WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, announced that Biden administration is finally taking some actions to address the southern border as unlawful migration and fentanyl seizures continue to hit record levels. Portman has continually pressed the Biden administration to put policies in place to curb unlawful migration and the influx of illicit narcotics. Since March, the southern border has faced the worst unlawful migration crisis in more than twenty years with seizures of deadly fentanyl increasing by 42 percent between September and October. The most recent U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operational statistics showed a record number of border arrests in November which made it clear that the historic surge of unlawful migrants and illicit narcotics isn’t seasonal.
In October, Portman pressed CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus at his nomination hearing on the need to complete the installation of enhanced border security technology that has already been appropriated by Congress. In March, Portman visited El Paso and saw the fully-funded construction materials lying on the ground at the border and heard directly from Border Patrol officers about the importance of enhancing border security in order to give them the opportunity to complete their national security mission. Portman released the following statement:
“I have called on the Biden administration to address the historic unlawful migration and illicit narcotics crisis countless times and I’m pleased to see that they are finally taking some actions to secure our border – now is not the time to incentivize unlawful migration or the influx of deadly fentanyl by continuing their failed policies. Today’s announcement of increased border wall infrastructure and gates are a step in the right direction. Congress has appropriated funding for the border wall and enhanced technology to ensure border security and the Biden administration is required to use the funds consistent with their appropriated purpose. I call on the Biden administration to install the technology Border Patrol needs to complete their mission, close all the gaps in the border wall, and to implement policies to curb the influx of unlawful migrants and illicit narcotics so our communities in Ohio and across the country can be safe and secure.”