Illegal migrants flock to Canada, 'just walk across the border,' Trump interior secretary warns

"I don't think [the Biden administration] recognizes a border at all," said Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.). "I mean, we have virtually no southern border. We have virtually no northern border."

Published: March 3, 2023 1:39pm

Updated: March 5, 2023 8:23am

Montana Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke told Just the News that the Biden administration is neglecting the security of the United States' northern border.

Zinke, the interior secretary under former President Trump and cofounder of the new Northern Border Security Caucus, said illegal migrants and deadly fentanyl are both flooding into the U.S. via the northern border.

"We are not paying attention to our northern border," Zinke said in an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference. "As an example, about 3.1 million lethal doses of fentanyl were intercepted in the northern border — that's enough to kill Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas.

"Canada has a much different system on visa than the U.S., so ... a lot of people will come to Canada because it's easier, and then they just walk across the border."

The Chinese spy balloon incident also exposed gaps in U.S. northern border security, Zinke said.

"Some of our radar systems were tuned to fast movers from the remnants of the Cold War," he explained. "So we need to reconfigure and make sure the ground forces can talk to the air to make sure that if we have a threat in our airspace that we can identify it and destroy it if necessary."

Zinke was asked to compare the Biden administration's handling of the northern border with that of the Trump administration.

"I don't think it recognizes a border at all," he said. "I mean, we have virtually no southern border. We have virtually no northern border. Balloons evidently can fly through our airspace unimpeded all the way across the country flying over missile bases, B-2 sites, etc. I think we need to get serious about protecting our border. We need to make sure we know who's coming in. I have no problem with immigration, I have no problem with work visas. I just want to know who's coming in the country. And if they don't leave, and if they have a criminal aspect or element to them, we're going to hunt them down and get rid of them."

Much of the nation's southern border falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Interior, Zinke noted.

"So with 40% as federal lands, the federal government better step up and do their duty," he said. "There's a lot we can do on the border. One is empower the border patrol to do their job, alright? No more catch and release, process in third countries, and give them the resources they need in the front line. I don't think we need any more resources in Washington."

Unlock unlimited access

  • No Ads Within Stories
  • No Autoplay Videos
  • VIP access to exclusive Just the News newsmaker events hosted by John Solomon and his team.
  • Support the investigative reporting and honest news presentation you've come to enjoy from Just the News.
  • Just the News Spotlight

    Support Just the News