August 15, 2022

Defending our border and protecting our citizens

By Mariannette Miller-Meeks

At a time when economic concerns are at an all-time high, and hard-working Iowans and Americans paying the price of an Administration that refuses to take action to make life more affordable, we must work to secure our country’s borders.

Amid the ongoing economic crisis, the nation is failing to meet the needs of its citizens, subjecting them to immense economic suffering through sky-high inflation rates that have made life unaffordable through drastic increases in the prices of necessities such as gas and groceries.

Despite its failure to deliver to the needs of its citizens, the Biden Administration continues to allow more illegal immigrants into the United States; furthering a crisis that leaves every single American affected.

As evidenced by the colossal number of migrant encounters at the U.S. southwestern border in FY22 alone, the Biden Administration has proven incapable of securing the border, harming American citizens in the process.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports that in 2022 (FYTD), there have been 1,746,119 encounters with migrants at the southwestern border, representing a dramatic increase from 2020′s 458,088 reported encounters.

Even blue state mayors and governors are complaining about the influx of migrants taxing the social service infrastructure and schools. Along with these encounters has come the smuggling of illicit narcotics into the country, such as fentanyl and opioids, which have had fatal consequences for American citizens with record high fatal overdoses.

Lastly, we cannot overlook people on the terror watch list that have been apprehended, but we know many more have not when the border patrol agents are overextended processing illegal immigrants.

Additionally, with these surging numbers, the Biden Administration continues to push to remove Title 42, despite extending the pandemic public health emergency. That is why I joined as a cosponsor on the bipartisan Public Health and Border Security Act of 2022, which would prevent lifting Title 42 until the Biden Administration comes forward with a plan.

As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, I understand the severity of the crisis at our southern border and urge Americans, Congress, and the Biden Administration alike to treat this issue with the utmost urgency.

The unprecedented influx of migrants attempting to enter the United States has led to a rapidly progressing humanitarian and drug crisis at the border. As Americans, we need to get serious about prioritizing the securitization of our borders and providing sustainable solutions to the immigration crisis.

Mariannette Miller-Meeks is a resident of Ottumwa who currently represents Iowa’s Second District in the United States House of Representatives.