Hoeven: Border Security is Vital to National Security

Senator Reviews Crisis on Southern Border, Meets with Border Patrol, Reviews CBP Operations & Facilities

MCALLEN, TEXAS – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Committee, today joined a delegation led by Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn to review the ongoing illegal immigration crisis at the southern border. The senators met with border patrol agents, reviewed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations and processing facilities, visited border crossings and held a roundtable with local officials.

“Our nation is facing an unprecedented crisis at the southern border, which comes at a critical time as we work to overcome and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hoeven said. “President Biden’s own cabinet member, DHS Secretary Mayorkas, said that we are on pace to encounter more individuals at our southwest border than in the past 20 years. Nevertheless, the administration continues to downplay this emergency while rolling back policies that helped deter illegal crossings and created a safer and more orderly asylum system. That’s why we continue pressing the administration to enforce our immigration laws, resume construction of the border wall and work with Congress to ensure we have in place the infrastructure, personnel and technology needed to secure the border. Border security is vital to our national security.”

Hoeven outlined the need to: 

  • Secure the Border: The senator has been pressing the administration to resume construction of the border wall and put in place the infrastructure, personnel and technology needed to secure the border.
  • Reinstate key Trump administration policies, including:
    • The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) or Remain in Mexico Policy, which required people seeking asylum at the southern border to wait in Mexico while their case was adjudicated.
    • The Third Safe Country Agreements so those seeking asylum from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala can be returned to their home country to await the outcome of their claims.
    • Fully enforcing the CDC’s Public Health Order Pursuant to Title 42so that individuals are returned home during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Move to a Merit-Based Immigration System – Hoeven has advocated for moving away from the visa lottery system and toward a merit-based immigration system, which will make the country stronger and our economy more competitive.

According to CBP figures, since President Biden’s election in November 2020, activity at the border has increased significantly. In February 2021, CBP had 100,441 border encounters, amounting to a 173 percent increase from the 36,687 encounters in February 2020 – just one year prior. Additionally, there have been 325,012 border encounters since November 2020, while there were only 220,563 in the four months prior – a 68 percent increase.