‘This is a national security disaster of epic proportions, but the Biden Administration will do nothing about it. In fact, they’re making it worse.’
NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), along with Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, Cocke County Mayor Crystal Ottinger, Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson, Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris, Franklin County Sheriff Tim Fuller, Morgan County Sheriff Wayne Potter, and Anderson County Sheriff Russell Barker, today discussed the crisis precipitated by President Joe Biden’s policies that they witnessed on their trip to the southern border this past weekend and how it is affecting Tennesseans across the state.
With drug overdose deaths now exceeding 100,000 Americans annually and the Biden Administration announcing that it will eliminate Title 42 authority—a successful Trump-era border security policy that allowed quick removal of more than 1,000,000 illegal border crossers during Fiscal Year 2021 alone—Hagerty introduced the Stop Fentanyl Border Crossings Act last week, which would expand Title 42 authority to quickly remove illegal aliens when necessary to combat substantial illicit drug smuggling across the southern border.
B-roll footage of the delegation’s travel to the southern border is available by clicking here.
Senator Hagerty: “We’ve just returned from three days on the Texas border. A group of Tennessee sheriffs and mayors joined me that included Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris, Franklin County Sheriff Tim Fuller, Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box, Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, Cocke County Mayor Crystal Ottinger, Morgan County Sheriff Wayne Potter, and Anderson County Sheriff Russell Barker. I want to thank all of you all for being here with me today to follow up on our trip. I’m certain that the public here in Tennessee is going to be very interested to hear about our trip.
“First, let me talk to you about the reason for our trip. For the past 15 months, every time I come home to Tennessee, I hear from my friends in law enforcement, I hear from local leaders about the carnage that’s happening right here in Tennessee—the deaths from overdose from fentanyl that is occurring here, the crime, the sex trafficking—something’s got to be done about this. We’ve been talking about it happening right here in the middle part of America. We wanted to take our voices to the border, where the problem is more immediate, but that’s absolutely the precipitant of what we’ve seen happening here and across the nation. In fact, we had 100,000 deaths in America last year due to overdoses from drugs—most of it fentanyl. Fentanyl, whose precursors are coming from China, shipped to Mexico, and coming across our porous southern border, killing kids right here in America. In fact, our mayors will talk about it a little bit more in a few minutes, but the overdose deaths that they’ve seen in their county are primarily due to fentanyl. Again, the Chinese Communist Party’s fingerprint’s on every one of these deaths.
“These deaths are happening here in Tennessee, though, because of what’s happening at our southern border. And over the past three days, we spent time with border patrol agents and watched what they’re encountering. […] They have capacity to process perhaps 5,000 people. They’re now processing seven to 8,000 people. When President [Joe] Biden lifts Title 42 on the 23rd of May, you’re going to be overwhelmed with perhaps 17, 18,000 people a day. What’s happening is our border patrol agents are completely consumed with processing paperwork for those people who come across the border and turn themselves in. What that does is opens a hole for drug cartels to ship more fentanyl, more high-value ‘aliens’ as they call them—these are people on terrorist watch lists. They’re sending people across that border; we have no idea who they are. In fact, we’ve apprehended 157 different nationalities at our southern border just this past year. There are only 195 countries recognized by the United Nations. This is a national security disaster of epic proportions, but the Biden Administration will do nothing about it. In fact, they’re making it worse.
“What the Biden Administration wants to do is just process more people who are coming here illegally. They want to create more incentive for illegal immigration into America, and in doing so, they’re essentially partnering with the drug cartels and the Chinese Communist Party, who are profiting immensely from this. I served in the previous Administration. I was on the phone with senior White House staff the night that President Xi and President [Donald] Trump met at the G20 in Buenos Aires. President Trump was very direct with President Xi. He told President Xi to stop sending fentanyl to America. President Xi agreed to that, but he never agreed to stop sending it to Mexico. Now that President Biden’s come into office and collapsed the southern border, what he’s done is open the flood gates for more illicit drugs and fentanyl to come into America and kill our kids.
“So, I looked at the news yesterday, tragic news about what’s happened in Ukraine—300 bodies were found in a mass grave near Kyiv. Everyone around the world is disturbed by this. If you think about the number of deaths that we have here in America, that’s one night of overdoses here in America, thanks to the border calamity that President Biden has created. Yet, no one is talking about that. These are our kids that are being killed. This is a war that’s being waged on the youth of America by the Chinese Communist Party, working in concert with the drug cartels in Mexico. You know who’s been the biggest player in this game? Our President, Joe Biden. In fact, one of the border patrol agents told me this: he said the Chinese Communist Party and the Mexican drug cartels—these billion-dollar enterprises—are making billions off of the drug trade that’s been facilitated over these past 14 or 15 months. He said their employee of the year should be President Joe Biden.”