WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today joined Bill Hemmer on America’s Newsroom to discuss his efforts to end the growing humanitarian crisis he witnessed at the southern border this weekend and why Democrats refuse to address it.
Hagerty on his legislative effort to expand Title 42: “I want to keep it [Title 42] in place, Bill, and actually expand it, because what we’ve had is an epidemic of drug deaths by overdose right here in America, right here in my home state. That’s why I brought a group of… law [enforcement officers] … down to the border to see exactly what the precipitant was. I want to strengthen Title 42 and expand it to cover the threat of drug smuggling that could lead to drug overdose here in America. We lost 100,000 lives last year to drug overdoses, Bill, right here in America. That’s roughly 300 people a night dying from this. It’s a tragedy that’s not getting enough coverage. When I took the mayors and the sheriffs there, I think it was really eye-opening. And what we saw was a complete catastrophe taking place. In fact, on Friday when we were there, I attended the evening muster with the team. The leadership of the border patrol let the agents know that Title 42 was going to be lifted on May the 23rd. There was just a pall of depression that fell over the room, because they realized the very last tool they have to push back on this flood of people is going to be taken away. They’ve only got the capacity to process 5,000 people right now at the border. They’re already at 8,000. When Title 42 is lifted, they think the number will climb to 15 to 18,000. They will be completely overwhelmed. All they’ll be doing is processing paperwork and the drug flow will just be at epic proportions at that point.”
Hagerty on Biden and Democrats turning a blind eye to the border crisis: “If they saw what I saw… I can’t imagine that they would be willing to expose our nation to the sort of humanitarian crisis that we saw. We saw young children unattended coming across the border, we saw young ladies that had obviously been hurt and mistreated in a very bad way, and we know the drug flow is coming across the border and killing our kids right here in America. You know, the answer would be so easy. The answer was right in front of us because President Trump put in place the Migrant Protection Protocols that brought this almost to an end by 2020. The Biden Administration came in and tore it up. They refuse to go to the border. [President Joe] Biden has never been to the border. [Vice President] Kamala Harris was… 1200 miles away from where we were at the hotspot. I’ve tried to get some of my Democrat colleagues to come down and see this. They will not come. But this tragedy is killing American kids. This is making every town a border town, as we’ve said. We’ve got to step up and do something about it. And you know who is at the very heart of this? The Chinese Communist Party. In December of 2018, when President Xi met with President [Donald] Trump at the Buenos Aires G20, I was on the phone with senior White House staff. President Trump told President Xi to stop the flow of fentanyl into America. Xi agreed to that. But President Xi never agreed to stop sending it to Mexico. And once Biden collapsed the border, the CCP and the cartels have partnered up, and they’ve just created a tidal wave of illicit drugs that are coming across that border and killing our kids.”
Hagerty on why Democrats enable the crisis: “It’s really sad. When you think about the people that benefit from this. On the one hand, it could be the corporations […] I think if you look at the benefit on this side, the corporations that enjoy the flow of illegal immigrants coming in here get the benefit of the downward pressure it puts on wage prices. The most cynical part is the politicians. How do they win? Well, with the sanctuary cities situated in blue states, where they control the legislatures, they’re able to get more people into those states and actually get the numbers up so they can shift the number of congressional districts, eventually electoral votes. I think if they came to the border with me, they would realize the consequences of this cynical posture and they would stop it, but they won’t come. They’re ignoring it. And they’re stepping back waiting for these sort of electoral benefits or some sort of economic benefit. Meanwhile, the real winners of this are the billion-dollar cartels that have basically taken control of the Northern border in Mexico and their partners in China that are shipping the precursors to fentanyl over.”