May 12, 2021
GOP Senators Press Conference Transcript: Southern Border Crisis
Ted Cruz and other Republican Senators held a press conference on May 12, 2021 to address the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. Read the transcript of the news briefing here.
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Rick Scott: (00:00)
There’s a man-made crisis on our border and it’s a hundred percent caused by one person, Joe Biden. We know Biden’s open borders and amnesty policies have created this crisis. Just look at the numbers. US Customs and Border Protection apprehended more than 178,000 illegal aliens trying to cross our border in April. The highest monthly total in nearly 15 years. 15 years.
Rick Scott: (00:23)
Biden’s immigration policies are putting unaccompanied minors at risk of human trafficking, violence, sexual abuse, and separation from families. If there’s no other reason for Joe Biden to say he’s got to change, think about all these young children and what’s happening to them. They’re leading to an alarming increase in human trafficking and drug smuggling by cartels. This crisis is overwhelming our Border Patrol Agents and taken them away from their critical duties.
Rick Scott: (00:51)
The cartels are taking full advantage of Biden’s failures to secure the border. I saw it firsthand when I had the opportunity to travel to the border with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey in March. And what I saw was, we took an aerial tour, you see a wall, oh, there’s some nice openings for people to walk through. That’s where the fences were supposed to go up, but they didn’t put them up, the gates were supposed to go up. And then you saw the lights and camera because they said, “Oh gosh, you should use technology.” The Biden administration won’t electrify it. It doesn’t make any sense.
Rick Scott: (01:17)
It doesn’t make any sense that Harris and Biden won’t visit the border and see it for themselves. Kamala Harris could have walked to the border, walked to the Texas border in the time that she’s been given the responsibility to solve this problem and not done anything. And she has no excuse. She’s never gone down to the border. After I visited Arizona Joe Biden said he would go down and see the crisis himself. Has he done it? Of course not. What’s his excuse? He doesn’t have any. Everyone outside of DC knows what this is. The mayor’s Law Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection agents on the frontline know it’s a crisis. The Biden administration should acknowledge it’s a crisis and do something about it.
Rick Scott: (01:55)
I’m honored to be joined here today by individuals, some of them are dealing with this firsthand in their states. Democrats here in Washington have acknowledged the dire crisis we have. Tomorrow we’re going to hear from DHS Secretary Mayorkas on the crisis. And by the way, when I spoke to him before his nomination he promised me he would enforce all the laws. We’re going to ask him to explain how DHS is securing the border and what they’re doing to protect all American families.
Rick Scott: (02:22)
I’d like to know how much the man-made crisis is costing the American taxpayer. And Senator Johnson is going to talk about how much waste we’re seeing. We’ve spent this money and we have steel just sitting around. I want to ask Mayorkas what he’s doing to make sure the Border Patrol Agents have the resources they need on the front lines of this crisis. Think about what they have to do. Their job is to secure the border, but they’re having to do a whole bunch of other things.
Rick Scott: (02:46)
Biden and Harris have made a mockery of a very serious crisis. Instead of taking action they’re playing like, “Oh, there’s no crisis. Nothing’s happened here.” And hiding the facts. This isn’t a game. It’s impacting families. Clearly, American families, but families from Central America. Biden is doing nothing to help protect American families. It’s time to ditch his failed policies of open borders and amnesty and secure the border now.
Rick Scott: (03:10)
Now it’s my distinct opportunity to introduce Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. I’m glad to have partners like Ken here. He’s working at the state level to hold the Biden administration accountable in this area and many other areas. He sued the Biden administration five times on immigration issues and works day in and day out to do what we all should be doing when we do the oath of office, uphold the law. Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Ken Paxton: (03:37)
Well, great to be here this afternoon, Senator Scott. Thank you for your amazing work on this issue. And I want to thank Senators Lankford and Johnson for caring about this issue and for being here today, along with the other people that are here that care about this issue.
Ken Paxton: (03:50)
As somebody who’s spent a lot of time on the border, being a border state with the largest border, I know these issues and I see them every day. And if there is one group benefiting from this I can tell you who it is. It’s the cartels. Let me say that one more time. There’s one group benefiting from the policies of the Biden administration. It is the cartels.
Ken Paxton: (04:11)
And they are making massive profits, as they charge these people to bring them up through the border. I’ve heard from people on the border, from agents and from sheriffs that the minimum charge is about $4,000 up to 50,000. So they are being enriched. And meanwhile the Border Patrol is taking care of these people coming across the border who are being invited to come, the cartels have more access and more openness because there’s less enforcement ability because they’re busy doing other things. So the drug cartels are increasing their drug trade and other crimes along the border that are affecting people in Texas, and really throughout the nation.
Ken Paxton: (04:48)
And so the cartels are massively benefiting from the Biden policies like no one else along the border, like no American. And even the people that are coming here do not benefit like the cartels. They end up being tied to the cartels because of the way this is happening.
Ken Paxton: (05:03)
And so I have a few suggestions for the President and these are not meant to be partisan. They are meant to be helpful and I hope he’ll listen because I know he didn’t have a lot of experience with this issue. And I think it would be really helpful for us if he would just follow federal law.
Ken Paxton: (05:19)
There’s a reason that we have elected representatives and they put in place laws that he needs to enforce. From day one he’s announced that he’s not doing that. That’s the reason Texas is suing the Biden administration over and over on these immigration policies. From saying that he’s not going to deport anybody anymore to letting criminals that are released from our prisons stay. And to not enforcing health laws as they relate to COVID and other issues that we’re already experiencing issues with over the last year. So enforce the laws.
Ken Paxton: (05:50)
Two, do some of these policies that have worked instead of going back to policies that have not worked. Under the Trump administration we finally started getting some of these issues under control because we were building a wall, a long-term solution that works. There’s a reason they put a fence around the Capitol. How about taking the fence from the Capitol and putting it on the border. Instead of stopping Americans from visiting their Capitol why don’t we put that on the border and stop illegals from crossing our border?
Ken Paxton: (06:20)
How about a little more transparency about what’s going on? The American people have no idea where these people are going once they’re brought here. I don’t know where they’re going. There’s thousands of kids. Where are these kids going? Where are we putting them? I have strong concerns about where these children end up. That seems like something that should matter.
Ken Paxton: (06:40)
These are suggestions that I think could make a huge difference. And my final suggestion to the President, again, he hasn’t been to the border. His Vice-President hasn’t been to the border. Come see what’s happening. And even if you don’t want to talk to the people that are doing their jobs down there, the federal officials, the state officials, the sheriffs, even if you don’t want to talk to law enforcement, the people responsible for this job, at least meet with the victims of the crimes that are associated with illegal immigration. Talk to the families who have suffered loss, financial loss because their properties are being destroyed. Their animals are being released. Their vehicles are being stolen. Or how about just talking to the families that have lost family members?
Ken Paxton: (07:20)
I call on the President to do something that works. I call on the President to listen to these suggestions today and take action. We need his help. We want his help. And I’m grateful for these men and women standing behind me who care about the border, who care about my people and who care about the American people. Thank you.
Douglas Nicholls: (07:46)
Good afternoon. I’m Douglas Nicholls, the Mayor of the City of Yuma. I’d like to thank Senator Rick Scott and all the senators here today for focusing on this very important topic that affects my community every day. I really want to provide a local context to the current situation along the border from the city perspective. Since February 15th of this year almost 300 migrants have been released by the US Border Patrol into our community. And most of which have been serviced by some of our local nonprofits. This represents about 400 people a day being interdicted by our border patrol sector. And they release of those, 25 people a day to our nonprofits, with peaks of over 100 people. This does not even address or begin to address the numbers of people that are not interdicted by the Border Patrol.
Douglas Nicholls: (08:40)
While these numbers are significant, they don’t tell the whole story. The hundreds of non-interdicted migrants walk through our agricultural fields that feed the nation, causing millions of dollars of damage, to losses to our farmers, as have to destroy these crops to protect the food safety of the nation. We have large groups of up to a hundred people showing up at our homeless shelter. Our homeless shelter is constructed and funded to service our community, not to service hundreds of people coming through our community.
Douglas Nicholls: (09:13)
And of the migrants that are interdicted many of the females, including young girls are brought to our Victim Crisis Center and tell a horrific story of sexual abuse and rape. And our law enforcement and victim advocates are helpless to do anything because these violations happen in other countries.
Douglas Nicholls: (09:34)
In the last two weeks we’ve had over 24 unaccompanied minors come across the Colorado River alone. That’s 24 people, young people that have come across. And normally in the Yuma sector we do not receive any or very few unaccompanied minors. And just last week when I was on the border we witnessed a group of about 20 people coming from Russia, Romania, and Armenia being processed by Border Patrol. It’s not just from Latin America that people are coming to our community and through our community.
Douglas Nicholls: (10:07)
And as Governor Ducey declared a state of emergency last week or two weeks ago, this is a national security crisis as much as it is a humanitarian crisis. No doubt the situation varies in location and is very complex. But what is needed is effective policy implementation and it is needed immediately.
Douglas Nicholls: (10:28)
The situation at the border is not sustainable for our communities. The trafficking of people is inhumane and we, as Americans, cannot stand by and ignore the exportation of people for any ideological perspective.
Douglas Nicholls: (10:45)
I’d like to next introduce our National Border Patrol Council President, Brandon Judd.
Brandon Judd: (10:54)
Thank you, mayor. Thank you, senators. Thank you for this invitation. The US is the most compassionate country in the world. Per year and on average, we take in more refugees than any other country in the world. I’m going to go out on the limb and say we are the beacon of hope throughout the world. In short, when we don’t enforce our laws we allow human traffickers to take away that light that we’ve created. We allow a lawlessness to exist that has to stop.
Brandon Judd: (11:30)
On Thursday of last week Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema said what is currently happening on the border is a crisis. And she’s right. It is a crisis. As someone who knows this situation inside and out, as someone who has to live this, my agents and I, we live this day in and day out, as someone who sees this, I can confidently say that President Biden owns this crisis. It is his fault. He repealed programs…
Brandon Judd: (12:03)
It is his fault. He repealed programs that worked. He repealed policies that allowed us to go after the criminal cartels, those organizations that would do harm to our American citizens and he didn’t replace it with any other policy that would get rid of the systemic, the systematic exploitation of our asylum laws. By not introducing new programs, he has invited these people to come across our borders illegally.
Brandon Judd: (12:34)
Actions speak much louder than words and what we’re seeing today, he can say as much as he wants that the border’s closed, but when he reintroduces the catch and release magnet, that magnet that draws so many people to our country, when he reintroduces that magnet, we can expect to see exactly what we’re seeing. The biggest crisis that in 23 and a half years I have ever experienced. We’ve never seen anything like this before.
Brandon Judd: (13:03)
We can go back to the late ’90, we can go back to the early two 2000s and we can say we made 1.2 million arrests, but we were only dealing with about 400,000 people because we were dealing with the same people over and over again. Today, if we make 178,000 arrests in one month, our record, we’re dealing with nearly 150,000 people. We just don’t have the same recidivism. This is an issue that we have to solve.
Brandon Judd: (13:32)
His policies encourage vulnerable women and children to put themselves in the hands of dangerous criminal organizations. These women and our children are abused physically and sexually, and at times they’re even murdered. Criminal cartels are making a profit like we’ve never seen before, and they’re doing it off of our government’s policies. Again, this falls directly on the head of President Biden.
Brandon Judd: (14:01)
Tomorrow, Secretary Mayorkas, and I’ll point this out, I supported his confirmation, National Border Patrol Council supported his confirmation, Tomorrow, he’s going to do a victory tour. He’s going to say, “Look at the job we’ve done. We’ve taken children out of CBP custody, and we’ve put them in the hands of HHS.”
Brandon Judd: (14:20)
What he’s actually done is created a quicker revolving door. Releasing these people into the United States is encouraging people to come to our borders. He must be asked the tough questions, and if the democratic senators are not willing to do that, they too own this problem.
Brandon Judd: (14:45)
We have to be that country. We have to be that compassionate country. And if I was not confident that these senators standing behind me today, if I was not confident that they agreed with the compassion that we show to legitimate asylum seekers, I wouldn’t be standing before you today. We need to continue to be that beacon of light. But as we allow lawlessness to exist, as we refuse to enforce our laws, that light becomes dimmer. We must hold the proper people accountable.
Brandon Judd: (15:21)
With that, I’d like to introduce former CBP Commissioner, Mark Morgan.
Mark A. Morgan: (15:26)
Thanks, Brandon. Look, I’ll try to be brief here. I think already we put to bed, put the rest that we absolutely have an unmitigated crisis along the southwest border that is the sole responsibility and cause of this administration period. But let me talk about something I want to address. I want to address the ongoing persistent spin, misdirection, hypocrisy, and quite frankly, blatant lies being told by this administration to the American people. And I really want to talk to our current DHS Secretary, Secretary Mayorkas. I want to address him personally and I want to ask him, please stop lying to the American people.
Mark A. Morgan: (16:03)
He’s repeatedly saying that our borders are closed and that they’re secure. It’s a blatant lie and he knows it. He’s out there saying that things are under control. It’s a blatant lie. What they’re doing is a shell game. He’s putting forth the false narrative that during the transition that he did not receive, that there meant the Biden administration didn’t receive an adequate transition. That they weren’t prepared and they weren’t informed. It’s a blatant lie. And let me run down each one of those.
Mark A. Morgan: (16:31)
With respect to our borders being open and secure. Look right now, if you go to their own website, CBP’s website, it tells you that almost 40% of the individuals illegally in our borders are being released right now. Yet, this secretary said just a couple of days ago that they’re returning families under the CDC Title 42. It’s a lie. It’s an intentional omission of a material fact because the truth is the majority of families right now that illegally enter our borders are being released into the United States, never to be heard from again.
Mark A. Morgan: (17:05)
On any single given day, 60 to 80% of families are being released. Just this week alone, I got data that they apprehended 1,200 family members, and they released 900 the same day, and some of those weren’t even given a notice to appear. So stop lying to the American people. Borders are secure. That’s a joke. That’s absurd. The day that this secretary said on national TV to the American people that our borders to secure, I promise you he lost all 63,000 members of the Customs and Border Protection men and women, because they also know that’s an absurd lie.
Mark A. Morgan: (17:38)
Right now, we’ve seen … Look, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist. We’ve been here before. In 2019, we know that the cartels exploited the broken system that we have, and they know that they used families, used families and children as a commodity and a distraction technique. Knowing that extensive border patrol resources would have to be pulled off the line to give that compassionate, immediate humanitarian system they needed, leaving large areas of the border wide open and unsecure. And what happens then? Criminal aliens and drugs pour through, entering every major metropolitan city in our country. That’s why we said for a long time, every town, city, and state is a border town, city, and state. He needs to start being honest to the American people.
Mark A. Morgan: (18:19)
Let me give you an example. Right now, we’re estimating 1,000 got always a day, 1,000 away. I hope that tomorrow the secretary gets asked what his definition of a secure border is, what his definition of an open border. Right now if you’re a family, the majority, you’re coming in. If you’re an unaccompanied minor outside of Mexico, you’re coming in. If you are a previous enrollee under the Remain in Mexico program, they’re actually bringing you back to the border and releasing you into the United States.
Mark A. Morgan: (18:45)
You bet our borders are wide open. 1,000 got aways a day are getting past the border patrol because they’re being pulled off the line to address humanitarian needs. Think about that. And yeah, look, this is where I get a lot of hate mail. The truth is a good portion of that, they’re not upstanding citizens. They’re criminals, they’re rapists, they’re murderers, they’re child pedophiles. I could go on and on. That’s the cold hard truth. So our borders are not secure.
Mark A. Morgan: (19:08)
And let me address the last thing, that they were not provided an adequate transition. Again, this is a blatant lie, and I hope the secretary gets called out on it tomorrow during his testimony. DHS alone, the transition … I’ve worked for six presidents. I’ve been doing this for 35 years. There’s a very formal process. DHS alone provided this administration over 200 briefings, and the majority of those briefings were on border security and the illegal immigration crisis that we went through in 2019. We explicitly went down the network of tools, authorities, and policies that we developed under the Trump administration that work.
Mark A. Morgan: (19:42)
We specifically talked about the Remain in Mexico program. We specifically talked about the asylum cooperative agreements that we had with the Northern Triangle countries. We specifically talked about the wall system and how effective it was. And we also specifically told the transition team, if you get rid of these tools, like they’ve done, you will see an unmitigated crisis that pales in comparison to 2019.
Mark A. Morgan: (20:05)
We told them that the border patrol facilities would be overwhelmed. We told them that HSS would be overwhelmed. We specifically told them and anybody else who says that that’s not true, they’re lying. I was there. I was acting commissioner at the time. And I’ll leave with this. I’m hoping Mr. Secretary, Secretary Mayorkas, what we need is a secretary that’s going to enforce the rule of law and actually be a secretary of homeland security and not a politician just furthering the talking points and the ideologic hubris that we see going on right now.
Mark A. Morgan: (20:36)
With that, it’s my pleasure to introduce Senator John Barrasso.
John Barrasso: (20:43)
Well, the Biden border crisis is here to stay. We have all seen it firsthand. We’ve been to the border. We’ve witnessed what the border patrol is talking about. What the elected officials from Texas and Arizona are talking about, and we are here standing with them and we are a part of their fight to secure the border. And it’s not just Republicans and Democrats, senators from Arizona have also called this a crisis on the border.
John Barrasso: (21:14)
When we were there, the southern tip of Texas, we were at a facility designed for 250 young people. There were 7,000 there that day crammed in like sardines. You take a look at some of the numbers are talking about, over 175,000 detainees this month alone. That is on a path for two million this year. I mean, think about it, two million. That’s four times the population of my home state of Wyoming, and Joe Biden says it’s not a crisis. It is a crisis. It’s chaos. It is a catastrophe. And it’s all a result of Joe Biden failing to secure our nation’s border.
James Lankford: (21:59)
Secretary Mayorkas will be in front of us tomorrow finally. We’ve been asking for this for weeks and weeks for him to be able to come and appear before our committee. We’ve also been asking for information from DoJ and from Homeland Security, that we’ve written multiple letters, done multiple contacts, reached out to their staff, asked over and over again for just basic information that would tell us what’s going on at the border. They have done to us what they’ve done to the media, blocked us out.
James Lankford: (22:25)
Most of you in the media are not invited to be able to come to the border. You’re not included in that. That’s why many of us had to go to the border for ourselves to actually shoot video, to take pictures and to be able to show what’s happening there. Because the important thing that we know is we can pass law. We can do oversight, but if the Executive Branch doesn’t carry out the law, then none of this works.
James Lankford: (22:46)
Day one of the Biden administration, they announced that we’re going to do a 100-day moratorium. That’s why the state of Texas jumped in and challenged that, and federal court said, “You can’t just ignore a court order.” Unfortunately, what we’re already seeing through many of the numbers are they are actually ignoring the court order. They’re really not deporting criminal aliens here in the country. They’re really not deporting people that a federal court has told them that they have a notice to be able to leave the country. They’re not following through on that final order of removal.
James Lankford: (23:15)
So we need to ask Secretary Mayorkas about that. We need to ask Secretary Mayorkas what he’s doing with the $1.4 billion that have been allocated to be able to finish out the wall system. Are they going to continue to leave gaps in it? Are they continue to not install the technology? Are they continue to leave Texas exposed by not finishing the levies in that area because the levies are also attached to the fencing? We need to make that very clear that we believe that Congress made that very clear in a bipartisan vote previously to allocate those funds. That needs to be complete.
James Lankford: (23:43)
We need to ask Secretary Mayorkas and other leaders why they’re calling on individuals from all over the federal government, from multiple agencies, not just FEMA, multiple other agencies to volunteer their time to be able to come down and to be able to help with the border. We need to know how many different agencies and how many different individuals that they’re bringing down to be able to help sustain all this. There are key question …
James Lankford: (24:03)
… different individuals that they’re bringing down to be able to help sustain all this. Their key questions and issues that do go right into our Homeland Security that we expect the secretary of Homeland Security to be able to think first about what’s happening in America and our security. But from the best that we can tell, many of the people that are coming across the border are not being fingerprinted, they’re not being evaluated for criminal records from their home countries, and they’re being released into ours. And criminal aliens are not being deported, that’s a problem that we should all see, and we should all be able to agree on. Senator Cruz.
Senator Ted Cruz: (24:36)
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had produced an absolute disaster on our Southern border. The crisis that is unfolding is a humanitarian crisis, it is a public health crisis, and it is a national security crisis. Just over a month ago, I led a group of 19 senators to go to our Southern border. Representing Texas I’ve been to our Southern border many times in the Rio Grande Valley, this was by far the worst I’ve ever seen it. Masses crossing illegally, a caravan one after the other, after the other, and all of this is manmade.
Senator Ted Cruz: (25:15)
We saw facilities that were packed at over 1700% their capacity in the midst of a global pandemic, with a 10% COVID positivity rate and the Donna tent facility, where kids were lined up in the Biden cages. For four years the press talked incessantly about kids in cages, and what was never reported is that Barack Obama built the cages and Joe Biden is building more cages, they’re bigger cages, and they’re more full. In those Biden cages we saw little boys and little girls, not six feet apart as you would want during a pandemic, not three feet apart, not even three inches apart, lying on the floor side by side, no beds, no mats, no cots, packed in as tight as they can be wrapped in emergency reflective materials.
Senator Ted Cruz: (26:11)
Over 10% COVID positivity. The Biden administration barred the press from access. On our trip to the border ABC News asked to embed with the 19 senators, Fox News asked to embed with the 19 senators, the Biden administration said, “No.” And their reason was COVID. They said one camera man from ABC was an unacceptable risk of COVID nevermind, 4,200 people crammed in a facility with 10% COVID positivity, one reporter they said was a COVID risk. We have a number of camera men and women standing here. You know just how ludicrous that is. By the way, the Trump administration allowed the press in, and the Obama administration allowed the press in, the Clinton administration did, the Bush administration did, but not Joe Biden. Joe Biden wants the world to cover up and hide this crisis that he has created. So the 19 senators we pulled out our cell phones and we filmed and took pictures. The Biden administration sent a political minder from Washington D.C. who jumped in front of the camera and screamed at senators, “Do not show these images to the American people!” All of this is man-made, three decisions Joe Biden made.
Senator Ted Cruz: (27:29)
Halting construction of the wall on week one in office, reinstating the failed policy of catch and release. And most indefensibly ending ripping up the international agreement Remain in Mexico that had produced last year, the lowest rate of illegal immigration in 45 years. Remain in New Mexico was an incredible success, so what did Joe Biden do? Ripped it up, and we have right now today the worst illegal immigration in 20 years. 178, 000 people came in last month, the month of April, we’re on a path to 2 million people and it’s getting worse. This month is worse than last month, last month was worse than the month before, every month it’s getting worse because they’re not fixing it.
Senator Ted Cruz: (28:18)
But as it’s getting worse and worse, the corporate media has stopped covering it. You turn on the 6:00 news and suddenly the Biden border crisis has disappeared, and I recognize there are other crises, we’ve got a gas crisis playing out, we’ve got a war in the Middle East, we may have an inflation crisis coming, I agree, Biden policies are failing across the board, economically, domestically and abroad. But that doesn’t mitigate the disaster that’s playing out on our Southern border. In over a hundred days in office, Joe Biden has not been to our Southern border. Biden named Kamala Harris as in charge of the border, she has not been to the Southern border once as vice president. I would say to the folks in the media, anytime you’re standing in front of the president or vice president, the very first question should be, “Why haven’t you gone to the Southern border to see the crisis, to see the little boys and little girls being physically abused, sexually abused because of your policy failures?”
Senator Ted Cruz: (29:18)
And by the way, the reason they don’t go, there’s an answer to this, is they know if they go, they’ll bring TV cameras. They know if they go, the press will be forced to cover it. Kamala Harris has been to the Canadian border as vice-president, but not the Southern border. The last I checked, we don’t have a crisis of thousands of Canucks coming South across the border. This is a dereliction of duty, it is deliberate, and they don’t intend to fix it. They don’t intend to fix it because they have promised the radicals, they will have open borders and they will not enforce our laws, and that is endangering the people of my home State of Texas, it’s endangering people all across the country. It is unacceptable. It is inhumane, and it’s wrong.
Speaker 1: (30:14)
My colleagues be shocked that I’ve got charts, and these we’ve got hard copies and we can make these available electronically as well, but a picture is worth a thousand words, so the first chart is one you’ve probably seen before and this is just showing daily average apprehensions by month. We have over the last two months, we’re approaching 6,000 people per day being apprehended on Southern border, that’s a caravan a day. During the 2018, 2019 crisis it was a little over 4,000, and this also has cause and effect on it. So I asked you to look at this, and then as I’ve heard the Biden administration blame the Trump administration for the crisis, and unfortunately many people in the media as well, I thought complete this chart as well because it completely disproves that lie. You can see this is just monthly apprehensions, and you see the president Trump solved the problem by and large, with Return to Mexico, with those agreements with Central America.
Speaker 1: (31:11)
And then of course we had the CDC impose the Title 42 Controls. We had this problem solved until president Biden took office, and there’s the picture proof that this is his crisis. My next point, both president Biden and vice president Harris know full well, knew full well, the inhumanity, the human depredations that their policies would cause. Vice president Harris was on my committee, she was there when we heard testimony of children being sold. One for $84. Of the fact that little girls are given birth control because such a high percentage of them will be raped. They heard stories of the kidnappings, of the beatings of the ransoms, of the sexual servitude of the involuntary servitude. We had a picture of a two year old face down drowned in the Rio Grande. As Martin Morgan said, “They were warned about this, they knew their policies would create this human depredation, this inhumanity.” And yet they blew up the successful policies of the Trump administration, and you have to ask, “Why?”
Speaker 1: (32:27)
One final point, and this is a tragedy that we have turned border security into a partisan issue. I introduced an amendment today in a business committee markup hearing, that just said let’s complete the wall that’s already paid for. We have about 250 miles of wall unfinished. This bond paid for, it’ll cost the American taxpayers $2 billion at least, whether it’s completed or not. In 2006, 26 Democrat senators voted with Republicans for the Secure Fence Act, there’s 700 miles of wall, now a lot of that wall was completely awful, it just didn’t work. So president Trump, instead was going to build 700 miles of wall that worked, including those Democrat senators were Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Tom Carper. So back in 2006, Democrats also agreed if we want Homeland Security, we have to have border security, and now, in committee, not one Democrat voted to secure the border every Republican did. Our national security, our Homeland Security is put at risk because Democrats have turned border security into a partisan issue, it’s a real shame.
John Barrasso: (33:52)
We’re a nation of laws, a nation of immigrants, and a nation of compassion. We don’t have to choose between the three, quite to the contrary we found over time, that our ability to be any of those things, depends to a very significant degree on our ability to be all three. In other words this is not a simple binary choice between being compassionate or not. In order to truly be compassionate and be a nation of immigrants, we also have to respect our laws and make sure that our borders are secure.
John Barrasso: (34:28)
There’s an ancient principle rooted in our legal system, inherited from England, called the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine. Now look, it doesn’t apply perfectly here, but there’s an analogy embedded within, and under the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine, if you’ve got something on your property that you know is going to be attractive to others, likely to bring them onto or across your property, and you don’t take reasonable steps to keep them out and you know that that thing that’s attracting them, also poses a significant danger to them, then you can be held liable for not taking reasonable steps to keep them out.
John Barrasso: (35:08)
So how does that relate here? Well, in a broad sense, think about what president Biden said and did while he was campaigning to be president of the United States, while he was campaigning, I suppose to his credit in some ways. And that he’s been consistent with what he said he would do, he said if he were elected president, that the border would be open. That it would be open for business, he would throw it open even in the midst of a global pandemic. Well guess what? He did and it worked. And all of a sudden he did that, and he reversed the Migrant Protection Protocols there to make sure that those drawn across our border, into our land, would be protected. This is for their own sake and for the sake of our laws and for the sake of the decency and sustainability of our own immigration system. Now the-
John Barrasso: (36:03)
… our own immigration system. Now, the smugglers, the coyotes, all of which bear allegiance or support in one way or another of these multinational multi multi-billion dollar a year drug cartels have been emboldened by these policies and promises and actions. And in fact, we found during our recent trip to the border, that they’re so comfortable operating this space that they openly taunted border patrol personnel as we stood on the banks of the Rio Grande River. Openly taunted them.
John Barrasso: (36:37)
Now, whatever people might say, whatever the administration might say about itself, these are policies that have had real and tragic results. You see, because when you draw people onto your property, onto our sovereign land, knowing that they will face significant danger, knowing as we do that about a third of the women who are brought across will be sexually assaulted, that the men will be used as slaves, that the children will be rented out, literally rented, so that illegal immigrant after illegal immigrant can use the child as a hall pass to get across the border. When you do that and you take vulnerable people mostly from Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, who are in dire desperate circumstances and you know that in their desperation, they might well try to get here.
John Barrasso: (37:28)
You better make darn sure that what you’re doing is truly compassionate if that’s how you’re trying to characterize it because what you’re doing is putting them at a greater risk for harm, and you’re putting at greater risk our ability to protect our border. One of the other things that we saw during our recent trip to the border, which was consistent with my experience living along the US-Mexico border in southern Texas for two years, is that you will find no group of people more concerned about uncontrolled waves of illegal immigration than those living on or near the border, including and especially those who are recent immigrants themselves because it is their jobs, it is their families, it’s their schools, their communities that are most immediately and most directly threatened. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that this is a victimless oversight or even that it’s an oversight whose consequences are anything but well known and well understood.
John Barrasso: (38:29)
Look, the American people deserve to know. They deserve to know what consequences these policies and these refusals to enforce our laws are having. They deserve to know what ramifications they have as they empower cartels and coyotes and human traffickers. They deserve to know what’s happening on our border. We can be, and we must be a nation of laws and of immigrants and of compassion. [foreign language 00:39:06].
Rick Scott: (39:28)
Thanks. All those can answer any questions anybody has, but we all should be just disgusted with what Joe Biden’s done. He’s clearly put American security at risk and he’s enticed a whole bunch of people to take a heroine journey that they’re going to be abused. I mean, you can’t imagine why a president of the United States would take an action like this that would put so many people at risk. So we’ll be glad to answer any questions anybody has. Yes, sir.
Speaker 2: (39:53)
I wanted to ask about, there wasn’t a lot of discussion about the Northern Triangle just now, but I wanted to ask if there’s anything the administration can or should do with regards to the short-term issue, where you talked about potentially 2 million crossings this year with regards to any policies in the Northern Triangle.
Senator Ted Cruz: (40:09)
So look, the Northern Triangle faces severe issues of crime and cartel activity and it faces severe poverty, but Biden’s explanation that the cause of this border crisis when he acknowledges that it exists is, somehow that poverty and that crime in the Northern Triangle is flatly contradicted by the facts. Senator Ron Johnson showed his chart a minute ago and you can see … in fact, you have that chart, the last one you showed?
Brandon Judd: (40:41)
Senator Ted Cruz: (40:41)
It’s not hard to get Ron to show a chart. If you look at what happened when the Trump administration negotiated the Remain in Mexico agreement, the numbers plummeted. Now the Remain in Mexico agreement didn’t magically end poverty in the Northern Triangle. The Remain in Mexico agreement didn’t magically cause the cartels that are committing horrific acts of crimes in the Northern Triangle to disappear. What the Remain in Mexico policy did is it was an agreement with the government of Mexico that people who crossed illegally, primarily from the Northern Triangle, from central America through Mexico that they would remain in Mexico while their US asylum cases were proceeding.
Senator Ted Cruz: (41:20)
And it was an incredible success. Frankly, the success exceeded any reasonable expectations. The numbers plummeted and they stayed low. They stayed low month, after month, after month, after month, it was a success. Now you suddenly see the numbers skyrocketing. It wasn’t suddenly poverty returned to the Northern Triangle. It wasn’t suddenly these vicious, murdering cartels rediscovered they were vicious murdering cartels. What happened is Joe Biden put his hand on the Bible and put his right hand in the air and repudiated the policies that were working, rip that international agreement to shreds, and that caused the spike. That is the one and only cause and when you hear Biden and Kamala Harris saying it’s something else, they are deliberately misleading you.
Senator Ted Cruz: (42:03)
And I will point out just this week, the democratic mayor of Del Rio, a Democrat mind you in Texas, rejected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ lies about the border and he said, “In particular, he took on Secretary Mayorkas’ claim that the, quote, border is closed.” And here’s what Mayor Lozano said, a democratic mayor, “I would very much disagree with that statement. The way that it’s been handled or being managed, it seems to be wide open for unlawful entry into the United States.” That’s a democratic mayor admitting the reality and it’s caused by political decisions from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Brandon Judd: (42:47)
I’m actually glad you asked the question because we need solutions. There is a very quick solution that could provide the compassion that legitimate asylum seekers need. Beef up the judges on the border. Take these cases and adjudicate the cases immediately and if we did that, we would provide that relief to those individuals that need that relief. We would also send back those individuals that do not have a legitimate claim to be here. If we did that, if we stopped releasing people into this country, they will stop coming. It’s been proven. President Trump proved that. And we can do it again. And it’s a simple solution, but it’s not a solution where the political will exist to make it happen. Put judges. DOJ issued an internal memo to EOIR. They said that we can adjudicate these cases within 180 days. Set those judges up, adjudicate those cases in 180 days, hold these individuals in custody pending that hearing and this issue will be solved.
Speaker 1: (43:55)
Real quick. So what we’ve been talking about, of course, what this graph, this chart shows is the pull factor and that’s what’s caused this crisis. The Democrats are talking about … President Biden’s talking about the push factor, which is undeniable. The corruption, the impunity, the crime, the violence. But if you want to know what the root cause of that is, the reason we have drug cartels down there because you have violence, it’s because America’s insatiable demand for drugs. So unless you can solve that problem really quick, fixing central America is not the solution. We have to look at these pull factors and we have to solve those.
Speaker 3: (44:35)
How exactly is this surge at the border impacting you in your home state of Florida?
Rick Scott: (44:40)
Speaker 3: (44:40)
Rick Scott: (44:41)
The biggest thing we’re seeing right now is that if you talk to sheriffs in Florida, what they’re telling you, the amount of fentanyl that’s coming from Mexico is dramatically up. I was down and talking to one sheriff and I went into the lab that week. There were two cases of overdose deaths and it was directly caused to new fentanyl that they had not seen before. And it’s all caused by how much more fentanyl’s coming across the border.
Speaker 4: (45:05)
Can we get you on the gap shortage in your state as well, what you’re doing to address it and to prevent an attack, a cyber attack like that again?
Rick Scott: (45:13)
Well first off, the Biden administration needs to show up and start working with companies to figure out who’s doing this and hold them accountable. But if you look at every issue about the Biden administration now, they don’t show up on anything. So we clearly have a problem right now with cybersecurity. All of us and our committees are trying to deal with it, but the Biden administration, they just act like there’s no issue going on in anything, but they’re doing nothing about this right now.
Speaker 5: (45:38)
What does the House Republicans actions on Liz Chaney show voters?