WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) joined Senator Eric Schmitt (R-MO) and five of his colleagues in demanding answers regarding adversaries exploiting the wide-open Southern Border to infiltrate the United States of America.
“In light of the barbaric attack in Israel, we are also concerned about Iran’s proxies and other terrorist groups taking advantage of the Southern border to launch a terror attack from within our homeland,” the senators wrote.“As you are well aware, Hamas terrorists breached Israel’s borders in an unprecedented multi-pronged infiltration using parachutes, motorboats, motorbikes, and bulldozers. This invasion occurred despite Israel’s extensive border fortifications.[…] Given this Administration has left our Southern border wide open, our nation is threatened. In 2023, terrorists used the Southern border to their advantage. It’s no secret that Iran wants to assassinate U.S. officials, and has repeatedly attacked U.S. service members through their proxies in the region. This Administration’s failure to secure our border is a deep vulnerability that only invites future threats from various terrorist groups.”
The letter is also signed by Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Rick Scott (R-FL), Ted Budd (R-NC), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Representatives Bill Posey (FL-08), Nancy Mace (SC-01), Carlos Gimenez (FL-28), Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), Jason Smith (MO-08), Eric Burlison (MO-07), Randy Weber (TX-14), Morgan Luttrell (TX-08), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), John Joyce (PA-13), Ben Cline (VA-06), Ronny Jackson (TX-13), Mike Collins (GA-10), Chris Smith (NJ-04), and Kat Cammack (FL-03).
Read the letter below or here:
Dear Secretary Austin and Secretary Mayorkas:
We write with concern that adversaries are exploiting our wide-open Southern border. Under the Biden Administration our nation has experienced an unprecedented number of apprehensions at our Southern border, now totaling over six million crossings. Also troubling, in Fiscal Year 2023 there were 169 individuals on the terror watchlist apprehended at the border, compared to zero in Fiscal Year 2019. Considering the threats our nation faces from China, Russia, Iran, and other adversaries, it’s past time this Administration secures our border and protects American citizens.
In light of the barbaric attack in Israel, we are also concerned about Iran’s proxies and other terrorist groups taking advantage of the Southern border to launch a terror attack from within our homeland. As you are well aware, Hamas terrorists breached Israel’s borders in an unprecedented multi-pronged infiltration using parachutes, motorboats, motorbikes, and bulldozers. This invasion occurred despite Israel’s extensive border fortifications. These attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah on Israel have sadly so far resulted in the deaths of over 1,400 Israelis and 31 Americans. Given this Administration has left our Southern border wide open, our nation is threatened. In 2023, terrorists used the Southern border to their advantage. It’s no secret that Iran wants to assassinate U.S. officials, and has repeatedly attacked U.S. service members through their proxies in the region. This Administration’s failure to secure our border is a deep vulnerability that only invites future threats from various terrorist groups.
Further, we know the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has increased their espionage efforts against the United States—from the CCP spy balloon that traversed over our country unchecked to at least 100 recent attempts by Chinese nationals to access U.S. military installations. In Fiscal Year 2023, there were over 20,000 Chinese nationals that crossed through our Southern border. The CCP or any adversary through a proxy or otherwise, cannot be allowed to launch an attack against our country. It’s difficult to project credible American military power and deterrence abroad when the Biden Administration cannot or will not even secure our own border.
That is why we demand your departments finally work to secure the border and protect American citizens. The U.S. Constitution is clear—the government must provide for the common defense. President Biden and this Administration have failed to live up to their most solemn Constitutional duty. We implore you, once and for all, to secure the border and protect the American people.
For these reasons we request a response to the following questions no later than October 25, 2023. If necessary please include a classified addendum:
- Considering the ongoing conflict in Israel, please provide confirmation or intelligence as to whether Hamas, Hezbollah, or any Iranian proxy agents have infiltrated our Southern border. If this has occurred, how has the threat been mitigated?
- Since 2021, are you aware of any planned terrorist attack by any terrorist organization being foiled by intercepting individuals illegally crossing the Southern border?
- How many Chinese nationals with ties to the CCP have successfully crossed through our Southern border?
- Have any Chinese foreign nationals who made unauthorized border crossing then attempted to access U.S. military installations?
- What steps are DHS and DoD taking to ensure terrorists are not among the millions of illegal immigrants streaming through our Southern border?
Senator Tuberville supports common-sense policies that strengthen our border and national security like building the wall and reinstating the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the Remain in Mexico policy. Senator Tuberville has spoken about his concerns on the floor of the U.S. Senate and called on the Biden administration to act.
Earlier in October, Senator Tuberville joined U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and ten other Republican Senators in demanding President Biden expand construction of the southern border wall, after U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently announced it will only resume construction 20 more miles of the wall.
Last month, Senator Tuberville helped introduce the Secure the Border Act of 2023, the Senate companion to legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year, commonly known as H.R. 2. Senator Tuberville also recently questioned one of Joe Biden’s defense nominees about why the administration has failed to stop the flow of deadly fentanyl from coming into our country across the southern border.
During his two years in the United States Senate, Senator Tuberville has made multiple visits to the southern border and worked on many legislative initiatives to secure the border, including giving law enforcement the tools needed to keep our communities safe and reforming immigration law to crack down on abuse and discourage illegal immigration.
- In March 2023, Senator Tuberville introduced the Border Safety and Security Act to protect Americans by combatting the border crisis created by President Biden’s immigration policies.
- The legislation puts more responsibility on the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and gives increased authority to state attorneys general in holding DHS accountable if the department fails in its duty to restrict entry and detain illegal immigrants.
- Also in March 2023, Senator Tuberville cosponsored the Stopping Border Surges Act to address loopholes in our immigration system that encourage vulnerable immigrant populations to take dangerous, illegal paths of entry into the United States.
- The legislation includes reforms that would reduce unsustainable surges of illegal immigrants, strengthen our asylum process, eliminate the incentive to send children to the border; and dampen the exploitative power of coyotes and cartels.
- In 2022, Senator Tuberville introduced, for the second year in a row, the Empowering Law Enforcement Act (ELEA) to help combat the Biden administration’s nullification of U.S. immigration laws.
- Also in 2022, Senator Tuberville joined congressional colleagues in introducing a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to dissolve a Biden administration rule that would illegally upend the process by which the U.S. government grants asylum claims.
- The rule would exacerbate the crisis at the border and encourage fraudulent asylum claims by allowing illegal border crossers who claim asylum to have their asylum application approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials instead of immigration judges.
- The rule also allows illegal border crossers claiming asylum to live in the U.S. free from detention while their application is pending.
- In 2021, Senator Tuberville introduced his first piece of legislation as U.S. Senator, which required DHS to issue notices to appear to every single person paroled or released into the U.S., after media reported on the border becoming so overrun that Customs and Border Protection officers were forced to quickly release illegal immigrants into U.S. communities with no follow up for a date in immigration court.
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.