Biden’s New Border Funding Will Do Nothing to Solve Border Crisis, Say Lawmakers
On October 20, President Biden delivered a formal request to Congress for approval of a $105 billion emergency funding package for Ukraine and Israel, which includes $14 billion for “border operations.” Lawmakers are warning that the funding request for the southern border does not address failures in the Biden administration’s underlying border policies, which they say have contributed to “the worst border crisis in our history.”
Included in the request is $4.4 billion for “holding facilities and reimbursement of support from the Pentagon” and DNA collection, as well as $1.9 billion for HHS to “to support eligible arrivals and unaccompanied children.” Another $1.4 billion is allotted for “shelter and services for migrants released from DHS custody.” An additional $1.6 billion would fund 1,300 extra Border Patrol agents, 1,600 asylum officers, 300 processing coordinators, and 1,470 attorneys and support staff. Also requested is $1.4 billion for additional immigration judges.
“Nothing in this request would change any of the policies that have given us the worst border crisis we’ve seen in American history,” said Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Tuesday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins.”
The senator went on to give an overview of what has occurred at the southern border since Biden took office.
“[W]e’ve seen roughly seven million migrants coming across the border, [and] most don’t have any legitimate claim to be here,” he observed. “But because of the volume of cases, the backlog in the immigration courts, many of them have been released into the interior of the country and may or may not ever end up in front of an immigration judge. And then there’s the 108,000 Americans [who] died of drug overdoses last year, 300,000 children who are essentially lost to the Biden administration — unaccompanied children placed with sponsors.”
Cornyn also expressed concern that Biden’s border policies are degrading America’s national security due to the unknown amount of individuals with terrorism intentions who may have entered the country undetected.
“The easiest way to get into the United States these days, if you’re a foreign national, is not to get a visa; it’s to show up at the foreign border and claim asylum,” he explained. “Indeed, one border sector, the Yuma sector, a sleepy little agricultural community, told us that they have welcomed people from 147 different countries in the last year alone. So this is a notorious problem. But the Biden administration apparently doesn’t care, because if they cared, they would do something about it. And I’d be happy to help them. But they don’t seem to care.”
Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) echoed Cornyn’s concerns on “Washington Watch” Tuesday. “Because of Joe Biden’s open border policies, we’ve had over 150 known terrorists that have come into our country, and [Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas won’t even tell you if they’ve been released back into our country or deported. … We’ve had 1.6 gotaways. … So, absolutely, we are at high risk for [terrorist] type of activities here.”
Cornyn further emphasized that despite parts of the bill that he and other conservatives support, he cannot give a green light to the whole package due to the Biden administration’s border policies.
“I will not vote to spend one more dime in pursuit of President Biden’s open border policies,” he made clear. “And so what we need is 41 Republicans to tell Senator Schumer [D-N.Y.] that we’re not going to proceed to this bill that will help Israel … until we get something that actually changes the flow of migrants across the border, that sends the message that you can come here by legal means, but if you want to come here by illegal means in the care and custody of the cartels, you’re not going to be able to come anymore.”
Cornyn went on to note that there is an effort underway to separate the funding bills so that taxpayer money is directed to the different causes as efficiently as possible.
“The full Appropriations Committee is going to have a hearing next week, I believe it’s either Tuesday or Wednesday, and hopefully scrub this bill to see what is truly an emergency and what is not,” he explained. “… I think it’s very important for us to continue to support Israel [and] send a message to the world that we have Israel’s back. … But I worry that some of the so-called ‘humanitarian relief’ will be diverted by the United Nations to other causes. So we need to scrub this request down. That’ll start next week, but it’ll be an ongoing process.”
As to what the public can do to help, Cornyn was clear. “Call [your] senator … and say, ‘Do not proceed to this bill until and unless there are actually policy changes in the Biden border policy that will staunch the flow of migrants across the border.’”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.