Blaine’s Bulletin: The Secure the Border Act of 2023
Before I get into this week’s column topic, I want to provide a quick update on President Biden’s mortgage “equity” plan I wrote about two weeks ago. After pushback from Congress, the mortgage industry and the American people, this misguided policy has been rescinded. For more information, please click here.
The word “border” is defined as “the line, limit, or delimiting geographic feature that separates one country, state, province, etc., from another.” Borders play an essential part in maintaining world order, as they delineate where towns, counties, states, countries and continents stop and start. The United States’ border is what makes clear where our government’s authority ends, and Canada or Mexico’s begins. The border is there for a reason, and why the Biden Administration insists on open border policies that put our nation at risk is beyond comprehension.
On Wednesday, the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reported it hit a single day record with more 10,300 encounters. This influx of migrants was unfortunately expected with the Title 42 public health order coming to an end this week. Title 42 has been in place since March of 2020 and gives U.S. authorities the ability to turn migrants away on public health grounds. One of the Biden Administration’s first actions after the president was sworn in was halting construction of the border wall and enacting open border policies. But because Title 42 was still in place, there was at least one policy our border patrol agents could utilize. However, the end of Title 42 means our border will be wide open and illegal immigration stands to get even worse.
House Republicans’ “Secure the Border Act of 2023” passed the House floor yesterday to make our country safer and bring much needed reforms to our border policies. This bill is formally called House Resolution (H.R.) 2 – to show the American people this is at the top of our priority list. This bill will do several things to secure our border and move our country away from the open border policies that have turned every town in America into a border town. It would force the Biden Administration to restart construction of the border wall; deploy new technology to the southern and northern border; increase the number of Border Patrol agents – something that is desperately needed as they are extremely overworked and underfunded – and provide bonus pay for these hardworking agents who have been climbing an uphill battle; require transparency regarding illegal crossings from the Department of Homeland Security; strengthen current law to protect unaccompanied children from the human trafficking that’s running rampant at our southern border and into our country; end catch and release; and strengthen and streamline the asylum process. In short, it is the comprehensive plan Americans have been calling for.
As I’ve discussed before, the United States cannot afford to have this border crisis continue. The entire country feels for these towns and ranchers in Texas and Arizona who bear the immediate brunt of these border crossings as feel they effects of the crime first. But the human trafficking, crime, and flow of drugs doesn’t stop in these states. They’ve made their way to every state in the U.S. The U.S. fentanyl overdose death rate tragically almost quadrupled between 2016 and 2021, and too many families have lost loved ones to this epidemic that has been fueled by our unsecure border.
This week, I introduced an anti-money laundering bill designed to allow the Treasury Department and law enforcement to follow the money of narcotics trafficking. This is important because the drug trade is not just a group of people carrying pills across the border. It is a partnership between Chinese drugmakers and money launderers with Mexican drug cartels to make billions of dollars off the mass murder of Americans. The traffickers get the drugs into the country and the money launders get the profits out. As a member of the Financial Services Committee and Chairman of National Security, Illicit Finance, and International Financial Institutions, my job is to target the money that funds the drug trade and introduce solutions to stop it, which my bill aims to do.
The physical security at the border proposed in H.R. 2 along with the enhancement and enforcement of anti-money laundering laws would strike a massive blow to drug cartels and their Chinese partners. I’ll keep fighting to get both across the finish line.