WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith (MO-08) led the largest group of members of the U.S. of House Representatives since President Biden took office down to the U.S.-Mexico border to see firsthand the cost to taxpayers of Biden’s Border Crisis.
Border Steel Stuck in Storage
Members, including 11 from the House Budget Committee, saw over $350 million of unused border wall steel in stacks 20 feet high, as far as the eye could see, because of Biden’s decision to halt construction of the border wall. The steel has already been paid for with tax dollars appropriated by Congress with the explicit instruction to be used for wall construction. Meanwhile, contractors are being paid millions more in settlement fees on contracts the federal government is not honoring for border wall building and repair.
Click here or on the image below to see footage of the unused border wall steel.
Biden is Leaving the Border Open
President Biden remains in violation of the 1974 Budget Control Act by refusing to use the $1.4 billion in appropriations from Congress, signed into law, specifically for the construction of the southern border wall.
This decision is directly contributing to a crisis at the border as historic numbers of illegal immigrants pour through the gaps in the border wall. Over 2.75 million migrant encounters have occurred along the southwest border since Biden took office. In the Rio Grande Valley sector where members toured, roughly 10,000 encounters with illegal immigrants occur every 7 days.
Cartels Profiting from Biden’s Border Crisis
President Biden’s policies are allowing cartels to make roughly $32 million each day from human trafficking.
During the visit to the border, the Republican members were told how cartels force illegal immigrants to pay them tens of thousands of dollars in order to cross the border. Those illegal immigrants are then given a bracelet with a serial number to prove they have paid for passage.
Border Patrol is Overworked
Border Patrol agents shared that they are working around the clock to deal with the massive influx of illegal immigrants. The volume is so high that more than half of the agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector have been taken off direct patrols and reassigned to help process illegal immigrants that are coming from 71 different countries, 174 countries across all sectors. Agents shared that the Title 42 border policy currently allows them to return roughly half of the 10,000 illegal immigrants they encounter each week back to their home countries while the other half is unfortunately allowed to enter the U.S. Were President Biden to succeed in lifting the Title 42 border policy, 100 percent of those encountered would be allowed to enter the country.
Having already severely undermined the effectiveness of the “Remain in Mexico” policy, President Biden has proposed a budget that cuts $800 million from the Department of Homeland Security – which Border Patrol agents told the Republican members would mean fewer beds available, prompting even quicker catch and release, and less return flights to deport illegal immigrants back to their home country.
Texas is Doing Biden’s Job
Texas has had to step up to fill the void left by President Biden’s failed border policies. During their visit, the Republican members were briefed on Operation Lone Star – a statewide effort Texas has launched that focuses on reducing human smuggling, drug trafficking, and illegal crossings. The cost to the State of Texas averages roughly $2.5 million per week.
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