After visiting the U.S.-Mexico border, Republican New York Rep. John Katko said Monday that the situation there is “a human tragedy” that primarily benefits smugglers and drug traffickers.
“There’s no question it’s a human tragedy and a tragedy that didn’t have to happen,” Katko told Fox News’ “The Story.” “The big winners in this are the coyotes and the drug traffickers.”
“When you give people [in] desperate situations false hope, this is what happens,” Katko continued. “The president has given false hope by signaling that he will relax the immigration standards. The people, the big winners in this whole thing are the coyotes and the drug trafficking organizations. They’re smuggling the people to the border.” (RELATED: ‘People Will Die. People Will Be Raped’: Former Acting ICE Chief Says Biden Has Declared America A ‘Sanctuary Jurisdiction’)
“What I saw today confirmed what I believed, in that the disorder at the border was caused by the [President Joe] Biden’s executive order.” The congressman also said a border agent had told him that some of the illegal immigrants crossing the border are on the Terror Watch List. “And that really set my antennae up … They’re people coming from all over the world and exploiting this gap in our system and doesn’t have to be.”
Katko said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion that the Biden administration inherited the problems at the border from the Trump administration “smacks of desperation,” arguing that the surge of migrants had ended by the time Biden took office. He insisted “people were discouraged from coming to the border; they were encouraged to come into this country the right way and that was working.”
The congressman said, citing conversation with the border patrol agents, that “once you let someone out in this country that’s here illegally and you give them a court date and tell them to come back, 99% of them never come back.”
The Biden administration is using a private facility from the Trump era to gather migrant children. The Department of Homeland Security would not say whether conditions in that camp will be any different than they were under the previous administration, according to previous reporting by the Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: ‘We Should Be Stopping This’: Mark Morgan Says Biden Border Policy Is Empowering Cartels, Border Smuggling)
Under Biden’s non-deportation rules, immigrants can’t be deported if they get a DUI or commit fraud, tax crimes or assault, Fox News reported.
Biden’s eight-year path to citizenship plan would allow all illegal immigrants living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021 to achieve temporary legal status in five years and to apply for citizenship after an additional three years.