia | Biden Must Take Responsibility for Border

Mike Garcia
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Last month, a group of House Republicans visited the southern border to shine a light on the ongoing national security and humanitarian crisis. This week, Congress impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to hold the administration accountable for that ongoing crisis. 

I’ve visited the border multiple times – which I encourage all my congressional colleagues to do – and I voted in favor of Mayorkas’ impeachment, but I want to be very clear: The unmitigated disaster at our southern border begins and ends in the Oval Office.

The fundamental function of our federal government is to ensure the safety of its citizens. Therefore, it is the responsibility of our commander in chief to protect the American people and secure America’s borders. President Joe Biden has fundamentally failed in this all-important duty.

This administration has consistently advocated for and implemented open-border policies that put the American people in harm’s way.

How can the executive branch support and implement weak border policies that allow the mass import of illegal fentanyl? In 2020, border officials seized 4,600 pounds of fentanyl along the southern border. Fast forward three years into Biden’s presidency: That number skyrocketed by 480% to a shocking 26,700 pounds. This illegal drug is poisoning and killing 300 Americans every single day, and last year it took 80 precious souls in our district alone.

How can the executive branch support and implement weak border policies that allow the illegal entry of migrants on the terrorism watch list? In the 2022 fiscal year, 98 people on the terrorist watch list crossed our border – that’s nearly four times higher than the previous five years combined. In November 2023 alone, Border Patrol encountered 17 individuals on the terror watch list. 

How can the executive branch support and implement weak border policies for three years and then point its finger at political opponents when the crisis becomes politically unmanageable? On Biden’s very first day in office, he issued four executive orders and announced two policy proposals that actively weakened our nation’s border security. In total, he has manipulated the federal bureaucracy to open our borders on more than 60 occasions.

America’s leaders should seek to expand the security of the American people, not erode it. True stewards of security do not simply hope for peace and then point fingers when they’re predictably disappointed – they take responsibility, work to make their weaknesses their strengths, and then make their strengths known to their adversaries. This is how you deter the inevitability of bad actors taking dangerous action.

I recognize there is no silver-bullet solution to a national security and humanitarian crisis of this magnitude. This crisis didn’t happen overnight or by accident, and the solution won’t come overnight, either. But the House last year passed the Secure the Border Act, the strongest and most comprehensive border security legislation in decades. The Senate refuses to vote on this bill, but there is still considerable action Biden could take today that would help secure the border and make our communities safer.

The executive branch has ample authority to take a range of actions to stem the flow of illegal immigration, deadly fentanyl, and terror suspects across our southern border. Today, the president could end catch-and-release policy; reinstate the remain-in-Mexico policy; enter into asylum cooperative agreements; end parole authorities; detain inadmissible aliens; use expedited removal; reign in taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal aliens; and issue a proclamation to suspend or restrict entry.

Our commander in chief has a moral and legal responsibility to ensure the security of our border and safety of the American people. Now he needs to accept this responsibility, use his existing authority as president, and do all he can to reverse this undeniable catastrophe of his own making. 

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, represents the 27th Congressional District, which includes the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.

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