WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) penned an op-ed for FoxNews.com imploring Democrats to stop putting their open borders agenda over an open government. With our porous border facing a crisis of crime, drug smuggling, and human trafficking, it is imperative for the safety of all Americans to fund the security of our border.
Read the full op-ed below or click here.
We need to secure our border. There have been many words spoken about the funding fight to do this, but consider these: “The bill before us would certainly do some good. It would authorize some badly needed funding for better fences and better security along our borders that should help stem some of the tide of illegal immigration in this country.”
No, that statement wasn’t made by a Republican. It was a speech given by then-Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois in 2006, when 26 Senate Democrats – including Obama and Sens. Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer of New York – voted for The Secure Fence Act, which allocated $50 billion over 25 years for 700 miles of fencing along the border.
That’s right. Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer voted for 10 times more funding than President Trump is requesting now to secure our border. What has changed Democrats’ recognition that our southern border needs to be secured? Two words: President Trump.
From the day President Trump took office, Democrats have vowed to oppose him at every turn in an effort to appease their radical-left base, putting the politics of obstruction over the security of our country.
There’s been no better example of that than the current partial government shutdown.
Last month, House Republicans acted to keep our government open and our country safe. We passed a bill to continue government funding and provide the full $5.7 billion President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security said is necessary to secure our border.
Yet Senate Democratic Leader Schumer – who voted for border security funding in 2006 – blocked our bill from being considered in the Senate, choosing open borders over an open government.
But the time for political games is over. Lives are at stake. An illegal immigrant who crossed our southern border in Arizona is accused of murdering California police officer Ronil Singh just last month.
Singh was an immigrant himself who came here legally from Fiji seeking the American Dream. Corporal Singh leaves behind a wife and 5-month-old son.
The crime caused by open borders has to stop. According to the Homeland Security Department, over 17,000 criminals were apprehended at the border last year, many smuggling drugs that fuel the opioid crisis plaguing our country.
Last year alone, the department prevented more than 3,700 known or suspected terrorists from traveling to or entering into the United States. Just last year!
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents also saved over 900 children from human trafficking and sexual assault last year.
Since President Trump took office, ICE agents have made over 235,000 arrests of illegal immigrants with criminal records. These include more than 4,000 homicides and 27,000 sex crime offenses. And today, we are averaging nearly 2,100 illegal crossings per day at the southern border.
It’s clear we are facing a crisis. It’s been proven time and again that walls work. Consider these numbers from the Homeland Security Department:
- In San Diego, where there has been a border wall since 1992, illegal traffic has dropped 92 percent over the last 23 years.
- In El Paso, Texas, where there has been a border wall since 1993, illegal traffic dropped 72 percent in one year and 95 percent in over 22 years.
- In Tucson, Arizona, where there has been a border wall since 2000, illegal traffic dropped 90 percent over 15 years.
- In Yuma, Arizona, where there has been a border wall since 2005, illegal traffic dropped 95 percent over nine years.
We can’t wait for another murder, or another 900 children to be sexually assaulted or trafficked before we finally address this problem. That is what this fight is about.
If Senate Democrats refuse to pass the bill we sent them out of the House to open the government while providing the tools we need to secure our border, they need to explain to the American people what their alternative would be that would actually address this crisis.
As we start the new year, it’s time that Democrats stop playing games with the safety of our country.
In this new year, let us all resolve to finally pass the funding necessary to make sure the president has the tools he needs to secure our border and keep America safe.
No more broken promises. No more excuses.