By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – Texas Republicans blasted President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address for his short remarks on illegal immigration and the fentanyl crisis.
In his remarks, President Biden said, Congress must “come together on immigration. … We know – we now have a record number of personnel working to secure the border, arresting 8,000 human smugglers, seizing over 23,000 pounds of fentanyl in just the last several months.”
He also referred to a new visa program that his administration launched last month and has already been sued over. The president said that “Americans border problems won’t be fixed until Congress acts. If we don’t pass my comprehensive immigration reform, at least pass my plan to provide the equipment and officers to secure the border … and a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers, those on temporary status, farmworkers, essential workers.”
The president was interrupted by Republican members of Congress shouting, “Secure the border!”
Biden also said, “Fentanyl is killing more than 70,000 Americans a year” and was interrupted again by Republicans shouting, “It’s coming from China!” and “It’s your fault!”
His plan to address the fentanyl crisis, he said, was to “launch a major surge to stop fentanyl production and the sale and trafficking” by having “more drug detection machines” and greater inspection of cargo to “stop pills and powder [coming in through] the border,” as well as “working with couriers, like FedEx, to inspect more packages for drugs” and implementing “strong penalties to crack down on fentanyl trafficking.”
Texas congressmen who have called for Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to be impeached, including Reps. Chip Roy and Michael Cloud, blasted the president’s speech.
In response to President Biden claiming he needed Congress to give him funding for border security, Rep. Cloud tweeted, “WE HAVE. His administration just refuses to implement the infrastructure necessary to secure the border. Which is why DHS Secretary Mayorkas must go.”
Rep. Roy said President Biden’s speech was “not a state of the union but a state of confusion.”
Rep. Troy Nehls said that “stopping fentanyl starts with securing the border” and the president didn’t mention the “10,000 cartel drones detected crossing our southern border last year,” a fact testified to by a Texas Border Patrol chief from the Rio Grande Valley.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also issued a statement, saying the president’s remarks “illustrated that states like Texas are leading the nation, and Washington follows.”
Gov. Abbott gave President Biden a 5-point plan to secure the border last month when the president was in El Paso, Texas, arguing the border could be secured immediately if the administration enforced existing laws. He hasn’t received a response, he said last week.
And President Biden’s plan to address the fentanyl crisis also falls short, Gov. Abbott said, especially since Texas law enforcement working through his border security mission, Operation Lone Star, have “seized enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman, and child in the United States.”
“Americans deserve decisive action from our federal government to stem the tide of this deadly drug entering our country, but in order to truly solve the fentanyl crisis, President Biden needs to do what Texas has been trying to do in his absence – secure our southern border,” Gov. Abbott said. “Once again, President Biden proved that Texas leads, and Washington follows.”
Texas Republican Reps. Ronny Jackson and Beth Van Duyne from north Texas were photographed shouting and pointing their fingers; other Texas representatives also expressed outrage.
Rep. Jackson, a former White House physician for former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, has repeatedly questioned President Biden’s mental and physical health and called for him to be removed under the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In July 2021, he first called for President Biden to be removed from office saying he was “OBVIOUSLY mentally incapable of leading during a crisis.”
After President Biden’s remarks Tuesday night, Rep. Jackson said, “Biden could barely read from the teleprompter. It was 90 straight minutes of either slurred speech or hysterical screams. This is an EMBARRASSMENT! Biden needs to RESIGN NOW!!”