Today, Representatives Carlos Gimenez and Laurel Lee (R-FL) spoke in favor of the 2023 Border Reinforcement Act during the House Homeland Security Committee meeting.
The Act would finish the border wall former President Donald Trump advocated for and beef up Customs and Border Patrol with resources and funding.
Rep. Gimenez began by speaking of his visits to the border, where enforcement agents told him they wanted the wall completed, improved technology, and increased the number of agents. More importantly, Rep. Gimenez said, "The number one issue that they have is policy."
"The number one issue that they have is policy. The number one deterrent, the number one way to deter what's going on at the border is policy," said Rep. Gimenez.
Additionally, he stated that while he sympathizes with the migrants, the Biden Administration is incentivizing their travel, leading to the "self-made" crisis at the border.
"They came because they felt it was the time to come because of the Biden Administration's policies. So it's the Biden Administration's policies that really led to this crisis. It's a self-made crisis, it's a manufactured crisis," Gimenez continued.
Moreover, as an immigrant himself representing an area heavily populated by immigrants, Gimenez said that current border policies "are making a joke of the rule of law" and "a mockery of the people in their [migrants'] home countries that are actually trying to get here the right way."
"We all came here for the same thing, we came for freedom, we came for opportunity. But we also came for one more thing, the rule of law, because we came from countries that don't have the rule of law. And what's happening at the border is making a joke of the rule of law," added Gimenez. " And most of the people in my district, myself included, believe we understand why the migrants are coming, they're coming for the same reasons that we did, but you have to do it in a legal way, in a legal fashion. Do we need immigration reform in the United States? Yes, but it can't be open borders. And actually, having an open border and having them come through illegally actually makes a mockery of the people in their home countries that are actually trying to get here the right way," Gimenez concluded.
Shortly afterward, Rep. Lee spoke of the findings by the Florida grand jury previously discussed by Attorney General Ashley Moody earlier in April.
Rep. Lee reiterates the jury was not politically motivated or made up of biased members, and their findings concluded that "our current open border policies are empowering criminals."
"This is not a group of Republicans or Democrats, this is not a group that has some sort of political agenda. This is a group of everyday Americans with no political perspective. And I will tell you what they found, that our current open border policies are empowering criminals and are indeed producing results that are anything but humanitarian," said Rep. Lee.
She describes the "critical failures" in screening migrants and their sponsors, especially child migrants, who are then "in peril of being trafficked, exploited, harmed."
More alarmingly, the Office of Refugee Resettlement does not adequately describe how background checks for migrant sponsors are rushed without a thorough review, thereby "facilitating the forced migration, sale, and abuse of foreign children."
"The public is led to believe that the process described by our federal government in documents and popular media accounts at least resembled the truth. ORR asserts that children fleeing from danger are adequately identified, properly cared for, and reunited with their families here in this country. In reality, ORR is facilitating the forced migration, sale, and abuse of foreign children, and some of our fellow Florida residents, in some cases unwittingly, are funding and incentivizing it for economic reasons," Lee concluded.