Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 8.11.23

Not Their Problem

Many Democrat-controlled cities and states, which are not on the border, think the crisis at our southern border is not their problem.

But, over the past few months, we’ve seen a string of northern Democrat-controlled cities and states declare states of emergency and request help from the federal government due to the number of illegal immigrants living in their jurisdictions.

Massachusetts Governor Healey was the most recent official to declare a state of emergency due to an influx of immigrants to her State. According to the Governor, thousands are being housed in emergency shelters around the State (some are bona fide refugees, but many are illegal immigrants). Governor Healey said that the State’s social services are overwhelmed, and the State needs help from the federal government.

Washington, D.C., Chicago, and New York City have all declared immigration emergencies in the last year. New York State declared an emergency not long before Massachusetts.

D.C. issued a state of emergency last September. Mayor Bowser blamed Texas Governor Abbott for the emergency when he bussed immigrants who had illegally crossed into the State to the nation’s capital.

This past May, Chicago joined D.C. in declaring an emergency – by that time the number of immigrants being cared for by local and state agencies was over 8,000.

When Title 42, a public health order that allowed border patrol agents to send illegal immigrants back to their home country or the country they were most recently in, was coming to an end in May, New York Governor Hochul declared an emergency in preparation of the coming influx.

In the past few months NYC has had difficulty housing illegal immigrants living there. News reports tell of up to 2,000 being sheltered in tents on the Randalls Island soccer fields. NYC Mayor Adams said that there are currently 57,000 immigrants sleeping in city shelters. Further, hundreds of hotel rooms are being rented for illegal immigrants by the city.

Recently, a constituent complained at a Smyth County meeting that when he went to visit his daughter in NYC, he paid for his hotel room, while illegal immigrants were getting their stay covered for free by the taxpayer.

Earlier this year when visiting the border, on my commercial flight back, there were two illegal immigrants and an ICE agent flying to the immigrants’ placement location. Who do you think is covering that cost?

That’s right, you, the taxpayer!

And yet, with all this hardship and struggle to manage the illegal immigrants living in their jurisdictions, these Democrat politicians support the flawed policies leading to these problems. Many have the attitude that it’s not a real problem until it’s their problem. But they support the lax border policies of the Biden Administration and complain when they have to deal with the real-life consequences.

And instead of supporting finishing the wall and defending our borders, these Democrat politicians are calling on the federal government to expedite work authorizations for the illegal immigrants.

When declaring a state of emergency, Governor Healey stated, “an inability for migrants to obtain work authorization from the federal government,” as one reason the crisis is so bad in her state.

She said not one word about the wall or the southern border.

Should we reward people who intentionally break the law? I say No!

I’ve long spoken out about how detrimental the Biden Administration’s open border policies are, which have resulted in increases in human smuggling, human trafficking, drug trafficking, etc.

Republicans in Congress have repeatedly urged the Administration to change their ways, to close the border by resuming border wall construction and giving Border Patrol more resources to control the border.

We have also worked to hold the Administration accountable for the results of their policies. Congress has called Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in to testify 12 times since becoming Secretary.

And yet, our calls to follow the law and make necessary changes, fall on deaf ears.

Instead, the Administration has shifted the blame away from their flawed policies repeatedly, saying either that the Trump Administration is to blame or that somehow it is Congress’ fault.

Mind you, House Republicans have already passed a border bill, the Secure the Border Act of 2023, to address the crisis at our southern border.

Not one House Democrat voted in favor of it.

It is clear, this crisis will continue until Democrats get real about the problem and support policies that actually close the border. Further, northern Democrat run cities and states must accept that the border crisis is their problem too.

If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at


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