". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Trafficking, Terrorism, and Trauma: Speaker Johnson Describes What Republicans Saw at the Border

January 5, 2024

During their trip to the southern border, dozens of congressmen saw a spectacle of human traffickers, military-aged men from terrorist nations, and the “unconscionable” indifference of the Biden administration to the cries of its own citizens. They returned ready to use “every ounce” of their influence to protect the victims they saw, said Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.).

“This is my third trip to the border, but it was the largest congressional delegation that’s ever made the trip: 64 House Republicans were there, representing 26 states and one U.S. territory,” said Speaker Johnson on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” the day after Wednesday’s border visit. “It really does make a difference to be there in person, on the ground, talking with the stakeholders: the patriotic, heroic Border Patrol officers and the sheriffs who are charged with keeping order down there.”

“There is no order. … The border is completely open,” he said.

“What we saw was so alarming that it would break the hearts of every American, and it would infuriate them, as well,” Speaker Johnson told Perkins.

At the border, the children suffer first, as the drug cartels which control the passages to the U.S. border use children as decoys or deliberately harm infants for their own aid, he described. When human smugglers approach any border installation, they begin “dropping them into their razor-wire entanglement, so that the Border Patrol agents have to run to rescue the infants and young children, cut the razor wire, and leave a gaping hole for [caravans] to get through in places they weren’t before.”

The process strips children of their God-given human dignity, said Johnson. “We looked into the eyes of young children unaccompanied in these little processing centers just yesterday. They don’t even know their real identities. They literally put stickers on their chest that name them Jane Doe and John Doe, because they don’t even know who they are,” he said.

Under the Biden administration, human smuggling cartels are making $32 million a week, or $1.6 billion a year, from smuggling illegal aliens through the Del Rio sector of the southern border alone, the House Judiciary Committee reported this week. “It is unconscionable that the White House would go along with this, but they are empowering it with their policies,” said Johnson.

Johnson is not alone in raising concerns that the Biden administration’s policies are aiding and abetting traffickers who engage in forced child labor or sexual exploitation. In the name of “family reunification,” the Biden administration sent 18,004 unaccompanied minors to live with non-relatives in 2022, according to a Health and Human Services audit. The Biden administration has since “lost track of almost 100,000 unaccompanied minors,” Johnson noted.

“We stand for the humanity of all people who are made in God’s image,” said Speaker Johnson, an outspoken evangelical Christian. “And right now, they’re being trafficked and abused. And the White House seems not to care.”

The congressional trip came as the United States broke the record for the largest number of illegal border crossings in a single month: In December, Border Patrol agents encountered 302,000 illegal immigrants at the southern border, and an estimated total of 340,000 nationwide, not including those who evaded detections, sources at U.S. Customs and Border Protection revealed. The U.S. has experienced approximately 10 million illegal entries during the Biden administration, as the influx of illegal immigrants steadily transforms America — and renders it more dangerous.

“Among the most startling statistics is that 60% to 70% of the people who are crossing that border are single adult males between the ages of 20 and 40. These are not families in distress and widows who need asylum,” Speaker Johnson told Perkins. “There is no order. … The border is completely open.”

Last year, U.S. officials encountered 736 people on the terrorist watchlist. But, Johnson asked, what of those who got away? “They’re setting up terrorist cells around the country. People are coming across the border in full military fatigues from adversarial nations. It’s absolutely out of control. And Mayorkas and President Biden are personally responsible for it.”

Speaker Johnson and a growing number of Republicans believe an open border is a deliberate policy goal of the Biden administration, not an oversight. “I think they have engineered this chaos. I think these are deliberate policy choices that have created this catastrophe,” he said.

Johnson recounted U.S. law enforcement officers stretched to the breaking point due to the Biden administration’s nonfeasance. “The deputy chief of the U.S. Border Patrol spoke very candidly before all the House Republicans who were assembled there for a meal. And he said, ‘Let me give you an analogy. I feel very much as though my job is to man an open fire hydrant.’ And he said, ‘I don’t need more buckets. I need them to turn the flow off,’” Johnson recalled.

Yet under the Biden administration, “the Border Patrol agents have been converted into processing agents. They are literally operating processing centers, which cost American taxpayers $1 million a day, not including the salaries of all the personnel there to process illegals, bring them into the country, clean them up, give them clothing and all the resources they need.”

Biden’s indifference to border security comes at a high price to U.S. taxpayers, the speaker said. Illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers $150.7 billion a year, according to an estimate from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “We’re spending billions and billions of taxpayer dollars on the health care, education, housing and recreation of people who are just flowing into our country illegally,” Johnson told Perkins, “not to mention all the human trafficking that’s involved, all the fentanyl that’s poisoning our streets of every city in America, and all the other societal ills that flows from it. This must stop.”

Johnson noted he is far from alone in imploring the Biden administration to do something to stanch the flow of illegal immigrants onto American streets. “Some of the most desperate pleas for change are the mayors and governors of these deep-blue states and cities, the sanctuary cities that are being completely overrun by illegals,” Speaker Johnson noted. Democratic mayors Eric Adams of New York City and Brandon Johnson of Chicago have attempted to divert buses of illegal immigrants sent by Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R), enacting policies limiting when and where migrants may be dropped off in their cities. Abbott circumvented these policies by unloading hundreds of illegal immigrants at a time in neighboring suburbs, where they make their way into the sanctuary cities.

In response to the GOP’s border trip, President Joe Biden and White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre have accused congressional Republicans of voting against a bill to send more agents to the border — a charge Speaker Johnson strongly refuted. “What the president is proposing is millions and millions and millions of additional dollars — billions, if he can get them — to process more illegals,” and then “distribute them around the nation.” Eric Adams has called on the Biden administration to send illegal immigrants to every city and village in the United States to relieve pressure on sanctuary cities.

Ultimately, Speaker Johnson said, border security literally lies in Biden’s own hands. “This could be done with a stroke of a pen. The president doesn’t need new legislation to do this. He has every existing authority under federal law,” Johnson told Perkins, “to reinstate the Remain in Mexico policy. The officials, sheriffs, and Border Patrol on the ground say that would stem the flow of illegals into our country by probably 70% overnight.”

Instead, Biden administration figures such as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas blamed the Republicans for balking at amnesty, euphemistically called “comprehensive immigration reform,” and insist they are enforcing the law. Johnson noted that the secretary has a history of “lying to the American people. He’s done it repeatedly under oath.” Johnson said he is considering impeaching Mayorkas in part due to his dishonesty and perjury. “He appeared a couple of times before my committee in the House judiciary and just raised his hand, took the oath, and told us things that he knew when he was saying it were not true.”

“We haven’t impeached a cabinet secretary since the late 1800s, but desperate times call for desperate measures,” Speaker Johnson told Perkins.

“We have to use every ounce of leverage that we can muster. We have the power of the purse,” said Johnson. The Biden administration looks out for the best interests of other nations and pads the bottom line of human smuggling cartels, Johnson said. “We must take care of our own house first.”

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.