Hoeven Outlines Growing Crisis at Southern Border, Calls on President Biden to Change His Open Border Policies

WASHINGTON – At a press conference today, Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Committee, outlined his recent efforts to call attention to the illegal immigration crisis at the Southwest border. In a trip to McAllen, Texas last week, Hoeven and his colleagues met with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) leadership and took an aerial tour of the border. The senators also held a roundtable with local private land owners and discussed the impact of the Biden administration’s open border policies with Texas National Guardmembers, National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

“The Biden administration needs to enforce the law and use the tools they have to secure the border. We know they work, because we saw them work under the Trump administration,” said Hoeven. “We authorized and appropriated funding for a border wall, as well as personnel and technology. It sits there unfinished, and the administration is paying contractors to not build the wall. Then there’s the MPP, the Safe third Country Agreements and Title 42, all of which they refuse to enforce.

“We’ve got CBP, Border Patrol, National Guard, the Texas DPS, all of whom are trying to do this job, but they can’t because the Biden administration won’t let them... Border security is national security, and the Biden administration needs to change their open border policies now.” 

Hoeven stressed how President Biden’s policies are both creating a humanitarian crisis and undermining national security, and called on the administration to:

  • Enforce the law and secure the southern border, including resuming construction of the border wall and putting in place the necessary infrastructure, personnel and technology.
  • Reinstate key immigration policies such as:
    • 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 Safe Third 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.
    • The Title 42 Public Health Order, an important tool that allows immigration officials to return illegal immigrants to their home country and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Move toward a merit-based immigration system. 

Last week’s trip was Hoeven’s second time visiting McAllen and the latest of the senator’s efforts to call attention to the ongoing illegal immigration crisis at the southern border. Previously, the senator traveled to Del Rio and Eagle Pass, Texas to support CBP officials and North Dakota Guard members and draw attention to their work at the U.S.-Mexico border. Hoeven also traveled with a bipartisan congressional delegation last year to Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and Guatemala to discuss bilateral relations, including the need to work together to stop illegal migration and prevent human and drug trafficking. 

In June 2022, CBP apprehended more than 200,000 individuals attempting to cross the border illegally. Since October 2021, 1.7 million individuals have been caught trying to cross the southern border.