February 15, 2019
Webster Statement on President’s Emergency Declaration
Washington, DC – Today, Florida Congressman Daniel Webster, R-Clermont, released the following statement on President Trump’s declaration of national emergency and actions to secure our southern border.
“We have a crisis at our southern national border. Gangs like MS-13 are constantly exploiting our lack of border security and numerous legal loopholes to avoid deportation. Our law enforcement officials at the border do not have the tools and resources they need to keep Americans safe, apprehend those who illegally enter our country and process the overwhelming number of claims of credible fear.
“The bill just passed by Congress does not provide the Department of Homeland Security the tools and resources the Department of Homeland Security requested. In fact, it creates more loopholes for gangs to exploit and directly incentivizes using children to avoid deportation.
“Our porous borders pose a grave threat to our national security and American’s safety. Ronil Singh’s son will never see his father again. Marilyn Pharis’ children and grandchildren will never hear her voice or see her again.
“President Trump is taking his responsibility seriously and using the power given to him by Federal Law in Title 10 United States Code Section 2808 and Title 10 United States Code Section 284 to protect our country. The declaration of national emergency was not my preferred route, as I would like to see a more collaborative approach between the Executive and Legislative branches, but I believe the President stands on solid legal ground. I hope this causes my congressional colleagues to reflect on the role of the Executive branch and how much congressional authority Congress has given away in decades past.”
The Crisis at Our Border
- Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) arrested 17,000 individuals with criminal records, in Fiscal Year 2018.
- CBP apprehends 21 wanted criminals at the southern border, on a typical day.
- DHS encountered more than 3,000 “special interest aliens” at the southern border last year. According to DHS these are individuals with suspicious travel patterns who may pose a national security risk—not to mention the many criminals, smugglers, traffickers, and other threat actors who try to exploit our borders.
- In the last two years alone, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records – including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults and nearly 30,000 sex crimes.
- Mexico is the source of more than 90 percent of wholesale heroin seized by law enforcement in the United States, up from only 10 percent in 2003.
- Overall, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stops on average 10 individuals on the terrorist watch list per day from traveling to or entering the United States—and more than 3,700 in Fiscal Year 2017.
- 2,370 pounds of fentanyl was seized by ICE in FY 2017 - enough to kill every American citizen by overdose.
- Most asylum claims (first step in that process is a credible fear claim) made by migrants arriving from the Northern Triangle of Central America (i.e. Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) have proven to be meritless.