Steven Palazzo represents Mississippi's 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ronald Reagan once said, “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.” What we are witnessing in America today is not the inability to control our borders, but the dangerous leadership of a man who has disabled the infrastructure, policies, and law enforcement that make protecting and controlling our border possible. We are witnessing Biden’s Border Crisis.
In the two months after President Joe Biden was sworn into the oval office, the number of illegal border crossings increased by 400%. To put these numbers into perspective, more illegal immigrants are crossing our borders each month than live in Jackson, Mississippi.
I am deeply concerned by the bad actors who are profiting from President Biden’s open border policies. Since January, Border Patrol in California has picked up over 2,000 pounds of the deadly synthetic opioid, fentanyl, along the southern border. It is no coincidence that when President Biden opened our borders, the most profitable and lethal drug walked right through. Last year, drug overdoses killed more Americans than car crashes, gunshots or AIDS at its peak. Without secure borders, this crisis will stretch to every corner of our nation, bringing droves of deadly drugs from the southern border to our Mississippi neighborhoods.
Our lives are all impacted by the tireless fight of federal and local agencies to slow the rates of crime flooding through our ports of entry and the gaping holes that left our nation vulnerable when President Biden halted border wall construction. However, the longer that President Biden turns a blind eye to this crisis, the more overburdened our law enforcement becomes. Not only has he risked the health of our officers by removing public health protections that prevented the spread of COVID through our border, but he has also supported radical movements to abolish ICE, undercut Border Patrol, and defund our police.
I will not stand idly by as our White House ignores the dangers at our border and turns its back on our law enforcement, so this Congress, I rejoined the House Border Security Caucus and will soon be re-introducing the Border Bonds for America Act to fight to restore order at our southern border. This legislation will allow patriotic Americans the chance to carry on the work of President Trump and resume construction on the border wall. It's clear the new administration will not prioritize the infrastructure that is so crucial to slowing the drug crossings at our border, so my bill will make it possible for Americans to finish this crucial component of our national security.
This month, I had the opportunity to personally witness this crisis that is raging at our southern border. Along with my fellow Congressional Border Security Caucus colleagues, I visited ports of entry, emergency intake facilities, and missing stretches of the border wall. I returned home with three major takeaways; (1) the men and women in uniform who dedicate themselves to protecting our border are increasingly overburdened as this crisis worsens and vital resources and support are denied, (2) the cartels and smugglers bringing drugs into our neighborhoods are being allowed to profit from this chaos, (3) the Biden-Harris Administration is hiding these harsh realities from the American people.
I was dismayed when my fellow representatives and I were denied access to the El Paso Intelligence Center at the southern border. As Members of Congress, it is our constitutional responsibility to maintain oversight of these facilities to ensure hard-earned American tax dollars are not used in vain. This lack of transparency is deeply concerning. The American people deserve to know what their Commander in Chief is doing to protect their homes, families, and livelihoods from the invasion and crime and life-threatening narcotics.
America is a nation of law and order, without it, chaos ensues. It is my hope that President Biden soon realizes how open-border policies are hurting Americans and takes action to restore law and order and transparency in the process. We cannot allow deadly drugs to continue invading our backyards. I remain dedicated and honored to use my seat in Congress to strengthen our national defense, combat foreign threats, and safeguard the health and safety of Mississippians. The fight is not over.