Rep. Herrell on Border Crisis


DALLAS, Texas—The high number of illegal immigrants streaming into the United States threatens to destroy America, Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.) believes.

“I think we’re ruining our nation. I think this is a national security issue. I think we’re diluting the people that are coming here for the right reasons,” Herrell told The Epoch Times at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“We have a policy, we have policies in place. I’m all for people migrating to America through the right process but now we’re infiltrating our neighborhoods, our schools with criminal aliens,” she added.

Since President Joe Biden took office, illegal immigrant apprehensions at the border have skyrocketed. The number of apprehensions was over 180,000 in May, the last month for which data are available. That was the highest monthly total in over 20 years.

Herrell has visited the border five times in recent months. She recounted seeing one of the Health and Human Services-run facilities for unaccompanied minors, or illegal immigrant children, at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

The Biden administration stopped utilizing Title 42 powers, which were imposed because of concern that immigrants could be carrying the virus that causes COVID-19 amid the pandemic, on such minors, claiming it was not humane.

But Herrell said the administration is not doing background checks and officials thus cannot know if the kids are being sent to legitimate sponsors, usually relatives.

“We don’t know if these kids are going to people here legally, if these are real sponsors, if these are cartel, I mean, we don’t even know where they’re going. But all of this is at the expense of the taxpayer,” she said.

The United States is spending about $60 million a week just to shelter illegal immigrant children.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in an emailed statement this week that the Biden administration “is committed to implementing an immigration system that is humane, orderly, and lawful” and “is monitoring the border and marshalling all corners of the government to find compassionate and fair solutions.”

A group of Venezuelans wait to be picked up by Border Patrol after illegally crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into Del Rio, Texas, on June 3, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

As part of that effort, the administration is working to move illegal immigrant children quickly from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) custody to HHS-run facilities, and then to vetted family members or other sponsors as safely and quickly as possible.

Over 15,000 such children were in HHS care as of July 12, with another 724 in the custody of DHS.

Herrell warned that there are consequences for the explosion in migration, noting that many of the women and kids who journey from the south become victims of rape and sex trafficking.

“These are children that are being dropped off at our borders. The Democrats don’t want to talk about it because it doesn’t fit their narrative. And with the mainstream media not talking about it in the way that it needs to, very openly and very honestly—I mean, this entire process, it’s cruel, it’s cruel for the families, the kids that are coming here illegally, because a lot of them don’t even understand what they’re doing,” she said.

“It’s costly to the American people and it’s very cowardly, that our administration wouldn’t take the upper hand, admit that they made a promise. They made a mistake by opening the border, but here we are, with the numbers coming through, every month there is another increase. We’re at 20-year highs right now, our country cannot sustain this. And quite frankly, we cannot afford this.”

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