BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today reflected on the Biden Administration’s inaction on solving the crisis at the U.S. southern border and reiterated that Senate Republicans have solutions, as detailed in their June report.
“Despite record-breaking levels of illegal immigration and hazardous conditions on the U.S. southern border, the Biden Administration has failed to take any action to address the root causes or achieve safety and security at our border,” said Risch. “In June, I released a report highlighting how the administration has undermined U.S. efforts to reduce illegal migration and offering actionable solutions the United States should take. The problem has only gotten worse. My colleagues and I will continue to press the administration on these issues in the coming year and pursue the recommendations we laid out in our report.”
Key findings of the report include:
- President Biden has reversed important Trump-era reforms that effectively addressed illegal migration, and reinstated failed Obama-era policies. These policies undermine U.S. efforts to build effective law enforcement and asylum processing mechanisms across Mexico and northern Central America, leading to the highest number of migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States in history.
- Transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) benefit from and prolong the illegal migration crisis by facilitating and profiting off the smuggling and trafficking of migrants, or by victimizing vulnerable people along the dangerous journey to the United States.
- The governments of Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are falling short on their own domestic and international obligations to address transnational organized crime and illegal migration issues, putting U.S. security at risk. The Biden Administration should seek to enforce these obligations, including the agreements the Trump Administration made with these countries.
Key recommendations of the report include:
Establish effective immigration controls in the United States:
- Extend Title 42 until the end of the COVID-19 health emergency.
- Reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols and Asylum Cooperative Agreements.
- Strengthen border security and migration management capacities in the region:
- Target U.S. assistance in Mexico and northern Central America towards strengthening the capacity, funding, and staffing of migration management and law enforcement agencies in those countries.
- Target TCO human smuggling and trafficking:
- Leverage existing bilateral extradition treaties to prosecute transnational criminal actors facilitating illegal migration to the United States.
In July, the cosigners of the report gave a press conference and answered questions on next steps the Biden Administration can take. The full press conference can be watched here.
A copy of the full SFRC minority report can be found here.