The Iowa senator slammed Democrats for their devastating mismanagement of the border catastrophe.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) took to the Senate floor today to slam the Biden administration for their devastating mismanagement of the catastrophe at the Southern border. The senator highlighted the deadly impact that the open border has had on the United States, pointing to the increased drug overdoses in Iowa. Ernst also previewed her upcoming visit to the California-Mexico border.
Click here or the picture above to watch Ernst’s full floor speech.
Ernst’s full remarks below:
“Madam President, first, I’d like to thank my friend and colleague, Senator Capito of West Virginia, for her leadership in bringing Senate Republicans to the floor to talk about an issue important to all of our constituents: the safety and security of our great nation.
“Joe Biden created a crisis that has now turned into a complete catastrophe…one a mere photo-op at a ‘cleaned up’ site in Texas won’t fix.
“In just two years, under President Biden, over 4 million illegal immigrants have crossed the Southern border – 151 of which were on the terror watch list.
“And to top that off, we know of at least 1.2 million individuals who evaded authorities – what many call ‘got-aways.’
“This border catastrophe is so much more than a flood of illegal migrants hoping to jump the legal immigration line to get in the door.
“An open border is an invitation for mischief. It’s a drug lord’s dream.
“In my home state of Iowa, drug overdoses among young people have risen 120% in the last few years.
“According to the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation, there were four times the amount of fentanyl pills disguised as prescriptions drugs in 2022 as compared to the previous year.
“Madam President, we must act now to counter this deadly fentanyl epidemic.
“We, as lawmakers, should make the distribution of fentanyl resulting in death punishable by federal felony murder charges.
“It’s past time the consequence for intentionally inflicting an overdose fits the crime.
“The cartels producing and smuggling this deadly drug into the United States are also funneling a significant number of illegal firearms and weapons, leading to barbaric violence.
“Just last week in California, a family of 6, including a 10-month old baby girl, was killed in a drug cartel execution. And unfortunately, the suspects are still at large.
“Folks, this death and devastation cannot continue.
“In the coming weeks, I’m looking forward to leading a bicameral delegation to the California-Mexico border.
“There, we plan to hear directly from Customs and Border Protection personnel about fentanyl and their ongoing drug interdictions.
“We’ll tour the port in San Diego, the epicenter for fentanyl trafficking into the United States, and get a firsthand look at the dangerous and critical work our border patrol agents are doing day-in and day-out.
“I anticipate a common theme in all of our conversations: the need to physically secure our border… Something my colleagues on the other side of the aisle used to support.
“In 2007, then-Senator Joe Biden argued “no great country can say it’s secure without being able to secure its borders.”
“In 2010, Senator Chuck Schumer supported border security—and agreed the border lacked “the resources to fully combat the drug smugglers, gun runners, human traffickers, money launderers, and organized criminals that seek to do harm to innocent Americans along our border.”
“Amen! I agree, with both of them.
“But where is that same attitude now? When the Southern border has become immensely more dangerous, more permeable, and more lethal.
“Madam President, at every single one of my town halls over the past three weeks, and in dozens of interviews with Iowa media, I was asked about the crisis at the Southern border.
“So to those on the Left who say this is just a Republican stunt… I think you better get out of the Beltway and into Middle America, hear directly from the people you are supposed to serve, and you’ll quickly find, it’s no stunt; it’s reality.
“Iowa families want solutions. They want safety, and they want to curtail the ever-increasing access to deadly drugs for their children. And they are not alone.
“The American people want a solution, in fact over a majority of Americans—73% according to one Pew Research Poll—say they believe we need to increase security along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“It’s a place to start—a place to find common ground.
“In fact, there are left over border materials from the Trump administration lying in the desert – materials that taxpayers have paid for that are just collecting dust.
“And get this. The federal government hired – meaning they spent our tax dollars to pay for – contractors to watch over the materials.
“Without a secure border, we cannot have a larger conversation about reforming our immigration system.
“So, maybe – just maybe –a good place to start is for this administration to allow states who want to complete the border barrier to do so, instead of taking them to court!
“Besides, doesn’t Biden’s Justice Department have enough on their hands right now?”