Rep. Rosendale talks about border security

Posted at 8:49 AM, Jan 24, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-24 10:49:00-05

GREAT FALLS — Whether its the economy or civil liberties, during the 2024 Election, there are numerous talking points that are important to voters. Immigration and the nation's southern border is a major point for all Americans. It's rhetoric is one heard at a local and national level.

Lawmakers in Washington stand on all sides of the issue. Montana's Congressional delegation, which is predominately Republican, on both sides of the aisle all agree that a deal must be made.

"For years, it has been clear that the federal government needs to address the issue at the southern border and that there is the necessary bipartisan support to do so everywhere but in Washington, D.C. with both parties sharing in the blame. I have met with local elected leaders, from mayors to sheriffs, who can point to the negative impact the situation at the border is having in their towns in Montana. If you sit down with federal law enforcement officials, from prosecutors to border patrol agents, they will tell you point blank that the cartels are taking advantage of the current state of play. Congress needs to stop pointing fingers and deliver some real solutions before things get worse.” said Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) in a December press release.

Sen. Tester has introduced his own reform in regards to the Southern Border Crisis. Republican Congressman Matt Rosendale has consistently criticized members in his own party and the Biden Administration for how its handled immigration reform.

The question remains, what is the resolution?

"Customs and Border Patrol estimates that the Cartel is making about 32 million dollars a week off of people that are coming into our country illegally from that one area..."

Rep. Rosendale (R-MT) recently visited the Del Rio, Texas sector of the United States-Mexico border and says this isn't an immigration problem, rather than "slave trade" issue.

"That is because everyone that comes into our country from that southern border, illegally or otherwise, is obligated to pay the cartel a substantial fee. They are making millions of dollars off of these people and they are placing them into our country and they still have a financial obligation to pay back. So, they are indentured servants."

The implications of the Southern Border are viewed as a National Security issue as the United States continues to be in a set of conflicts in the Middle East. Rosendale told MTN on his visits to the border, he's seen the passports and ID's of migrants left at the international line. They range from Chinese Nationalists to citizen's of Yemen.

In 2023, the 188th Congress passed H.R. 2, one of the most conservative immigration laws to date. Rosendale believes the steps to stopping the migrant and drug flow into the U.S. is with three steps through that legislation.

  1. Utilize the "Remain in Mexico Policy" - Where migrants should seek a 6-8 year asylum in Mexico
  2. Redirect ICE to do its job by conducting raids on migrant run businesses and initiate deportations.
  3. Complete border security by building a wall, cameras, fiber optics, lighting, and roads.

The fourth and final step comes from an administration that put pressure on China, who Rosendale anticipates will be the Biden Administration.
"Apply very strong pressure on China. To keep them from sending those components to Mexico, which they actually compound the fentanyl and then send it into our country."

A report from the CDC in 2021 states that there were 106,699 overdose deaths in the United States, 199 of those occurred in Montana. All other drug related deaths were up over 15% in 2020 and 2021, according to the report. For fiscal year 2022, the state of Montana was issued $2,464,462 in overdose prevention funds.

"What is it going to take? Is it going to take more fentanyl deaths? Is it going to take 120,000 deaths from fentanyl every year?" Rosendale said.

Senator Tester added in his December press release, "Securing the southern border is critical to our national security. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle that want to find real solutions, not play political games that only benefit their own personal agendas. I am asking both of you to do the same.”

With no clear cut solution as to how to eliminate the crisis on the border, it costs taxpayers billions to keep up with the demand each year. The nation is racking up more debt each year, at $34 trillion currently, how we pay for the reform remains in question. Rosendale believes if we crack down on the border, it will alleviate further spending to knock down some of the national debt.

"We must secure our border. It’s in our national securities best interest and we must reduce our spending because it’s in our national securities best interest."