WASHINGTON – United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today joined The Faulkner Focus on Fox News to discuss the ongoing border crisis and his recent visit to Guatemala and Mexico to meet with the leadership of both countries.
*Click photo above or here to watch*
Partial Transcript Below:
Hagerty on urgency of border crisis: “This is the greatest national security crisis that we’re facing right now as a nation. It has to be dealt with, now. That’s the reason I took the very first trip that’s come from the United States Senate—the first official trip [since the pandemic]—I took to Guatemala and Mexico to get to the heart of the problem and to underscore the fact that this is urgent and clearly it needs to be dealt with. Now, you see people’s lives at risk, right in front of your eyes today.”
Hagerty on border crisis effect on Tennessee: “I hope it could change things, but it seems the White House was more preoccupied with even what to call this. They can’t get around to calling it a crisis. They can’t get around to scheduling a trip to Mexico for yet another month. And this is something that needs to be dealt with immediately. If you look at what’s happening in my home state, Harris, we’ve had a dramatic increase in drug overdoses and deaths. The crime element associated with this is enormous, sex trafficking happening in my home state of Tennessee. We’re receiving unaccompanied minors into my state. The schools are being told they’re going to have to deal with them. The hospitals are trying to figure out if they have capacity. There are more questions unanswered than answered right now. That’s the reason I made this my first trip, to underscore the fact that the Senate does take this seriously. We have the power of the person, and we want to see this addressed right now.”
Hagerty on economic impact of border crisis: “Absolutely it burdens America’s children in the sense that the schools will be overloaded. It burdens our hospital system, and think about what it does to the lowest level of our economics structure here. Those Americans in the lowest end of the economic ladder are going to have even more pressure, more downward pressure on their wages, and more competition from people that are flooding across the border. And I can assure you of this, I talked with leaders in Guatemala and Mexico, the majority of the reason that people that are coming across the border is for economic reasons. That’s not a reason for asylum. They’re coming here for a better job, a better way of life. We’re creating a giant help wanted opportunity right now, because what we’ve done is extended unemployment insurance—plussed up unemployment, all the way through September. We have employers in my home state of Tennessee that can’t find people to work. That message is being sent loud and clear to folks in Central America and folks in Mexico. And as you just learned, coming from Venezuela. It’s like a giant help wanted sign. And what people do down there. This is what the leaders made very clearly to me, they listened very carefully to what’s coming from America, whether it be campaign rhetoric or whether it be executive orders from this White House. But when they hear a candidate like Joe Biden, say, ‘if I win, I’m going to treat you better’. That creates a sense of hope. A sense of urgency is created when you hear them talk about 100 days moratorium on any deportations. And then the false promises of a thick $15 minimum wage of $1,400 stimulus checks for illegal immigrants, a free COVID vaccinations. All of this is being marketed by these coyotes, the coyotes that you saw on television right there, they’re creating false hope in these people. These people are putting their life savings on the line and they’re endangering themselves tremendously. More than half of the people that are caught up in this movement are the victims of crime along the way, whether it be sex trafficking, whether it be involved in the narcotics trade and by the way, the Mexican government and the Guatemala governments that I talked with, they see the cartels getting stronger every day because their revenues are going up. These are lawless organizations that are growing by the moment and China is deeply involved with all of them.”
Hagerty on China’s involvement in border crisis: “What’s happening is that fentanyl coming through in increasing numbers. Chinese cartels are shipping more and more fentanyl in its precursor agents into Mexico, primarily. That’s where the drugs are being created. That’s where they’re being shipped and marketed from there, into our nation, going into the veins of our kids and killing them. That’s the Chinese involvement. They’re also involved in the drug laundering, I understand. Sorry, in the money laundering for these drugs. So the Chinese cartels are getting stronger, more revenues. The Mexican cartels are getting stronger and more revenues. And the governments of Mexico, the governments of Guatemala and others are suffering as a result. They don’t want to see crime grow in their own country. Yet, these large crime organizations are thriving right now because of the situation that we created at our border.”