U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the border crisis:
“Our overwhelmed Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel have already encountered more than two million illegal immigrants and counting this fiscal year.
“That is a larger group of people than the entire populations of 14 states. And this record-shattering two million apprehensions only counts the subset of people that were actually caught. Experts estimate hundreds of thousands more people on top of that number who simply got away.
“The latest reports say that CBP encountered more than 200,000 people just in the month of August alone. And more than 20% of those people were not first-time border-crossers but rather repeat offenders who had already previously been expelled or deported. Tens of thousands of individuals who had already been thrown out, flooding back in every month.
“Orderly legal immigration is part of what makes America strong. Anarchy and open borders make us weak.
“There is nothing compassionate or humane about the border crisis that Democrats’ mixed signals and failed policies have unleashed.
“It is not fair to American citizens. It is not fair to law enforcement. And it is not fair to the people who have been encouraged to undertake desperate and dangerous journeys by years of Democrats signaling to the world that there are no real consequences for breaking our laws and cutting in line.
“Vice President Harris says ‘the border is secure.’ The American people know better. And they are furious. Illegal immigrants know better, too.
“For years, Washington Democrats have attacked Republicans for calling for basic border security and law enforcement. The Democratic Party line throughout the last five years has been that enforcing existing immigration law would be cruel and securing our borders would be xenophobic.
“But over the last few days, some liberals have changed their tune dramatically.
“Out of desperation, a few Governors along our southern border are now giving some Democrat-run states and cities a tiny, tiny taste of what border communities have been enduring for years.
“According to the Washington Post, the total number of individuals whom Texas and Arizona have helped relocate to New York, Washington D.C., and other places in recent months is roughly on the order of the number of illegal immigrants who arrive at our southern border every single day.
“All those cities combined have had months to accept, between them, approximately one day’s share of our nation’s illegal immigration.
“But the Democratic Mayor of New York City is now declaring that his government’s resources are at the ‘breaking point.’
“According to the Post, these border states have sent to New York City less than one day’s worth of illegal crossers, spread out ever more than a month, and the self-proclaimed ‘sanctuary city’ apparently cannot take it.
“The Governor of Florida helped a tiny number of illegal immigrants, about four dozen, secure transportation to the wealthy liberal destination of Martha’s Vineyard, filled with millionaires’ mansions, which appointed itself a so-called ‘sanctuary destination’ back in 2017.
“Apparently this ‘sanctuary destination’ tolerated, fed, and housed the newcomers for less than 48 hours before having the national guard promptly put them on a ferry and removed them to a military base instead.
“Democrats, liberal activists, and the media are predictably melting down. There are absurd accusations flying around that it is somehow evil or illegal for Republican officials to help illegal immigrants move within the country.
“That would be breaking news, Mr. President, because of course the Biden Administration has been flying and busing illegal immigrants around the country on a regular basis.
“According to one report from early 2021, the Biden Administration was already filling Greyhound buses with people turning up at our border and driving them to various destinations from the South to the Midwest to the Northeast. But it was never to Martha’s Vineyard.
“So these well-to-do blue enclaves are finally witnessing the smallest fraction of the challenges that open borders have forced on working-class communities across the country.”