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EXCLUSIVE: Republicans on the House Select Committee on Intelligence are sounding the alarm about “serious” national security threats facing Americans due to the destabilization of the southern border.
Fox News Digital exclusively interviewed members of the congressional delegation following their law enforcement briefings and tour along the El Paso, Texas, border with Mexico on Friday.
Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, who is the committee’s most senior member, simply said that contrary to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ assertion earlier this week, the border “is not secure”.
“We met with the FBI, the Texas Department of Safety, the Border Patrol. What is clear while we are here at the border is that the border is not secure. Thousands of people are apprehended every day , others can’t even be caught. amount of drugs, even firearms, crossing the border, money, illegal activities, human trafficking. The toll of people crossing this border is extraordinary,” Turner told Fox News Digital as he stood next to the border wall with Mexico.
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“It poses a threat to national security. The number of people crossing who are not from Mexico, Central America or even South America is enormous. These people pose a threat to our national security. Many come from countries that have very questionable objectives when they come here. So our border patrol is overwhelmed. They need help. This wall needs to be finished.
“What we heard repeatedly today and yesterday was that the portions of the wall that had been built were working. And some areas from the [Biden] the administration stopped the construction of the wall, there were gaps where the wall was being repaired or replaced and these repairs even ceased. So today you have a porous border, you put our nation at great risk.”
The number of terrorists crossing the border poses an “absolute threat and danger” to the United States, Turner continued.
“You have people who are on the terrorism watch list, people who are known terrorists, there is a threat of them crossing the border. People who have been apprehended fall into those categories. But you also have people who are not arrested at all. And then others that there is no information about who are crossing the border and who are not even from this hemisphere. This poses an absolute threat and danger to our country, and this could be stopped if this border wall was completed If gave us [Border Patrol] the right resources, we might be able to stop these border crossings and of course keep our country safe. »
Turner also referred to the US arms smuggling to Mexico, which does little to stem the tide of migrants before they reach the US border.
“What’s amazing is when you hear stories about the destabilization of gun smuggling in Mexico, money smuggling, drug smuggling in the United States, human trafficking in the United States , the cartels that operate in Mexico, the violence that happens along the way as people are smuggled into the United States, you would think that Mexico would work more closely with the United States than they certainly should “We have an interest in seeing this problem solved. Without them, it is clear that this wall must be completed, and we must give our border agents what they need to be safe and to keep our border secure.”
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“What’s amazing is what the Biden administration is saying is simply not true. This border is not secure. The amount of drugs that are happening, the human trafficking, the toll human by making this border unsecured is astronomical.”
“And the fact that the Biden administration shut down that wall had an absolute effect on the ability of Border Patrol agents to police that border. These are direct actions of the Biden administration and in an Orwellian way they are saying the exact opposite. Turner continued.
“I’ve spoken with a few individual agents and all have come face to face with this. Young girls being sexually abused. They’re a commodity for the cartels, they’re a renewable resource. Every bit is valuable, if not more than drugs who So the idea that this border is somehow secure, I don’t think these people believe the border is secure,” said Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark.
Crawford echoed Turner, telling Fox News Digital “first and foremost, the border is not secure. The message coming from DHS Secretary Mayorkas is absolutely false. The border is not secure and Border Patrol will tell you, and they need more help.”
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“We’re seeing an increase in fentanyl, I think that’s one of the most pressing concerns when it comes to drug trafficking. But I think generally Border Patrol is limited with the resources that there’s not much they can do. We’ve taken a more holistic approach to how we approach border security, which involves ICE and the courts so that we apprehend these border workers, but then we can hold and have the space to do it, and then try them and send them out. But we have to expand our ability to do these things. We can’t rely exclusively on Border Patrol to do everything,” Crawford continued.
The congressman summarized what he would recommend the Biden administration do to address these issues.
“My advice would be to come here and see for yourself and talk to the Border Patrol agents and find out what a fantastic job they do. You put them in a very unenviable position. side. , and the negative rhetoric of the American people. So come talk to them yourself and you’ll find they’re good people.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, also disagreed with the Biden administration’s assessment that the border is secure, saying Biden needs to “pay attention to what’s going on here and be careful. to what’s happening across the country as a result of our shortcomings here and how we’re letting too much go and acting like there’s nothing wrong when there’s so much we need to worry.
“And when Mayorkas says this area is secure, or safe, it’s not. And neither is the rest of the country,” Wenstrup continued.
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Wenstrup, a doctor, told Fox News Digital he was concerned about the increase in smuggling of fentanyl from Mexico to the United States.
“As a doctor in Congress, fentanyl has great medicinal uses, and we don’t want to lose that. At the same time, it’s extremely dangerous and too many Americans are dying, and many very innocently because they’re starting to lace it up in what they think are safe drugs and medications that they take. So it’s a huge threat to us and so many people have died in America because of it. And so I almost consider it as a weapon of mass destruction that crosses our border and I feared it could be used for other nefarious purposes,” the congressman said.
He also said China needs to stop sending fentanyl precursors to Mexico for cartels to grow and then cross the border.
“The administration is turning a blind eye to all needs, and also turning a blind eye to the effects this is having on all of America, not just our border towns,” Wenstrup said.