Democrats Block Sen. Johnson Amendment to Secure the Border

Our national security is at risk because Democrats have turned border security into a partisan issue

WASHINGTON — On Thursday, the United States Senate voted on U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) amendment that called for completing the approximately 250 miles of unfinished border wall that is already paid for. All Republican senators present voted in favor of this amendment, but Democrats blocked its passage. Only one Democrat put partisan politics aside to vote in favor of the amendment.

A video of the senator’s remarks can be found here and here, and highlights are below.

“There was a time when securing the border had bipartisan support. It was actually a bipartisan goal — I think that made a lot of sense — but it's not now, and it wasn't all that long ago. In 2006, Congress passed something called the Secure Fence Act of 2006. What that piece of legislation did was it authorized 700 miles of what was supposed to be double layered fencing.”

“By the way, some pretty notable Democrats voted to secure the border by building 700 miles of double layer fence, including those who are current President Biden, former President Barack Obama, current majority leader of the Senate Senator Schumer, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, my chairman and ranking member of homeland security, Senator Tom Carper, the chairwoman of judiciary in the past, Senator Feinstein, the current chairman of the Finance Committee, Senator Wyden. At the time, the senator from Ohio, Senator Brown, was a member of the House and he voted for it in the House. So, again, that that's only 14, 15 years ago when securing the border was actually a bipartisan goal. What happened? Why isn't that the case now? Why has securing the border become a partisan issue? Well, politics happened.”

“The last two months, there have been almost on an average basis daily, almost 6,000 people per day being apprehended at the border. This crisis is out of control, but this crisis is also manmade. It's a manmade crisis by President Biden's policies. Now, last week, we had a hearing with Secretary Mayorkas, the Secretary of Homeland Security. It was actually surreal. First of all, they blame this on President Trump and said this is an inherited crisis. No, it wasn't. It was Democrat presidential candidates who started the spike of single adults.”

“Under my chairmanship, we almost always had a second round of questions, but we were denied that. I am sure there were time constraints, but in a second round of questions, this is what I wanted to ask Secretary Mayorkas:

“I wanted to ask him whether he was aware that human traffickers sell children to adults so they can exploit our asylum laws by posing as a family unit. Understand these policies that are being instituted to be more humane, do the exact opposite. It leads to all kinds of human depredations, all kinds of inhumanity. I knew it full well; we held hearings on this in 2018. Vice President Harris had to know as well; she was on my committee.

“So I wanted to ask Secretary Mayorkas whether he was aware that we heard testimony during my chairmanship that a child was sold for 84 dollars.

“I wanted to ask him: Is he aware that children are recycled? That they're sent back over the border to be used by another adult to pose as a family unit, to exploit our asylum laws?

“I wanted to ask: Are they verifying that a child actually belongs to an adult? Are they doing DNA tests? If so, what is the percentage of those that are actual family units?

“I wanted to know: Was he aware of the fact that human traffickers throw children out of rafts when they're interdicted by law enforcement? I don't have the picture here; I honestly wouldn’t even want to show it. I showed it in our committee hearing three or four years ago. It was hard enough showing it at that point in time, but it was a father and his 2-year-old daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande.

“I went down to the border with 18 of my Republican Senate colleagues. We saw a dead body floating in the Rio Grande. The day after a 9-year-old girl drowned in the Rio Grande. I wanted to know whether Secretary Mayorkas, whether President Biden, whether Vice President Harris was aware of this.

“I wanted to know whether the secretary was aware of the fact that migrant girls are given birth control because they know that such a large percentage will be raped during the dangerous journey when they're put in the hands of these human traffickers.

“I wanted to know whether the secretary is aware of the kidnappings and the beatings, the abuse, the additional ransom demanded by human traffickers.

“I wanted to know whether he knows how much the human traffickers charge for their human prey. And whether he has knowledge about how that debt is paid off.

“You realize the border is almost 100% secure on the Mexican side of the border. Nobody crosses into America without either paying the human traffickers or being indebted to them, and I wanted to know whether the secretary knew how they pay those debts off.

“I wanted to know whether he knew how many young girls are forced into the sex trade, and how many young men are forced into involuntary servitude — used to traffic drugs, or become part of gangs. I'd like to know whether the chairman of our committee is aware of the fact that President Biden's policies created this crisis and they are facilitating the multibillion-dollar business model of probably some of the most evil people on the planet.

“I wanted to know, but I didn't get a chance to ask those questions.”

“President Trump had stopped the flow, largely, of unaccompanied children, of family units, and he was doing the final step, which was complete the wall. Walls work. Take a look at what happened here after January 6th. Double layers of fencing, concertina-wire tipped. We obviously thought they worked here for us in Congress, they will work at the border as well. So what my amendment would do is simply complete the wall that President Trump started. He wanted to build 800 miles. He built 450. Two hundred fifty miles of that wall has already been contracted for. It will be paid for whether it is built or not, but 100 miles wasn’t contracted. So, American taxpayer, you need to understand this, you will be on the hook for a couple billion dollars, tens of thousands of tons of steel that's already been produced, all that waste, all that waste. And we won't even get the 250 miles of wall. Isn't that absurd? Isn't that ridiculous? All because securing the border has become a partisan issue, when it was not a partisan issue in 2006. Mr. President, my amendment, amendment 1518, is really pretty simple, just two pages. It's very common sense. It just says complete the wall that we've already contracted for.”

“I fear this is going to be decided strictly on party lines, and that's a real shame. If there's one thing that we ought to be bipartisan about, it's about national security. It's about securing our homeland and part and parcel to securing our homeland is having a secure border.”

“Let me reiterate, the dollars will be spent regardless. The dollars will be completely wasted and no wall whatsoever. And of course, this reconsideration of their policies, we can already see the disastrous consequences of what they've already done. God help us, in terms of what the results would be of future policies as well.”