By: Sen. Joni Ernst
President Joe Biden has attempted to convince people that the border is looking “much better” than expected. But the public is smart — it won’t be fooled by the Biden administration’s feeble efforts to divert attention from the 10,000 illegal crossings per day just this fall. When nearly the population of my home county in Iowa is crossing our border every day, no amount of spin can cover up the drug smuggling, human trafficking, and national security threats that come with it.
If this is what “much better” looks like, I have seen enough.
Witnessing the effects of Biden’s border crisis firsthand was even more convincing.
At the border in Yuma, Arizona, earlier this month, Border Patrol agents told me about routinely encountering children victimized as drug mules before they are disposed into sex rings or forced labor. Doctors and nurses at the Yuma Regional Medical Center shared how difficult it is to serve the local community because the massive influx of illegal immigrants needing medical attention stretches resources so thin.
Biden can end this inhumane situation. But he refuses to do so.
The Biden administration is allowing about $250 million worth of paid-for border wall materials to sit unused in the desert, spending $50 million a year, or $130,000 a day, to guard them. In Yuma, I saw these unused materials up close — ironically surrounded by a fence! Apparently, walls do work.
I’m sick of the hypocrisy and the Biden administration wasting our tax dollars by allowing already purchased parts to rust in the desert. That’s why I’m leading the BUILD IT Act to force Biden to transfer the border wall materials to states to finish the wall. State and local leaders, who deal with the impact of Biden’s policies every day, understand the dire reality of this situation.
But what’s the president doing instead? Auctioning off these already purchased parts for pennies on the dollar. This sends a clear message that our border is wide open. And the world, and our adversaries, are listening.
As he auctions off border wall materials, Biden makes it easier for terrorists to enter our homeland. In the last fiscal year, 172 migrants on the terrorist watch list attempted to cross our southern border, up from three in fiscal 2019.
There’s no way around it: Biden’s reckless border policies are a national security nightmare, and his plan, a vice presidential request of “do not come,” didn’t work. I have a better plan — one that is effective.
Biden has only been to the border once since becoming president. As he tries to turn a blind eye to his border crisis, I am not sure what he is even looking at.
But anyone who takes a glance at what’s going on today — whether it’s world events, the cost of living, or our border — would agree that nothing looks better since Biden became president!
While Biden continues to downplay and deflect the invasion he has allowed at our southern border, I am working to end it.
Instead of expending energy explaining away the crisis of its own making, the Biden administration should solve it. The tools are at its disposal. Let’s start by tearing down the fence protecting unused materials, finishing the wall with already paid-for parts, and securing the border.
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) is the junior senator from Iowa, the first female combat veteran elected to the U.S. Senate, and sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee.