Texas officials push back against Biden border claims

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, said the president was “gaslighting” the American people.
Border, migrants, Jacumba, Calif., Nov. 24, 2023

President Joe Biden told members of Congress he wanted to fix the border crisis in his state of the union address Thursday night after repeatedly claiming over the last three years there is no border crisis.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has also repeatedly testified to Congress that the border is secure, the federal government has operational control, and the reason that the administration has had difficulty is because it “inherited a broken immigration system.” Mayorkas’ claims, and evidence to the contrary, the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security majority argued, are one reason why the House impeached him.

“We have a simple choice," Biden said Thursday night. "We can fight about fixing the border or we can fix it. I’m ready to fix it. Send me the border bill now.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, said the president was “gaslighting” the American people. Johnson last month identified 64 policies Biden implemented that he argues created the border crisis.

The House already passed a border security bill, HR 2, filed by U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, which the Senate refused to consider. Instead, senators secretly negotiated a bill claiming it limited illegal entry contrary to the actual bill language.

Biden's speech was given nearly three years to the day that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched Texas’ border security mission, Operation Lone Star, to block illegal entry into Texas. The state legislature has allocated more than $11.6. billion to the effort. Texas is doing what the Biden administration should be doing, Abbott argues.

Over the past three years, Abbott’s sent Biden letters and sued his administration multiple times, arguing he can take executive action immediately to end the border crisis. Biden doesn’t need Congress to follow and implement the laws Congress already established, Abbott and his fellow Republican governors argue.

Biden’s speech, Abbott said, “was nothing short of a dog and pony show to convince the American people that his Administration is keeping America safe and secure.” He launched OLS on March 6, 2021, “to defend our state – and our nation – from the historic influx of illegal immigration, criminals, and deadly drugs like fentanyl pouring across our southern border,” he said. “Until President Biden steps up and does his job as Commander-in-Chief to secure the border, Texas will hold the line and use every tool and strategy to keep our country safe.”

The Border Patrol union also weighed in, saying Biden is “The most arrogant, self-absorbed, clueless and angry loser ever. Never held a real job. Lifetime political hack. Joe Biden is the epitome of what so many Americans despise about politicians.”

U.S. Rep. Wesley Hunt, a Republican from Houston, reiterated what House Republicans have been saying for months. They passed a border security bill the Senate won’t consider. Hunt said, “Biden says ‘send me the border bill now.’ Fine Mr. President, tell Chuck Schumer to take up H.R. 2 tonight. It can be on your desk before the weekend!”

He also published a video explaining how the president and Mayorkas deliberately created the border crisis.

“It was deliberate,” he said, “because under President Trump we weren't talking about” unprecedented millions of “illegal alien encounters at the southern border” and “we weren't talking about enough fentanyl smuggled in to kill every single American.”

Enough fentanyl has been seized under the Biden administration to kill nearly the entire world population, The Center Square has reported.

Hunt said the president and Mayorkas issued executive actions “that weaken our national security,” including ending Trump-era policies like Remain in Mexico, constructing the border wall, cracking down on fraudulent asylum claims, among others.

“The sad part is they pretend like their hands are tied,” Hunt said. “They act like it's an unfortunate circumstance that they are ‘working hard to fix.’ In my home state of Texas we know they're not doing the damn thing to stop this invasion. We have crops, fields and ranches damaged by illegal border crossers and communities ravaged by cartel violence.

“The irony is that when Gov. Abbott decided to take steps to secure our border and keep Texans safe, the White House said, ‘Gov. Abbott is getting in the way.’”

“Getting in the way of what?” Hunt asked. “Getting in the way of the worst border crisis in our nation’s history? Crime, fentanyl, and harm for our local communities?”

He points to the bill the House passed, the Secure the Border Act, which would expand on “successful policies” enacted under the Trump administration. He encouraged Schumer “to stop sitting on his hands and take up the strongest border bill in American history to end the border crisis once and for all. The president says Congress needs to act now. Sir, we have. Now is the time for the Senate to act and for Joe Biden to protect our country.”