Kelsey Koberg - June 21, 2022
EXCLUSIVE: A report obtained Tuesday by Fox News Digital from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Republicans highlighted how President Biden’s policies are worsening the immigration crisis at the southern border, and suggested solutions to help curb the influx of illegal migrants.
The report, titled "Biden's Border Crisis: Examining Policies that Encourage Illegal Migration," labeled the influx of migrants at the border a "humanitarian catastrophe for the vulnerable people involved," and noted the security concerns associated with the situation.
The number of migrant encounters at the southern border hit a record in May, reaching 239,416, according to Customs and Border Protection.
"Illegal migration to the United States has reached record-breaking levels since the Biden Administration entered office. In order to protect U.S. security and regional stability, its time the administration establish sound immigration controls within the United States and build political will and capacity in Mexico and the northern Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member James Risch, R-Idaho, told Fox News Digital.
"Our report offers concrete recommendations to address the root causes of illegal migration and to achieve safety and security at our U.S. southern border and the region at large."
The report drew a connection between the policies of the Obama administration and those implemented by the Biden administration, highlighting how Biden’s policies "incentivized illegal migration and undermined the ability of U.S. law enforcement to secure our borders."
Specifically, the report called out Biden’s attempt to end Title 42 and focus on the "root causes" of illegal immigration as some of the factors contributing to the crisis at the border.
Biden appointed Vice President Kamala Harris in 2021 to lead his administration’s efforts to solve the issue of illegal immigration, and she has since focused the administration’s efforts on the "root causes" of migration.
"As the president has said, there are many factors that lead [migrants] to leave these countries," Harris said at the time. "While we are clear that people should not come to the border now, we also understand that we will enforce the law and that we also, because we can chew gum and walk at the same time, must address the root causes that cause people to make the treck."
These policies have been taken advantage of by transnational criminal organizations (TCOs), the report stated, which profit from smuggling drugs and humans across the southern border.
The report also highlighted how "transnational crime, migration management, and border security issues" in Mexico and Central America have contributed to the influx of illegal immigrants on the southern border.
"The Biden Administration’s disastrous immigration and border policies, combined with the growing numbers of outward migration from the Western Hemisphere and TCOs’ evolving human smuggling and trafficking tactics, have a detrimental impact on the safety and security of the United States," the report read.
The report called on the Biden administration to take several steps to stem the flow of illegal immigration across the southern border, beginning with strengthening border security.
"Not only will stronger immigration controls protect our own national borders, but they will signal U.S. political will to meaningly address illegal immigration to governments in the region, and signal to TCOs and would-be illegal migrants that they cannot illegally enter the United States with impunity," it read.
The United States should also work with Mexico and Central America to improve regional security and migration management, the report stated.
"This would reduce the burden on U.S. law enforcement at the southern border, while promoting safe, orderly, and legal migration throughout the region," it read.
Along with Risch, co-signers on the report included Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Bill Hagerty, R.-Tenn.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Todd Young, R-Ind.; and Mike Rounds, R-S.D.
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