President Biden likes to claim that he inherited a broken immigration system, that’s been Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s key talking point this past week. The hard truth is that one of President Biden’s first actions in office was to undo President Donald Trump’ most effective immigration policies that made our border stronger and America safer.
Halting construction of the border wall, ending the state of emergency declaration, reinstating “catch and release”, rescinding the “remain in Mexico” policy have all contributed to this dire situation. While this is a national security problem, it’s also an overwhelmingly Texas problem.
The number of apprehensions at the border this year exceed any time in the past two decades. To see the impact of Biden’s failed border policies, look no further than Dallas Convention Center preparing to accept 3,000 immigrants from the southern border due to lack of space available.
This week it’s 3,000, but where in Texas will the Biden Administration send the next 3,000? Reports this week identified the possibility that immigrants could be housed on U.S. military installations like Fort Hood. In response to such proposals, I sent a letter to Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Health and Human Services Acting Secretary Norris Cochran urging them to halt any plans to utilize Fort Hood to house unaccompanied children (UAC) or adult detainees. It Is reckless and irresponsible to disrupt the training and readiness of our armed forces in order to establish tent cities in the middle of training areas. Housing UAC on military bases without proper certification would also be a violation of law passed by me and Congressman John Carter in 2016.
I also sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas requesting information on DHS’ proposals to vaccinate immigrants who unlawfully crossed the border ahead of taxpaying Americans.
The United States has currently vaccinated 11.3% of the population, and until every American has had their opportunity, the President must suspend any efforts that would give access to those who entered the country unlawfully.
The bottom line is the Biden-Harris Administration have no plan to address the crisis at the border. In just 9 weeks, they have created a growing problem that increases health risks for our citizens, burdens the mission of Customs and Border Patrol agents, and causes specific harm to border states like Texas who bear the brunt of tried and failed open border policies. Our primary focus should be reopening the country and continuing the immigration progress under Trump, not destroying it.
Roger Williams of Austin is a U.S. Congressman representing District 25, which includes Johnson County.