Portman, Risch & Colleagues Publish SFRC Report on Biden Administration Policies Exacerbating Border Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Jim Risch (R-ID), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Barrasso (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, Marco Rubio (R-FL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Ted Cruz (R-TX), Todd Young (R-IN), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today published a report entitled Biden’s Border Crisis: Examining Policies that Encourage Illegal Migration ,” to highlight how the Biden administration is undermining U.S. efforts to reduce unlawful migration and jeopardizing U.S. security.

“As this report details, the lack of responsible border policies by this administration is allowing Mexican transnational criminal organizations to traffic record numbers of unlawful migrants and deadly, illicit narcotics into communities in Ohio and throughout the country,” said Portman. “This administration must implement the recommendations in this report to end their border crisis and ensure the safety and security of all Americans.”

“Illegal migration to the United States has reached record-breaking levels since the Biden Administration entered office,” said Risch. “In order to protect U.S. security and regional stability, its time the administration establish sound immigration controls within the United States and build political will and capacity in Mexico and the northern Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Our report offers concrete recommendations to address the root causes of illegal migration and to achieve safety and security at our U.S. southern border and the region at large.”

“President Biden’s border crisis continues to shatter records. This is a national security nightmare that only gets worse by the day,” said Barrasso. “It’s time for the White House to act. Our report lays out immediate steps the Biden administration can take right now to secure our border. Tackling the root causes of illegal immigration and reinstating important Trump-era reforms that we know work will help stop the surge of migrants from overrunning our border.”

“For the first time in modern American history, our southern border is no longer controlled by the U.S. government – it is controlled by cartels,” said Rubio. “The Biden Administration’s woke priorities and strategy of appeasement are encouraging mass migration and emboldening dictators in the region. This is a national security threat, and it must be immediately addressed.”

“We have an unprecedented crisis at our southern border, fueled by the policies of the Biden administration,” said Cruz. “We have broken historic records over and over again during President Biden’s presidency, and communities and law enforcement in Texas are at a breaking point. It doesn’t have to be this way. For the good of the American people, President Biden and his administration should reverse course and take serious action to secure our borders, and they should do so now.”

“The Biden Administration continues to ignore the crisis at our southern border,” said Young. “Border security is national security, and it is time we pursue policies with that objective in mind. This report outlines what the Biden Administration needs to do here at home and with countries in the region to focus on the root causes of the crisis.”

“This report corroborates what my colleagues and I have asserted since President Biden rashly reversed successful Trump-era border policies when he stepped into office, almost-immediately collapsing our southern border: the border protection policies implemented under the previous Administration, including the Migrant Protection Protocols and Asylum Cooperative Agreements, facilitated a secure America, stability in the region at large, and the critical prevention of drug and human trafficking,” said Hagerty. “For the sake of America and its people, I urge the Administration to take serious our recommendations and reverse course on their harmful immigration policies and do more to counter the lethal flow of China-origin fentanyl and precursors across the southern border.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • President Biden has reversed important Trump-era reforms that effectively addressed unlawful migration, and reinstated failed Obama-era policies. These policies are undermining U.S. efforts to build effective law enforcement and asylum processing mechanisms across Mexico and northern Central America, leading to the highest number of migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States in history.
  • Transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) benefit from and prolong the unlawful migration crisis by facilitating and profiting off the smuggling and trafficking of migrants, or by victimizing vulnerable people along the dangerous journey to the United States.
  • The governments of Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are falling short on their own domestic and international obligations to address transnational organized crime and unlawful migration issues, putting U.S. security at risk. The Biden Administration should seek to enforce these obligations, including the agreements the Trump Administration made with these countries.

Key recommendations of the report include:

  • Establish effective immigration controls in the United States:
    • Extend Title 42 until the end of the COVID-19 health emergency.
    • Reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols and Asylum Cooperative Agreements.
  • Strengthen border security and migration management capacities in the region:
    • Target U.S. assistance in Mexico and northern Central America towards strengthening the capacity, funding, and staffing of migration management and law enforcement agencies in those countries.
  • Target TCO human smuggling and trafficking:
    • Leverage existing bilateral extradition treaties to prosecute transnational criminal actors facilitating illegal migration to the United States. 

A copy of the full SFRC minority report can be found here.

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