WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Representative John Rose (TN-06) took to the House Floor Wednesday to condemn the Biden Administration’s border policies. In his remarks, Rep. Rose quoted President Biden, from the 2020 campaign trail, and listed the many executive avenues the administration could take to curb the crisis.
The full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:
Mister Speaker, President Biden’s policies at the southern border are working, if the goal has been to let more than eight million illegal immigrants, more than the entire population of Tennessee, into the country. If that’s the goal, then indeed, his policies are working.
For example, look no further than on the campaign trail in 2019, when then-candidate Biden said to a crowd of Iowa voters, “we could afford to take – in a heartbeat – another 2 million people.” While campaigning from his basement for the job of Commander-in-Chief he never hid the fact that he would use his executive authority to “increase the total number of immigrants able to come to the United States.” He was as clear as could be. It was a promise made, a promise kept, and a promise multiplied by four.
That quote, which can be found online in seconds, gives much-needed context as to why he issued 94 executive actions on immigration in his first 100 days in office, fought to end the Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ program and Title 42, and why the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released millions of illegal immigrants into our country illegally. These actions, coupled with dozens more, continue to send a message to Latin America and around the world—including suspected terrorists—that our borders are open.
Let me be clear: President Biden already has all the power and authority he needs to end this crisis immediately. Just compare his numbers to President Trump’s. In December 2023 alone, DHS reported 302,000 illegal immigrant encounters at the southern border, which is 300% higher than in December 2020. This marks 34 straight months where illegal immigrant encounters were higher under President Biden’s Administration than they EVER were in a single month under President Trump.
And in the last fiscal year, DHS encountered 169 people on the terrorist watch list. That set a record, as it was more than Fiscal Years 2017 through 2020 combined—the majority of Trump’s presidency.
The Immigration and Nationality Act, coupled with recent Supreme Court precedent, gives President Biden ‘ample authority’ to ‘suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.’ The sad reality is the president isn’t asleep at the wheel when it comes to securing the border. He’s alert with both hands on the wheel, driving it into the ditch.
This is the America he told us he would champion. Despite his desire to usurp Congress, House Republicans will continue to hold this administration accountable for its unwillingness to enforce our laws. That’s why House Republicans continue to push for H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023, which would force President Biden to end catch-and-release policy, pay for more border patrol agents, and restart border wall construction.
Unfortunately, even with thousands of pounds of fentanyl pouring through and thousands of young people dead, I don’t believe we will see the change of heart needed by this president to secure the border. In fact, it’s become apparent that we likely won’t see any impactful changes at our southern border until a new president takes office. Until then, I won’t hold my breath waiting for President Biden.
You can watch the speech here.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://johnrose.house.gov/media/press-releases/rep-rose-slams-biden-admins-border-policies-cites-ways-president-biden-could