By Yvette Herrell / Alamogordo Republican 

The United States is not in control of our southern border. The cartels have full, operational control and President Biden and his allies in Congress are doing nothing to keep your family safe. They are ignoring this reality and placing every American, legitimate asylum-seeker, and our sovereignty at risk.

When America is in crisis and every community is feeling the pain, politics should not be a factor. Under this administration, we have seen over 6 million people enter our nation illegally. The entire population of New Mexico is just over 2 million.

Not only are we placing enormous financial burdens on our border communities, but resources that should be used to help American families, farmers and services providers are being re-allocated in an effort to shore up these growing costs.

Food pantries and shelters are providing more resources to those coming here illegally than to American citizens/families that have come to rely on such. Hospitals and other medical providers have no choice but to absorb the additional costs associated with treating illegal immigrants while leaving some American patients without access to medical care.

Every American citizen is bearing the brunt of these failed border policies, and our elected officials are complicit — going along with this administration rather than prioritizing the value of American's security and needs. It is our tax dollars that are paying for housing, transportation, medical assistance, food, and other expenses that should be utilized and spent on programs needed by our own citizenry. With our economy and cost of living at an all-time high, the priority should be placed on assisting our seniors, families, homeless veterans, and others.

The recent events in Israel should be a wakeup call for every American. For our nation's safety, we must know who is entering our country. We know over 100 people on the Terror Watch List have been apprehended at the border, but of the over 1 million "got-aways" we have no way of knowing who is living in our communities and what their intent may be.

We now know that migrants from over 170 countries have entered our nation illegally. No other country in the world would allow such atrocities. We are a nation of law and order, but that would be hard to recognize today because of the continued chaos at the border.

The bipartisan answers are in front of us. First, we must secure the border by allocating the necessary funds to CBP, ICE, and other necessary agencies.

We must deploy the National Guard to provide our Border Patrol agents the assistance they desperately need and allow these agents to have a presence on the border, finish the physical barrier, reimplement the Remain in Mexico policy, renegotiate the Asylum Cooperative Agreements, and invest in the latest technology to help stop the flow of dangerous fentanyl and human trafficking into our country.

And throughout these efforts, we must use economic pressure to hold the Mexican government and other foreign entities accountable to gain their cooperation for these efforts.

Once we regain control of the border, the work to repair the broken asylum and immigration systems must begin immediately. Seen through a lens of compassion and respect for the rule of law, immigration into our country is a privilege, not a right.

As a nation of immigrants, we should provide a legal pathway to those who want to seek the American dream — but we must welcome them responsibly and within an orderly system that has proper vetting methods and safeguards in place.

What we don't need is unnecessary legislation that is redundant and does nothing to secure the border and protect American citizens. New Mexicans are not looking for talking points, they are looking for leadership, something we are sadly lacking in New Mexico. We deserve better.

Yvette Herrell formerly represented New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District and is running for the office again in 2024.

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