WASHINGTON, DC - Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released operational statistics showing that April was had the highest number of border encounters on record which makes it clear that the administration should not lift Title 42 without putting policies in place to secure the border:
“The April CBP operational statistics make it clear that it would be irresponsible for the administration to follow through on its plan to lift Title 42 without putting policies in place to secure the border and deter unlawful migrants as well as the illicit narcotics flooding into our communities. The April CBP numbers show 234,088 total encounters at the border. This includes more than 54,000 migrant family members, an increase of 45 percent from March; more than 166,000 single adult migrants; and more than 12,000 unaccompanied children. If the Biden administration revokes the use of the Title 42 health policy next week, our border crisis will become a catastrophe.
“The statistics this month reflect a fourfold increase in Ukrainians seeking asylum at our border. Ukrainians should be welcomed into our country as Russia continues its unjust aggression. It is concerning to me, however, that they are arriving at our southern border. Ukrainians with close ties to the United States should not feel that they need to make the dangerous approach at our southern border to make use of the administration’s failed border policies instead of using the Uniting for Ukraine program as a pathway to come to the United States and stay temporarily.
“The surge in illicit narcotics coming over our border also continues to rise, with seizures of heroin and fentanyl up more than 36 percent from last month. In addition, the CBP statistics show fentanyl seizures at the southern border increased 48 percent in April 2022 compared with April 2021 and increased more than 420 percent from April 2020. The lack of responsible border policies by this administration is allowing Mexican transnational crime organizations to push these deadly substances into communities in Ohio and throughout the country. This administration must take action to control our southern border to ensure the safety and security of American families.”