By – Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL-03)
For the last 15 months of the Biden presidency, the American people have endured crisis after crisis. On his first day in office, Biden and his administration took several steps to undo the hard—and long overdue—work President Trump and his team crafted. No sector under the Biden administration has been safe from the gross overreach.
Take, for example, the domestic energy sector which has been under siege since Biden’s inauguration. On day one, Biden killed the Keystone Pipeline and more than 11,000 jobs. Why you ask? Because the Keystone Pipeline didn’t fit within his Green New Deal agenda. Structured to provide more than 850,000 barrels of fuel per day, the pipeline would go a long way in keeping our economy humming and our prices low.
On national security, Biden halted Title 42 and the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) and stopped construction of the border wall. The resulting border crisis is manmade and could be easily fixed, but Biden refuses to secure the border, instead doing everything he can to stop construction of the border wall and give Customs & Border Protection agents the resources they need. In speaking to Border Patrol agents firsthand during my trips to the border, they’ve repeatedly told me that they need the wall as a force multiplier.
But unlike the border crisis, energy crisis, the Americans left behind in Afghanistan, Ukraine, rising crime, or inflation, we simply cannot walk down the street without tripping over one of Biden’s messes.
As a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, I also know these issues well. Since I was sworn in to represent Florida’s Third Congressional District, I’ve had a front-row seat to the many homeland security crises we face. I’ve traveled to the border three times and listened to the harrowing stories of young women targeted by Facebook’s cartel advertisements. I’ve listened to stories about young women with Plan B in their backpacks, preparing to be sexually assaulted during their journeys to the U.S.
In fact, it’s estimated that close to 80 percent of women and young girls are abused during their travels to the border. In one case, I spoke to a young, nine-year-old girl who could barely tell me her name after screaming so loud that her vocal cords had given out while being gang-raped by cartel members. Her story is horrific, but sadly, it is not unique. The awful, careless disregard by this administration for what’s happening at the border is heartbreaking.
In response to the horrors that we’ve seen, we’ve forced Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to answer for the long list of failures in his critical role before our committee. His lack of empathy is shocking, but more than that, is his lack of knowledge about the role he’s played in this crisis. At every turn, he deflects and misdirects committee questions, leaving us with one conclusion: he simply doesn’t know and he simply doesn’t care.
During my first two visits to the border, I was joined by several of my Homeland Security Committee colleagues. Even after our visit and those by House GOP leadership, the liberal media still has not taken the border crisis seriously, failing to seriously cover the crisis there, choosing to focus on everything instead of the heartbreaking stories happening on U.S. soil.
On one of my visits to the border, we toured the processing facility in Donna, Texas that is used to process and house illegals crossing the border. It is not unusual for these facilities to take in more than 40-50,000 migrants per week. Here we met “borrowed” or “recycled” children under the age of six, repeatedly used to gain entry into the U.S. for immigrants without children of their own because the policies won’t permit anyone with a young child to be deported back to their home countries.
The facts are not easy to ignore: since President Biden took office, there have been over 2.1 million encounters at the southern border. In just January 2022 alone, CBP agents countered 153,941 individuals—a 21-year high and a direct result of this administration’s aimless, thoughtless, unserious approach to our border and our national security.
Fentanyl seizures will only continue to skyrocket, and in FY2022, CBP has already seized 3,569 pounds of fentanyl, or enough to kill millions of Americans. The number one killer of Americans 18-45 in 2020 was fentanyl. It wasn’t COVID and wasn’t climate change like this administration loves to claim; we’ve recorded the highest number of drug-overdose deaths in a 12-month period, eclipsing over 100,000 Americans according to the CDC.
Because anyone doubts this administration can competently handle any of the crises it creates, it has never been more important to have thoughtful, pragmatic conservative leaders who care about this issue and will work hard to put an end to it. Despite the heartbreak, anger, and madness we all feel, my Republican colleagues and I will make drastic changes when we regain the House majority.
Border security is national security and it’s past time we take it seriously.
Congresswoman Kat Cammack proudly serves Florida’s Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is the youngest Republican woman serving in the 117th Congress and sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, Agriculture Committee, and Select Committee on the Economy.