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Washington, DC – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul spoke on the House Floor in support of passing H.R. 2, To secure the borders of the United States, and for other purposes.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s contribution to the Secure the Border Act works toward reinstating the Trump-era policies, Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also referred to as “Remain in Mexico,” and Asylum Cooperative Agreements (ACAs). Reinstating these important policies will help stop asylum fraud, the release of unvetted individuals into our communities, and prevent traffickers from exploiting migrants and our nation’s asylum system. The Bill passed the House 219-213. 


– Chairman McCaul delivered the following remarks –

Mr. Speaker, in my 20 years in Congress, including when I was chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, and as a former federal prosecutor tasked with securing our border [in Texas], I’ve never seen our border this chaotic. This broken. What we’re witnessing today is unprecedented. Right now, as I speak, there’s a tidal wave of migrants marching across our southern border. Just yesterday, CBP apprehended over 10,000 [migrants]. 10,000 in a single day.

This is the largest human trafficking crisis I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime. And it’s time for Congress to act and restore control to this uncontrolled border.

Well, the administration and DHS Secretary Mayorkas have assured us “the border is closed.” And that they have operational control of the border. Just last month, Border Patrol Chief Ortiz testified the DHS does not have operational control of the border. Because the drug cartels have operational control of the border.

I know that. I’ve been down there. I’ve seen this movie before. But this is the worst movie I’ve seen. And it didn’t have to happen. It was a self-inflicted wound. That is because on day one, the Biden administration rescinded the migrant protection protocols, otherwise known as “Remain in Mexico.”

In my many meetings with Border Patrol agents down on the border, they tell me very bluntly that the rescission of these policies by President Biden, on the very first day in office has had a direct cause and effect on the chaos at the border. This policy was working under the last administration. Illegal immigration was dramatically declining. However, since President Biden took office in January 2021, we are witnessing a massive increase in illegal immigrant encounters and apprehensions at our southern border. 5 million of them. The numbers don’t lie. Since President Biden took office, I repeat, there have been over 5 million migrant encounters with at least 1.4 million known getaways.

What is going to happen to these people, they have no legal status. They live in the shadows. The young girls are sex trafficked, and the young boys and men. Their home will be MS-13. And worse, more than 100,000 Americans have died from fentanyl flowing across the border. Going from China to Mexico and across my state of Texas. That is nearly double the number of deaths in the entire Vietnam War. Over two decades, 853 migrants and counting have died trying to make the dangerous journey across the border just last year alone. This is the most recorded in history.

35 percent of women and children are raped and sexually abused throughout their journey at the hands of the brutal cartels. And what happens when they get here? Well, we know that Mayorkas lifted the restrictions so that sponsors of these children do not have to be vetted. What are we seeing? 10, 20, 30 children being sent to the same house to their sponsors who have not been vetted. This turns into a major trafficking problem right here inside the United States. And when the cartels say, “you still need to pay us more money, you need to run more [drugs], need to prostitute yourself,” we are creating a criminal network right now inside the United States of America. And it’s only going to get worse. Particularly when title 42 is lifted today. The very day we’re going to pass this bill.

From my point of view as a former chairman of Homeland Security, 98 suspected terrorists attempted to enter the homeland last year. When I chaired homeland, I always asked the question, “how many special interest aliens? How many on the terror watch lists have tried to get in? How many have gotten in?” And that’s just who we know about, think about the threat, the national security threat to the homeland, particularly after the collapse of Afghanistan and the rise of terrorism overseas.

I would argue that President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas are complicit in this crisis. Now, the federal government’s job is to secure borders, air, land, and sea. Unfortunately, this administration has failed to do so. They’ve abdicated their solemn duty to protect the homeland, to protect the American people, to protect these children.

One rescission, one stroke of the pen, resending the “Remain in Mexico” policy created this chaos at the border – don’t take my word for it. Take the Chief of Border Patrol’s word for it. Take the countless border patrol officers and agents I’ve talked to down on the border. That’s why I introduced this legislation to compel the administration to solve this crisis once and for all.

Congress is doing what the Biden administration has failed to do for the last two and a half years, to fix our broken borders. Our first priority must be to stem the massive flow of illegal aliens by reinstating and codifying the migrant protection protocols known as “Remain in Mexico,” because it worked. In my state we have a saying, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

It wasn’t broken. It was working. They rescinded it. And now we have this crisis. This legislation will also direct the State Department to renegotiate the asylum cooperation agreements. These agreements prohibit migrants who traveled throughout any countries with asylum agreements from eligibility for asylum in the United States. Asylum is the magnet. It’s the pull factor that’s being abused by the cartels to make money off these children and these women and these migrants.

This policy was very effective, and it worked under the prior administration. Reinstating it is a proven solution to reduce the chaos, the crisis and by directing the Secretary of State to reauthorize and codify MPP and the ACA. This bill bolsters work being done on asylum reform and border security in both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee.

Finally, I would say this should not be a partisan issue. When I chaired the Homeland Security Committee, Ranking Member Thompson and I worked on many border security bills that were bipartisan. Many passed unanimously out of our committee. Yet here we are in this partisan fight. I think the American people deserve better than partisanship.

They just they deserve solutions. In my state, we witness this every day. Ranchers seeing dead bodies on their property. The drugs flowing in. Secretary Mayorkas, you asked for a bill. Well, here it is. Here it is. It’s time that we reinstate the policies that have a proven track record of success. And with that, I reserve the balance of my time.