Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., gave a scathing rebuke Wednesday to President Biden’s “lecturing” on the virtues of immigration by detailing some of the brutality migrants are facing at the border and beyond, as she argued that Mexican cartels’ reach into this country is now amounting to not the American Dream but the “American nightmare.”
Speaking at a news conference with Senate Republican leadership, Britt reiterated Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s plea to the media that anyone not reporting on the “indefensible” and “evil” happenings at the border is “complicit in modern day slavery” because the Democrats are allegedly turning a blind eye to “people being brutalized by these policies.”
“Drug cartels, guys, they have their tentacles all over this country,” Britt said. “We need you to start telling that story. To Sen. Cruz’s point, they will tell you exactly how much they paid to get here. Then they’ll tell you where they’re going, what their jobs are going to be and how much more they owe. Got it?”
“And guess what? Just the other day in Alabama, a gentleman told me, if you will come back here with me in this neighborhood right behind you, you will see migrants who are here illegally, and they will tell you about the drug cartels coming around every other week to collect. Guys, that’s not the American dream. That’s an American nightmare,” she said.
Britt went on to argue that former President Donald Trump secured the border, as Republicans say that since Biden took office, there have been more than 6 million illegal encounters at the border, including 2.4 million caught crossing the border illegally in the 2022 fiscal year.
“I am so sick of Joe Biden lecturing us about the soul of America,” Britt said. “Let me tell you, he needs to have the heart to actually listen to people. He needs to have the compassion to actually hear those stories, the willingness to work with people. And Joe Biden needs the courage to take decisive action. We are standing here ready to do this.”
At the start of the press conference, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the Biden administration’s proposed compromise with Republicans to avoid a government shutdown did not allocate any funding for immigration enforcement, detaining violent criminals or fighting cartels, but instead allowed money for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be reprogrammed to community residential facilities “to help with the cost of housing illegal immigrants.”
Britt ripped this as an “absolute joke.”
“It will only facilitate this crisis more and more every day. By the end of his tenure, we will have over 10 million people here, which would make that, by the way, if you put everybody in one place, the 11th largest state in the United States of America,” Britt said. “Folks, this is out of control. We’ve got to do something. We would not allow this to happen in a Third World country. We certainly should not allow it to happen in the United States of America.”
Britt, a first-term senator just elected in 2022, acknowledged how GOP Sens. Marsha Blackburn, of Tennessee, and John Cornyn, of Texas, brought her to the border so that she too could see the circumstances firsthand. “We got to hear women tell us their story, and their stories are brutalizing,” Britt said.
“Because when a woman sits there, and she tells you not just about being raped, but how many times a day she’s raped, when she tells you about having to lay in that bed while they come in and out and in and out – it’s disgusting and it’s despicable,” Britt said. “Folks, you look at the number of people that have died at the border because Joe Biden has made it more and more enticing to come here. Make no mistake, this is a result of failed policies. We could fix this. We can’t throw money at this and fix it. We have to actually change the policies.”
“I looked in the eyes of CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Patrol] agents who said, ‘We’re exhausted. We’re not only having to be paper pushers, we’re also trying to do what we took an oath of office to do, and that is protect this border,'” Britt recalled. “But when they tell you about finding small children who have drowned in that river or pulling the lifeless body of a woman who was pregnant with twins, it changes the way you think about what’s happening.”
In August, at least 232,972 people were caught having come across the border illegally, representing a 365% increase since the same month in 2020. This year to date, 151 people caught crossing the border illegally were identified as being on the terrorist watch list.
“I guarantee you, if you take a look at this group up here, we have put forth solution after solution after solution,” Britt said.