On Fox News, Portman Discusses Worst Migrant Crisis in More Than 21 Years

This afternoon on Fox News’ America Reports with John Roberts & Sandra Smith, Senator Rob Portman, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, discussed the ongoing crisis in Del Rio, Texas, which is a direct result of the Biden administration’s decision to dismantle the previous administration’s border policies with no consideration of the consequences and has resulted in a historic surge of unlawful migrants, unaccompanied children, and deadly narcotics like fentanyl coming into our country through our southern border. 

Earlier today at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, Portman pressed Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on when the Biden administration will put policies in place to address the worst migrant crisis in more than 21 years. Portman emphasized the need for an orderly and lawful immigration system while also addressing the pull factor that incentivizes migrants to make the journey to the United States. 

Excerpts from the interview can be found below and a video can be found here.

PORTMAN ON MIGRANT CRISIS BEING A RESULT OF ADMINISTRATION’S OWN POLICIES 

“We were very disappointed today. I also pushed him hard on what they’re doing in terms of moving Haitians out of the area under the bridge because he said, well, it’s down to 10,000 from 13,000 to 15,000. That’s why I pushed him. We later found out that they’re being sent to other processing centers in the United States. Only 350 have gone back on flights out of 13,000 to 15,000. Look, I mean, our immigration system is a mess. We know that. Last month we had over 200,000 people come again, which, by the way, is four times more than we had last August. So something has changed and the change is that the policies of the Trump administration were taken away without anything to replace them. And as a result, you see a lot more people coming to the border.”

PORTMAN ON NEED TO ADDRESS THE PULL FACTOR THAT BRINGS MIGRANTS TO OUR SOUTHERN BORDER 

“This notion that migrants who come into the United States are only here for a short period of time, that’s just not accurate. In fact, because of the backlog, when people are let in say, with an asylum claim, it’s four to five years, sometimes even longer with appeals before they actually get a court appearance. So the result is they’re in the community. They’re working. They’re going to school, whatever. And they’re here for a long time and very few of them, if any, get deported based on the numbers we’re seeing now in this administration. So they’re here. So there has to be a way to ensure that there’s much better vetting. And that we stop the pull factor. We talk a lot about the push factor, the poverty in these other countries. I get that. But there’s a pull factor here. I was recently down in Latin America talking to the presidents of these countries, and they said, ‘Stop the pull factor. It hurts us because you’re taking our people away.’ 

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