Hagerty: One year ago, I warned Biden not to terminate the Migrant Protection Protocols, but he didn’t listen

February 17, 2022

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) one year ago sent a letter to President Joe Biden warning about the consequences of terminating President Donald Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and returning to a catch-and-release policy with respect to persons crossing the border.

“President Joe Biden ignored my stark warning a year ago today and the result is a collapsed southern border, rising crime, rising fentanyl overdoses that are now the leading cause of death for 18 to 40 year olds, and hundreds of thousands of migrants who have been secretly released into our communities,” said Senator Hagerty. “President Biden’s open-border policies have put the safety and security of the American people in jeopardy.”

Hagerty sent his letter a year ago amid reports that an estimated 30,000 migrants—a population roughly the size of Cookeville, Tennessee—were waiting at the border to be released into the United States due to the termination of MPP.

Fast-forward one year, and more than 2 million migrants illegally crossed the border in 2021 alone—a population roughly the size of the entire Nashville, Tennessee, metropolitan area. 

In his February 2021 letter, Hagerty said that “terminating MPP would unilaterally discard a significant diplomatic achievement, reward abuse of our generous asylum laws, and endanger American communities as a result. Further, it would exacerbate the damage caused by your other unilateral actions on immigration, including: barring virtually all deportations of illegal immigrants, including violent criminals; halting ongoing construction of a border wall demanded by law enforcement personnel on the front lines; and opening the door to admitting immigrants who cite the need to flee climate change.”

The record number of illegal border crossings in FY2021 makes clear that Hagerty was correct: terminating MPP encouraged more illegal immigration.

Yesterday, Hagerty sent a letter to the Comptroller General of the United States, who heads the Government Accountability Office (GAO), seeking an opinion regarding whether the Biden Administration inappropriately attempted to terminate MPP without submitting the proposal to Congress under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).