‘It is because the border has been deliberately opened wide that we see the terrific horrors that are taking place across our country right now.’
Nearly 100 days after being unanimously elected House Speaker, Mike Johnson (R-La.) used the occasion of his first speech on the House floor on Jan. 31 to deliver a grim message on the state of the U.S. southern border.
“We have a catastrophe at our southern border. It is because the border has been deliberately opened wide that we see the terrific horrors that are taking place across our country right now.”
Since he took up the gavel, Mr. Johnson noted, more than 700,000 illegal aliens have entered the United States.
Mr. Johnson, who led a congressional GOP delegation to the southern border earlier this month, also sounded the alarm on the effects of the border crisis, including drug and human trafficking.
“We do know that fentanyl is pouring into our communities like an open sewer,” he said.
“Right now, the leading cause of death—the leading cause of death in America—for Americans aged 18 to 46 is fentanyl poisoning,” he continued. “And fentanyl seizures have increased two and a half times since President Biden took office. That’s just the seizures. The rest of it flows right in.
“But even as some of it is seized, we know much more is making its way into our schools and our neighborhoods in virtually every community in America.”
Mr. Johnson blasted Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for his lack of response to the border.
“It’s his responsibility to prevent these harmful drugs from flowing into our country and to secure that border,” said Mr. Johnson.
“And he’s done nothing of the sort. As we’ve heard from border patrol agents, he’s doing exactly the opposite. He’s handicapping law enforcement. He’s limiting their ability to catch narcotics like fentanyl. He’s making it virtually impossible.”
The House Homeland Security Committee passed two articles of impeachment in the wee hours of Jan. 31. Mr. Johnson commended the effort as “very important work for our country.” He announced that the House will vote to impeach Mr. Mayorkas “swiftly” as doing so is “long overdue.” Mr. Johnson did not give a specific timeline, but it is expected that the vote will be next week.
Mr. Johnson accused Mr. Mayorkas of breaking the law by giving parole to illegal aliens, thereby allowing them to stay in the United States long-term.
“Millions of illegals right now are being granted parole and spending many years in the United States before they’re ever even expected to appear before a judge. Some of them are given a piece of paper that says we’ll see you in a decade,” said the speaker.
“It’s absurd. This mass parole is neither temporary nor selective,” he continued. “It is a clear violation of federal law. And it is dangerous, and it is subversive, and it’s intentional.”
Mr. Johnson also went after President Joe Biden for being against Texas for trying to secure its own border with Mexico.
“The first job of the government is to protect its citizens,” said Mr. Johnson.
“And when Texas has acted to do that, the Biden administration and the president himself have intervened,” he continued. “They’ve taken him to court, they’re cutting their razor wire, they’re taking away the measures that the state of Texas has taken out of desperation to protect its own people.”
The speaker called on President Biden to use his executive powers to secure the border.
“Good policy—like a strong border and securing our nation and defending our sovereignty—is always good politics,” said Mr. Johnson.
“It’s the right thing to do. It’s the moral thing to do. It’s the constitutional thing to do. It’s the common sense thing to do,” he stated.
“And I cannot for the life of me understand why the president won’t agree with that.”
Solving the border crisis comes down to a few fundamental questions, the way he sees it.
“If we take a step back and we consider the current catastrophe at the border, we can all see that our country is at a critical decision point,” Mr. Johnson said.
“We’re at a moment where we have to decide right now, as a Congress, as a people, we have to decide, as the American people, if we have borders or not.
“We have to decide if we believe in the rule of law or not. We have to decide if we’re a sovereign nation or we’re not.”
Mr. Johnson ended with a number of pointed rhetorical questions:
“Does President Biden want that? Does President Biden believe in the rule of law? Does President Biden believe that we’re a sovereign nation? Does he believe that Americans—and not those from other countries—should be put first?”