Senators weigh in on ICE losing track 150,000 illegal immigrants

A small contingent of Republican senators followed President Joe Biden’s photo-op border visit to “sanitized” El Paso with a look at the “real border crisis” and the “problem of national security” caused by policies that led to at least 150,000 illegals unaccounted for after only his first year in office.

(Video: Fox News Digital)

After immense pressure and conveniently capping off the first week of Republicans controlling the House of Representatives, Biden followed the lead of his border czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, and visited El Paso, Texas. The trip was widely panned for its “North Korea style propaganda” after illegals had been cleared from the streets and, Monday night, Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn (TN), Katie Britt (AL), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS) countered with a sincere look at the crisis.

The trio of lawmakers went, as Blackburn described, to “where the real border crisis is occurring” in Eagle Pass, Texas and reacted to the bombshell report that in the summer of 2021 alone, Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) had lost track of 150,000 illegal immigrants.

“They were issued a piece of paper that said, ‘Find somebody in ICE,’ and that was pretty much it. There was no processing,” an ICE official was heard saying in a training video. “I know this isn’t something that you guys asked for, and I can assure you that no one in the criminal alien program asked for it either.”

“That is called catch-and-release. And that is a policy that needs to end,” Blackburn told Fox News Digital Monday night while also tweeting, “Unlike President Joe Biden, [Hyde-Smith], [Britt] and I are in Eagle Pass, Texas, where the real border crisis is occurring. We will receive an unsanitized, firsthand view of the damage from President Biden’s open border policies.”

Britt also took to social media and explained how their trip, at night as opposed to Biden’s broad daylight and well-secured visit, would involve an “operation briefing,” meeting with various officials, and most importantly, “a firsthand look at the human and drug trafficking hotspots, just right there along the border.”

Voicing the oft-heard concern that, “Under President Biden, every single state has become a border state,” the freshman Alabama senator told Fox News Digital, “You’re seeing the influx of fentanyl into our streets, our communities and our schools. When we can’t keep track of the people and the issues that are created around that, it’s a problem of national security, and it’s one that we have to take seriously.”

Hyde-Smith said much the same when she told the outlet, “They’re in our communities. They are throughout. Every state is a border state.”

As previously reported, when combing the apprehended illegals and known gotaways, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported over 2.8 million encounters in fiscal year 2022. Fiscal year 2023, little more than three months underway, has already seen over 718,000 encounters (CBP) and, perhaps worse than that, 143 of those apprehended in that time were previously deported illegals who had been convicted of a crime in the United States before.

“They had been deported, removed from the country, and now, they’re back,” Blackburn explained.

Speaking directly with a border agent, the senator from Tennessee reinforced how meaningful action to address the crisis first required following and enforcing the laws already in place as well as completing the wall.

“Ultimately,” the unidentified agent beside her said, “we need to be able to have a consequence, to deter people from crossing and without the proper policies in place, it’s never going to end. We need Border Patrol agents to be out of the asylum business and back in the field where they belong.”



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Kevin Haggerty


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