Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Kennedy in the Daily Advertiser: Washington’s broken border policies are costing Louisianians too much

by BIZ Magazine

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) penned this op-ed in the Daily Advertiser explaining how the Biden administration’s broken immigration policies are costing Louisiana taxpayers and leaving them less safe. He urges his colleagues in Congress to join him in working to secure the border and end failed “catch-and-release” policies.

Key excerpts of the op-ed are below:

“Many in Washington like to pretend President Biden’s border crisis is over, but the numbers don’t lie.

“In July alone, U.S. border agents arrested more than 130,000 migrants trying to bypass our legal immigration system and enter the country illegally. That’s more people than the entire population of Lafayette in just one month—and that’s only the migrants we stopped.

“Many more were not caught, and many who were caught were allowed in any way because they claimed to be refugees who feared political persecution in their own country.”

“Since taking office, President Biden has released 2 million migrants into the United States. We really don’t know these people, which creates concerns about crime and public safety. But someone must also foot the bill for the 2 million more people who must access our roads, schools, jails, fire departments, and other public services, too.

“According to one estimate, [Louisianians] pay an additional $4,613 per migrant—a total of $604 million per year—in state taxes because of illegal immigration. At a time when Louisiana families also must spend an additional $765 per month because of inflation, the $604 million taxpayers are investing in noncitizens who bypassed our legal immigration system could provide a lot of relief to Louisiana families.”

“Border agents confiscated more than 1,500 pounds of fentanyl in June alone, enough poison to kill the entire country. In Louisiana, we lost 2,352 people to drug overdoses last year. Nearly all of those probably involved fentanyl. In New Orleans, officials found fentanyl in 94 percent of overdose victims. In East Baton Rouge Parish, the drug was present in 88 percent of overdose victims. In St. Tammany Parish, 11 people die from fentanyl overdoses each month.

“Yet, when I tried to increase prison sentences for predators convicted of feeding fentanyl to our children, my Democratic colleagues in Washington blocked my bill.”

“Why would anyone abide by America’s legal immigration process when they can just walk into the country, skip their court dates, and—in many cases—begin taking advantage of American entitlement programs? I’ve tried to pass a bill that would close the ‘catch-and-release’ loophole, but, again, Democrats blocked it, rubbing salt in the wounds of the good people waiting to enter our country legally. German engineers and Nigerian doctors who are patiently waiting in line in our legal immigration system have dreams, too.

“America is the freest, most prosperous country in the world, but we cannot afford to ignore our lawless border and the suffering it has caused people. I’ll continue to press President Biden and my colleagues in Congress to recognize the mess they made with stupid border policies so we can work together to give the American people the secure border they deserve.”

Read the full op-ed here.

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