In a compelling address on the Senate floor, Senator John Thune (R-SD) highlighted the escalating crisis at the Southern border, emphasizing its critical implications for national security. The Senator’s impassioned remarks underscored the need for immediate attention and comprehensive reforms to address the multifaceted challenges posed by illegal immigration.

The Nation of Immigrants and the Rule of Law

Senator Thune commenced his address by acknowledging the United States as a nation built by immigrants, sharing a personal connection as a descendant of immigrants. He emphasized the nation’s historic commitment to welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds but stressed the importance of upholding the rule of law in the immigration process.

The Senator expressed grave concern over the soaring numbers of individuals attempting to cross the Southern border illegally. 

Citing October as the worst on record, with 24,900 apprehensions, Senator Thune highlighted the strain on Border Patrol agents and the alarming influx that shows no signs of abating. The fiscal year’s close marked the third successive record-breaking year under the Biden Administration.

Impact on Border Cities and Beyond

The consequences of the border crisis extend beyond the immediate border areas. Senator Thune shed light on the challenges faced by border cities and the unexpected burdens on major cities across the nation. 

Illustrating the severity, he pointed to the freezing of police hiring, library closures, and education funding cuts in New York City – which shows the far-reaching impact of the crisis.

Underscoring the gravity of the situation, Senator Thune asserted that the border security problem is inherently a national security problem. He presented concrete evidence of individuals on the terrorist watch list attempting illegal entry, with 169 such cases in the fiscal year 2023. This heightened risk, coupled with the influx of thousands of special interest aliens, accentuates the vulnerability of the nation.

The YouTube comments are critical of the president: “Biden has broken so many laws and is allowed to continue.  What is up with that.  Too much talking, not enough action.”

Another commenter said: “If we had a courageous group of Republicans that all stood for ethics and responsibility, we would force the impeachment of Mayorkas, Garland, Wray, and Biden!”

Others are pointing out examples from other territories: “One of the worries, is that despite being repremanded, is anyone jailed or sent back, or arrested, or are they released in the community, like those not on wanted lists? Because it seems, that as there is no process after the quick processing, it’s off to the nearest shelter for 30 days and then released freely in to the USA. Perhaps asked to come back in 2028 or later. This happens a lot in the EU, where lessons have to be learned, after tragedies,  when the terrorists were known to police and given freedom to roam freely.”

A Plea for Bipartisan Action

Senator Thune articulated the urgent need for legislative action to address the crisis comprehensively. He announced the collaborative efforts of Senators Graham, Langford, and Cotton to craft border security measures for inclusion in the National Security Supplemental. 

The proposed reforms focus on parole and asylum, addressing flaws in the current systems that contribute to the crisis.

In concluding his remarks, Senator Thune appealed to both Republican and Democratic colleagues to recognize the magnitude of the crisis. He urged bipartisan cooperation to pass real border security measures as part of the National Security Supplemental. 

The Senator emphasized that acknowledging the issue is the first step towards securing the nation’s borders and protecting its citizens.

What are your thoughts? Are our current immigration policies striking the right balance between welcoming individuals and ensuring the nation’s security, as Senator Thune suggests?

In what ways can the U.S. government address the strains faced by Border Patrol agents and border cities to ensure effective management of the border crisis?

Do the proposed legislative measures, focusing on parole and asylum reforms, adequately address the root causes of the Southern border crisis?

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