Americans need to understand the grotesque reality of this Administration's open borders policy. Children are trafficked, women are assaulted. Over 500 people died in the desert last year alone trying to cross our borders. This is what happens when you offer free services and promise no deportations.
Crisis at the Border
In July 2022, Senator Johnson toured the southern border in McAllen, Texas and what he saw was “profoundly disturbing.” He called on President Biden, Vice President Harris and Secretary Mayorkas to come to the border to witness the depredations caused by their policies.
Watch the July 15, 2022 news conference here.
In May 2022, Senator Johnson was part of a surreal hearing with Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas regarding the administration's complete mishandling of the crisis on the southern border.
Secretary Mayorkas simply would not acknowledge the fact that President Trump had pretty well stopped the flow of unaccompanied children, of family units exploiting our very generous, credible fear standard under asylum.
In March 2021, Senator Johnson joined a group of GOP senators and witnessed many tragedies during their two-day trip to border. To read about this experience, click here.
As the chart above shows, the peak of the first wave of migrants occurred in 2014. President Obama correctly called it a humanitarian crisis and his Homeland Security secretary said it was a "bad day" when apprehensions exceeded 1,000.
Responding to the second wave in 2018 and 2019, President Trump enacted polices and entered into agreements with Mexico and Guatemala that greatly reduced the migration of children and families. Under Senator Johnson's leadership as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee from 2015-2020, Senator Johnson's committee was able to:
- Established quantifiable, objective metrics for DHS to use to measure border security (Border Security Metrics Act of 2015, included in the NDAA).
- Held more than 30 hearings and released two staff reports examining the factors that have led to our failure to secure our borders, including one examining lessons we can learn from Israel’s approach to border security, aviation security, and cybersecurity.
- During the humanitarian crisis at the border in 2018, the committee held more than 20 bipartisan staff briefings, several member briefings, and also took staff delegation trips to the border, culminating in a majority staff report in 2018 examining the staggering increase in family unit illegal border crossings from 2015-2019, and providing recommendations to address the problem.
- Developed a proposal in 2019 for a streamlined process called Operation Safe Return that became the basis for two DHS expedited processing programs at our border that have helped reduce holding time for illegal crossings and make the process more effective and efficient.