By: Fred Lucas, The Daily Signal
Republican lawmakers insisted Wednesday that continuing to fund the government without securing the southern border in effect subsidizes modern-day slavery and a national security threat.
“Law enforcement officials down on the southern border no longer call this an immigration problem. They call it a slave trade problem,” Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., said at a Capitol Hill press conference.
“I’ve talked to them personally,” Rosendale said. “Every single person that comes to this country illegally has a financial obligation to pay to the cartel, and they are being forced into slavery and servitude for years to come.”
Fellow Republicans from the House and Senate joined Rosendale, dubbing the press conference “Shut Down the Border or Shut Down the Government.”
Rosendale also talked about 100,000 U.S. deaths per year from the drug fentanyl coming across the southern border.
“It boils down to about 350 people a day,” he said. “If we had a large jet go down with 350 victims inside, the United States government would ground those airplanes.”
House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., reached a deal with congressional Democrats on a spending framework for fiscal year 2024 that other Republicans complain won’t advance the goal of securing the border.
“It’s nothing short of terrifying that during this administration, 279 known terrorists have been admitted into this country, along with the 10 million illegal aliens who have come here,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said.
“The Biden administration will brag that it has deported 5,193 illegal immigrants,” Lee said. “It sounds really impressive until you do the math and you realize they release 99.7% of everyone coming into this country. Don’t tell me this is for want of federal legislation. This is utter, defiant, lawless refusal to enforce the law.”
For leverage, Congress should link demands for border security to priorities of the Biden administration, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said.
“We have to take every opportunity we can to say, ‘We are not going to pass additional legislation, whether it’s funding, whether it’s Ukraine aid, whatever it is, until we get this border secure,’” Scott said.
“The only way we are going to get [the] border secure, because we’ve got a lawless administration, is we’ve got to tie what the administration wants—whether it’s Ukraine aid for funding—to a real secure border.”