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This past year, we saw the greatest number of illegal border crossings in more than 20 years. Border Patrol agents have estimated that at least two million illegal immigrants have crossed our southern border since Joe Biden took office. That is greater than the entire population of New Hampshire. In fact, the amount of people illegally entering our country each and every month is roughly equal to the population of Nashua or Manchester!

 

When Joe Biden was elected, he promised his liberal base that we would have wide open national borders and, unfortunately, he kept that promise.

 

The border crisis is not just a crisis for border states – it affects all states, including New Hampshire. Mexican drug cartels are exploiting America’s weak immigration laws and porous borders to provide cover to their illicit operations and are flooding our country with their deadly product.  

 

Fentanyl, smuggled across our southern border into the U.S. has become a major problem throughout our state and much of the Northeast. Over the past three years, New Hampshire has averaged 407 opioid related overdose deaths per year and we have seen a 31%increase in non-fatal opioid overdoses in past twelve months. During that time,2/3rds of the overdose deaths involved Fentanyl or other synthetic drugs. This year alone, we’ve seen a 6% increase in Fentanyl related deaths. It is a real problem that affects all Granite Staters and it is a direct result of theBiden-Hassan open border policies.

 

I recently travelled to the southern border by invite from Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas to see the extent of the problem myself.I can tell you that the footage shown on the 5 o’clock news does not do justice the massive challenge we are facing. What we saw and been briefed on is beyond one’s imagination. This a lawless humanitarian crisis that is unparalleled in our nation’s history. 

 

We need real solutions to our border crisis and we need them now!

 

Finish the Wall

One of the first measures that we need to take to get control of the border crisis is to finish the border wall that President Trump started. We’ve seen how successful the wall has been in areas where it has been completed. For example, in San Diego, where wealthy, politically connected residents were able to get the wall constructed, illegal border crossings are much less frequent and the Mexican Cartels do not operate there. By contrast, in isolated areas, such as Big Bend, illegal immigrants walk across the border in remote areas, spreading out agents and giving the Cartels cover to run illegal drugs across our border.

The Biden Administration, under pressure from the left, ended construction of the wall shortly after his election. We need a new policy - we need to complete the border wall.

 

The state of Texas recently announced that they were deploying state resources to complete the wall at the border. It is an absolute travesty that we, as a nation, are relying on a single state to do the work of the Federal government.

 

End “Catch and Release”Policies

The biggest takeaway that I received from the brave men and women patrolling our border is that the problems at our border are caused by poor policy decisions made thousands of miles away in Washington DC.

 

When the Biden Administration took office, they returned to a failed policy of “Catch and Release.” This policy allows for illegal immigrants who are seeking asylum protection in theU.S. to be released into the communities while awaiting a court hearing. This is a multi-step judicial process that can take up to two years. Meanwhile, these illegal immigrants are granted work permits and other benefits. Once it is time for their final appearance in front of a judge, they simply disappear into the country.

 

Unfortunately, the Mexican drug cartels are extremely well-versed on the loopholes in our asylum laws and coach migrants on how to take advantage of them. We need to end “Catch and Release”and ensure that these people are kept in custody once they are first detained.

 

We also need to update our asylum laws to allow for applications to be made prior to entering the country.Many nations allow for the asylum application process to begin when the asylum seeker reaches a “safe” country. However, current U.S. law only allows application for asylum when on American soil. And once that application process has started, the asylum seeker can no longer be removed from the country. By allowing asylum application outside of American borders, we can prevent the issues related to “Catch and Release” by stopping the asylum seeker from entering into the country in the first place.

 

Provide proper resources to our agents

I was recently briefed about a Border Patrol agent that encountered an illegal immigrant that was injured jumping a border wall. The agent responded and brought him in for medical care.Unfortunately, the illegal immigrant attacked the agent resulting in an injured agent and a deceased illegal immigrant. I was told that with proper resources, it would have been possible to avoid this horrible result.

 

Ensuring proper resources for our Border Patrol agents is not only for our security - it is critical for the safety of our agents and those attempting to enter our country illegally.

 

We are currently seeing multiple states, such as Florida and Tennessee, sending their own state resources to aid in securing the southern border. This responsibility should not fall on the states. While I applaud these states for doing this, it is the job of the Federal government, not the states to provide these resources. The states need these resources back home and the federal government needs to step up and do its job.

 

Increase Prosecution Rate

A major challenge that has long burdened our immigration system is the low rate of prosecution for those who are apprehended at our border.  A Border Patrol agent shared with me that while he had apprehended hundreds of illegal border crossers during his years on the job, only two of them were ever prosecuted. This is simply unacceptable.

 

The failure of prosecution isa product of our big federal bureaucracy getting in the way. There are simply too many federal agencies that are dependent on other federal agencies to do their job. The Border Patrol apprehends illegal border crossers, but they are dependent on the Federal Department of Justice to prosecute. When the DOJ does not have the resources to prosecute, they simply decline, and those that have violated our laws go unpunished.  If there are no consequences to violating our federal immigration laws, outside of spending one day under arrest, these crimes will continue to happen.

 

We need to ensure that theDepartment of Justice has the resources it needs to pursue these prosecutions and we need to ensure that these prosecutions are taking place as a deterrent to other would-be border crossers.