Last month, 144,278 migrants were apprehended or deemed inadmissible trying to illegally cross our southern border. That’s enough people to fill State Farm Stadium almost two and a half times over. Perhaps a more staggering figure is the United States is on track to apprehend more than one million illegal immigrants by the end of this year. And that’s just the illegal immigrants we are able to find.
Virtually everyone recognizes that we have a crisis at our border — that is except for Democrats in Congress. Being from Arizona, we know this crisis all too well. We see it firsthand as our communities’ resources are strained more and more as the humanitarian crisis only gets worse. Federal resources are also wearing thin. It is no longer a matter of if, but when money and resources simply run out.
President Trump has requested $4.5 billion in immediate humanitarian aid at the border. This is not money for a border wall – this is money to feed and shelter migrant families and unaccompanied children and fund urgently needed medical care and transportation. We need this funding because facilities are overwhelmed, and other personnel have been pulled away from their critical missions to help respond to this humanitarian crisis. The situation is so dire, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security sent a joint letter to all congressional offices urging Congress to grant this aid. DHS says that without it, they will be forced to redirect more manpower and funding from Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection to address the crisis.
What has the new Democrat majority done to help the humanitarian crisis that worsens by the day? Absolutely nothing. Instead, they voted to provide amnesty to 2.5 million illegal immigrants without any border security provisions or reforms to our loose immigration laws that incentivize illegal immigration.
My Republican colleagues and I have asked 15 times for a vote on humanitarian aid. Democrats have rejected us each time. It is clear that Democrats are not serious about ending the border crisis. I wonder what it will take for Democratic leadership to finally take action and help address the humanitarian crisis.
Our border is at a breaking point. We are running out of resources, and Democrats are blocking every attempt to replenish them. At the same time, the loopholes in our immigration laws are driving more and more illegal immigrants to cross our border illegally. Border apprehensions are up 229 percent as compared to this time last year. The Border Patrol has already apprehended nearly 600,000 migrants so far this fiscal year, surpassing the totals for each of the last 10 years.
We are on an unsustainable path that we cannot continue. I will be introducing legislation in the coming weeks to address the border crisis and fix the loopholes in our immigration laws. I hope my Democrat colleagues will join me in ending this crisis once and for all.
— Congresswoman Debbie Lesko represents Arizona’s 8th Congressional District and is a member of the House Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Rules