(USA Features) Oklahoma GOP Sen. James Lankford dismissed the Biden administration’s claims that the situation along the U.S.-Mexico border is improving, suggesting that the number of migrants in detention is falling because they are being released into the U.S. at a faster clip.
“What they mean by that, when you ask them — and I had the opportunity to be able to ask [DHS] Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas last week what he means by ‘it’s getting better’ is — we’re holding fewer people at the border, and we’re releasing them into the country faster,” Lankford told Fox Business Network’s “Mornings With Maria” host Maria Bartiromo.
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“So they’re actually expediting people crossing the border faster than they were the month before,” he continued. “We had more people illegally cross the border in…April than we had in March.
“We have continued acceleration now. This is an ongoing problem, and the vice president hasn’t even held a press conference on it, hasn’t gone to Central America,” the Republican senator added.
He went on to say that leaders in Central American nations like Guatemala and El Salvador are “frustrated” with the Biden administration’s immigration policies.
“And they are really frustrated with…American politicians, talking about how bad things are in Central America, when they say, we love our country,” said Lankford. There are great things that are happening in our country. There are areas of violence but there are areas of peace in our country, and they feel like they are actually competing against American media that are trying to be able to devastate their country for some liberal effect here.”
Lankford said the Biden administration released some 19,000 migrants into the U.S. who crossed illegal last month and this month.
“And this is their focus — if the line is too long, we’re going to need to expedite the process for people getting into the country faster. So we just release people into the country with a notice to say, check in at an ICE agency when you get there. Wherever you’re going, whatever city you go to, just check in at an ice facility to be able to let them know that you’re in the area,” said Lankford.
“I asked Secretary Mayorkas how many of those 19,000 people have actually checked in and done that. He said it’s a lot — I don’t know the exact number. We know the exact number — 550. Two and a half percent of the people have actually checked in,” he added.
“That means 97-and-a-half percent of the people that the secretary just released in the country, they have no idea where they are. And those are the people that we actually interdicted, that are being released in the country.”