Press Releases

Speaker Johnson and House Republicans Visit Southern Border to Highlight Biden Administration and Senate Democrat Refusal to Address Crisis

EAGLE PASS — Speaker Johnson today led a delegation of over 60 Members of Congress to Eagle Pass, Texas to visit the U.S.-Mexico border.
Following their visit, Speaker Johnson and House Republicans held a press conference highlighting the refusal of the Biden Administration to enforce border policy, their experience on the ground, and their discussions with federal, state, and local officials. Click here to watch the Speaker’s remarks at the press conference.
Below is a transcript of Speaker Johnson’s remarks at today’s press conference:
“I want to thank all my colleagues for joining me here in the epicenter of the crisis that we're having on the border here in Eagle Pass, Texas. It's been quite a day. I'll tell you a little bit about what we've learned here today. But I first want to tell you that we have a great cross section of the House. We have 64 House Republicans that have joined us here in Eagle Pass, they represent 26 states, one territory, you have everybody from California to Maryland, from Michigan to Florida. We represent over half the U.S. states because every state in America is now a border state. And we've seen that on vivid display today. 
“Today, we were able to meet with local residents, with sheriffs, with the Texas DPS. We also toured the CBP processing facility here in Eagle Pass, and it's been an eye opener, one thing is absolutely clear. America is at a breaking point with record levels of illegal immigration. And today, we got a firsthand look at the damage and the chaos the border catastrophe is causing in all our communities. The situation here and across the country is truly unconscionable. We would describe it as both heartbreaking and infuriating. Our communities are overrun. We have local resources that are being scrapped. We have lethal drugs that are pouring into our country at record levels. And it's in less than three years that President Biden took office that this has happened that we have over 7 million illegal encounters at the border. Nearly 2 million known got-aways and that doesn't count the many that are undetected, the 312 suspects on the terrorist watchlist that have never been apprehended. 
“We have no idea how many terrorists have come into the country and set up terrorism cells across the nation. Last month alone, we saw the most illegal crossings in recorded history. It is an unmitigated disaster, a catastrophe. And what's more tragic, is that it's a disaster of the President's own design. About an hour ago, we had lunch and there are a number of sheriffs that work and serve here along the border of Texas. The sheriff of Terrell County was one of them. He was a former Border Patrol agent for 26 years. And he said in his estimation, it took less than six months for the Biden Administration to dismantle 100 years of progress that the U.S. border patrol had achieved. 
“Some of the first actions that Joe Biden took when he rolled into the Oval Office, were that he rolled back border security measures that were put in place by the Trump Administration. Remember, it was on his very first day in office, that President Biden stopped construction of a southern border wall, and he ended the Remain in Mexico policy. It was estimated on our tour just a moment ago, that if the Biden Administration would reinstate just the Remain in Mexico policy, it could stem the flow by probably 70% or more, but he refuses to do it. And since the time that President Biden took office, the administration has done next to nothing to protect the border. But we've all seen with our own eyes, they have opened the border wide to the entire world. It's estimated that nearly 170 countries have people coming in and flowing across this border. And some of these are from nations that have high numbers of concentration. And these are these are not people who are fleeing and looking for asylum that are in fear for their lives in their home countries. We have hardened criminals coming across the border. They're the ones being released from prisons from some of these countries and sent here to come into the U.S. 
“Rather than incentivizing people to come, the president needs to deter people from entering the country. Rather than discussing amnesty with Mexico, as top Biden Administration officials did within the last couple of weeks, this administration should reinstate the Remain in Mexico policy, as was said, rather than expanding parole authority to an unprecedented scale. The president should obviously end catch and release and stop the abuse of our parole and asylum systems. The president can and should act now. This doesn't require legislation. It requires leadership. And despite the White House's claim, he has all the authority he needs right now under existing federal law to stop this madness. But the message his policies send is the opposite of that. It's quite clear. Under President Biden, America has laid out a welcome mat to illegal immigrants, smugglers, and cartels. He is responsible for the grave threat to our national security and our nation's sovereignty that these policies have created. But instead of taking responsibility and providing leadership, this administration has done nothing but attack elected officials who are trying to fix this catastrophe. 
“The people standing behind you have worked hard. We passed our legislation more than seven months ago. You have red and blue states across this country that are being forced to step up because the federal government has failed to do its job. Right here in Texas, Governor Abbott has heroically done more to enforce the law than the President has, and how has this administration responded? They have sued the state of Texas to stop their deterrence efforts. They have brought them to court to strike down their ability to put up buoys underwater and razor wire and the rest. It's absolute insanity. 
“The House has done its job. As I mentioned, we've delivered commonsense legislation that will secure our border, but it's been sitting on Chuck Schumer's desk for seven months. H.R. 2 was our bill and the time to act on it is yesterday. It certainly needs to happen. With each passing day, each record broken, this administration's dereliction of duty becomes more and more dangerous and more and more infuriating. And we are here to say that it must stop. What we saw today only made House Republicans more resolved to stand for sanity and the American people and we will do it. If President Biden wants a supplemental spending bill focused on national security, it better begin by defending America's national security. It begins right here on our southern border.”