The Iowa senator is calling for the Biden administration to allow states to build the Southern border wall with materials that are lying dormant and costing taxpayers.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is calling out the Biden administration and Democrats for picking and choosing which laws to enforce, especially at the Southern border. In a speech on the Senate floor, Ernst told Democrats “our laws are not a buffet” and continued her call for the Biden administration to allow states to build the Southern border wall with materials that are lying dormant and costing taxpayers, through her BUILD IT Act.
Click here or on the image above to watch Ernst’s remarks.
Ernst’s full remarks are below:
“Today America looks like a country governed by teenagers who grew up reading choose your own adventure books. They got some authority and decided they could govern under a system of Choose-Your-Own-Laws. But a government that derives its power from the people cannot endure if its laws change every few years, based on the whims of a select few in positions of power. That is, after all, why John Adams said we are ‘a government of laws, not men.’
“Folks, our laws are not a buffet. You can't pick and choose which ones to uphold, and which to overlook, based on your desires, but that's exactly what we're experiencing today under Democratic control.
“This is a political party that wants to rule, but do so without following the rules. They want to break our institutions, rig the system in their favor, and fundamentally transform our country. And today we're seeing the result of this radical agenda. Look no further than the Biden border crisis.
“U.S. law requires that immigrants be deported or detained pending determination if they don't have a legal right to be here. But under this administration, enforcement simply no longer exists. In September 2019, on the campaign trail, Joe Biden proudly said those seeking asylum in America: ‘you should come.’ In March 2020, he said: ‘the only deportations that will take place are commissions of felonies.’ President Biden knew we didn't have the detention space, the enforcement capacity, or administrative staff to follow the law, but he encouraged people to come. And they listened.
“If the illegal immigrants who've entered the United States since President Biden took office established a new city, it would be the ninth largest city in the country with a population of 1.34 million. And they're still coming. Just this week, we learned what might be the largest caravan ever - nearly 15,000 migrants - is headed to our southern border. This is unacceptable and unsustainable. And it was completely avoidable.
“This manufactured border crisis is also a boon for the deadly drug cartels. Customs and Border Protection estimates that smuggling migrants into the U.S. earns cartels up to - get this folks - $6 billion a year. And in the first three months of 2022, Border Patrol seized over 150,000 pounds of drugs on the southern border.
“Our country has been struggling with an opioid epidemic for far too long. And the Biden administration solution is an open border that will allow some of the deadliest drugs to be transported across the country, turning every state into a border state. In fact, in 2021, more than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, the highest number ever recorded, with opioids such as fentanyl responsible for 3 out of 5 of those deaths.
“Not to mention the horrific abuses many young girls and women face at the hands of their smugglers. Folks, don't miss this: the Biden administration is aiding and abetting illegal immigration and all the criminal activity that comes with it. They have the tools in their toolbox to curb the flow of drugs and human trafficking, and to stop the historic record of illegal border crossings, but they refuse to use them.
“On his first day in office, the president canceled the construction of the barrier along our Southern border calling it ‘a waste of money.’ Ironically, his decision to not build the wall is the real waste of money because while it's not providing any security, it is still costing taxpayers. Since pulling the plug on the project, Biden has continued paying contractors upwards of $3 million a day - yes, you heard it right folks - $3 million that day to watch over the used materials that are lying in the desert.
“Taxpayers are being billed to babysit piles of surplus materials. But some states being overrun by the influx of illegal immigrants would still like to set up barriers to control who is coming across the border from Mexico. Taxpayers have already paid $350 million for the concrete, steel and fencing that is now sitting idle - collecting dust and dollars. Why not let these states who want to build the wall access these unused materials? It would save taxpayers money and deter the unprecedented number of border crossings that we have seen as a result of Biden's border policies, or in this case - lack thereof. To paraphrase a well-known quotation in Iowa, ‘if you build it they will come.’ Let's paraphrase: ‘if you don't build it, they will come.’
“Folks, America is and always has been a welcoming nation. But those seeking a better life here have an obligation to respect our laws, and the president has a sworn duty to enforce them. That's why I introduced the Border’s Unused Idle and Lying Dormant Inventory Transfer, or the BUILD IT Act, which would turn over the unused materials already purchased by taxpayers to construct the southern border barrier to any state wishing to finish the job.
“President Biden's refusal to secure our border is causing chaos and allowing cartels to smuggle drugs into communities in Iowa and across the country, while costing taxpayers billions of dollars for nothing.
“Here's the simple solution. President Biden - please enforce current immigration laws, curb cartel activity, and put these materials to use. Let's end the taxpayer funded waste, let's stop the unprecedented flow of illegal migrants and let's build it.”