Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 10.6.23

We Told You

Duh, we told you!

Someone in the Biden Administration finally came to the realization that we have a crisis at our southern border and building a border wall would be a good idea.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) just announced that they would be bypassing 26 federal laws in order to continue construction of 20 miles of the border wall in Texas. Secretary Alejando Mayorkas, who filed a notice in the U.S. Federal Register, stated, “there is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers … in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States.”

Well, duh!

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), during the month of August (the most recent statistics reported) 232,972 illegal immigrants were encountered along the southern border – a 14% increase since last August and an 100% increase since fiscal year (FY) 2019.

As a candidate for President, Joe Biden stated that there would, “not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration." Following through on this promise, he paused border wall construction on his first day as President.

I went down to the border a few months after he took office (one of several trips I’ve made) and saw construction materials for the wall lying uselessly in the sun feet away from where it was to be installed. This was an area illegal immigrants were known to enter the country.

In another area, a gate was built into the wall allowing pecan farmers in the area access their land. The engines that were to operate the gate had not yet been installed. Even though all of the equipment was paid for and on site, and only the opening and closing mechanisms were left to be installed, the Biden Administration ordered a stop to construction, leaving the gate open. Therefore, two Border Patrol agents had to monitor the gate in twelve-hour shifts instead of being able to rove along the border.

It was disappointing to see so much material wasted and already paid for by American taxpayers. Further, one could anticipate the health and safety consequences to both Americans and illegal immigrants by not finishing the wall and enforcing sensible border policies.

Close to three years since Biden took office, the consequences of his border policies are clear – a flood of immigrants that the United States cannot handle in such short order. Not to mention the human consequences of the cartels getting rich off of drug and human trafficking.

It reminds me of the Roman Emperor Nero who, according to legend, played the fiddle while Rome burned to the ground.

House Republicans in Congress have long called on the Biden Administration to close the border by resuming border wall construction, providing more resources to control the border, and following existing immigration law.

House Republicans passed H.R. 2, Secure the Border Act of 2023, in May, with not a single Democrat voting in favor. Further, the bill has never been brought up in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

When a short-term government funding bill was brought to the House floor on September 29th, with most of H.R. 2, every Democrat again voted against it.

Our border states have begged the Administration for help for years. Those cries for help have all fallen on deaf ears.

In 2021, Governors Abbott of Texas and Ducey of Arizona had to turn to the other states for help because the federal government was unwilling. So far, eight states (all Republican) have answered the call for help, including Virginia, sending members of their National Guard or other state law enforcement officers to the border.

It wasn’t until northern Democrat-run cities began to feel the effects of the border crisis that Democrats finally began to speak up.

Mayors from Washington, D.C., Chicago, and New York City have all called on the Administration for help, declaring immigration emergencies in the last year. Democrat Governors from Massachusetts and New York have also called for help, declaring states of emergency this past August.

Frankly, it is ridiculous that this has become a Republican vs. Democrat issue. This should have been an American issue, united in securing our borders.

Now that enough Democrats have become angry by the Administration’s policies, and another presidential elections looms just around the corner, the Administration finally decides to act.

But the 20 miles in new border wall DHS just announced is just a drop in the bucket. We have a long way to go to fix the damage done by this Administration by not protecting our borders.

Duh, we told you!

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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