Jenny Beth Martin: Congress Must Take Our Border Crisis More Seriously
Nearly three weeks have passed since our government shut down over Democrats’ refusal to secure our southern border. Since then, President Trump has fought for a solution and worked to engage with Democrat leadership. Still, Democrats in Congress refuse to take our border crisis seriously, leaving the safety of American communities in jeopardy.
The problems at our southern border are a true humanitarian crisis; just look at the numbers. Roughly 85 percent of the 60,000 migrants who arrived at our border during each of the past three months illegally crossed into the United States.
Meanwhile, U.S. Border Patrol seized more than 457,000 pounds of illicit drugs — including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and fentanyl — being trafficked into our country just between Oct. 2017 and Aug. 2018.
Illegal immigration is destructive to the American communities impacted by drug trafficking and transnational crime. It puts a strain on law enforcement resources and burdens our nation’s legal immigration system, with immigration courts facing a backlog of over 786,000 pending cases in fiscal 2018.
In other words, our nation’s broken immigration system and weak borders are hurting the countless individuals who have chosen to respect the rule of law and wait their turn to pursue the American dream.
As President Trump said in his Tuesday night address from the Oval Office, “America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation. But all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled, illegal migration.”
That is why the president continues to ask Democrats to work with his administration on an agreement that would fund both the government and a wall on our southern border. His proposal makes sense: $5.7 billion in border security funding to build a physical barrier, hire immigration judges, border patrol agents, and law enforcement personnel, and provide humanitarian resources.
Walls work. The wall built in 1992 in San Diego led to a 92 percent reduction in apprehensions of illegal border crossers over 23 years. The wall built in El Paso in 1993 led to a 95 percent reduction in apprehensions of illegal border crossers over 22 years. The wall built in Tucson in 2000 led to a 90 percent reduction in apprehensions of illegal border crossers over 15 years. And the wall built in Yuma in 2005 led to a 95 percent reduction in apprehensions of illegal border crossers over 9 years.
The president’s request contains provisions similar to those Democrats supported just a few short years ago: Many of them have previously voted to provide billions for border security and build a fence as a barrier between the United States and Mexico.
But Democrats in Congress are no longer interested in finding lasting solutions to a humanitarian crisis — even though portions of a wall are already being built and completed at our southern border.
Democrats have made no secret of the fact that they want nothing short of open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens, at the expense of communities hurt by gang violence and criminals shielded by sanctuary city policies.
Instead of protecting Americans, they have chosen to double down on their obstruction with a proposal that would direct billions in excess, unnecessary funding to foreign governments and aid programs that do not serve the American people.
Democrats’ resistance to finding a solution and their support for harmful policies continue to work against Americans’ interests. If they truly wanted to do their jobs and help our country, they would join President Trump to reach an agreement with our nation’s security in mind – one that funds our government and secures our southern border.
Jenny Beth Martin is chairman of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.