Rep. Malliotakis: Biden Has 'Turned Over the Border to the Cartels' U.S. Representative Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) speaks at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (Michael Brochstein/SOPA/Sipa via AP)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 12 April 2021 04:51 PM
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, who joined a congressional delegation visiting the migrant holding facility in Donna, Texas and other sites this weekend, said Monday that the real issue driving the overcrowding crisis is that President Joe Biden has "turned over the border to the cartels."
"The smugglers and cartels are making billions of dollars profiting off smuggling individuals," said the New York Republican on Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
"The president has made it an incentive and reversed the policies put in place by President (Donald) Trump that were working."
Trump's administration had an agreement with Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras that was stemming the flow of illegal migration, said Malliotakis, but now, "it is completely out of control."
"At the current rate, we're talking about 175,000 individuals a month," she said. "By mid-July in this year alone, there will be more people crossing our border illegally than live in Joe Biden's home state of Delaware or in the vice president's home city of San Francisco."
Malliotakis also said the Biden administration needs to "untie the hands of Customs and Border Protection," as its agents do not have the resources they need to do their jobs.
"It's a plan by the cartels," she said. "As they are sending hundreds of thousands of individuals, they are distracting the CBP, which is now processing asylum applications, of which less than 10% are actually legitimate claims. They are babysitting the children at the migrant facilities and meanwhile, the porous parts of our border are wide open where the nefarious stuff is happening. Gun trafficking, drug smuggling. Individuals convicted of crimes and deported are entering."
She added that there are people on the FBI's terror watch list, as well as sex offenders, and "that's just who they were able to find. We imagine the number is much bigger of individuals, drugs, and the sex trafficking that's taking place. These women and children are being abused along the journey. This is all coming at an enormous price to the American taxpayer. It is not fair for anybody involved. The only winners here are the cartels and smugglers profiting off these individuals."
Meanwhile, the White House is considering making direct payments to help prevent people from leaving the Northern Triangle countries to head north, and Malliotakis dismissed that as a "typical Democrat response, to throw more money at a problem."
"There was already a solution here and it was the stay in Mexico policy, the agreements that President Trump made with the Central American countries," she said. "He undid all this. It is not just those central American countries. The facility we visited had individuals from over 60 countries represented. So this is a much larger criminal operation by the cartels that president Biden has incentivized and he can simply fix it today by undoing those executive orders and we can work toward common-sense policies for immigration, streamline, and modernize the system."