Ensuring Public Safety – The Highland County Press

By US Senator Deb Fischer

Every American deserves to feel safe in their community. Yet in recent years, violent crime has increased across the country.

Defunding the police or taking resources away from our men and women in blue is never the solution. Instead, we must provide law enforcement with the support and tools they need to perform their duties.

That’s why I recently joined some of my colleagues in introducing a bill to clarify and strengthen violent crime laws. This includes homicides, bank robberies, carjackings, kidnappings and other offences.

Loopholes and outdated violent federal offense provisions have contributed to the dramatic increase in criminal activity in many areas. The bill, known as the Tackling Violent and Dangerous Crime Act, would clarify and toughen penalties for a wide range of violent crimes.

This is common sense legislation aimed at restoring accountability for certain violent crimes and protecting public safety. It is expected to receive bipartisan support, but so far no Democrats have co-sponsored the bill.

Another aspect of public safety is our southern border. The Biden administration has not only failed to secure the border, but has also made policy decisions that weaken border security.

Last June, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recorded an impressive 207,416 encounters with migrants. The total number of encounters since October 2021 reached 1,746,119, which is the highest recorded by the agency in a fiscal year for 6 decades.

The administration’s inability to secure the border poses a serious threat to public safety. Thousands of migrants continue to enter the country unchecked, and we continue to see the evils of human trafficking and drug trafficking. In particular, drug cartels are taking advantage of border vulnerabilities to smuggle dangerous narcotics like fentanyl into communities across the country.

At every turn, the Biden administration has pursued lenient immigration policies and demonized CBP agents who risk their lives to enforce our borders. In my previous April column, I discussed President Biden’s misguided efforts to prematurely end the Title 42 border authority — a crucial pandemic-era tool to help border agents control flows. of migrants.

A judge has thankfully prevented the administration from ending the provision at this time.

Despite the current crisis, the Biden administration remains committed to reversing President Trump’s successful border policies. More recently, the administration ended Migrant Protection Protocols (MPPs). The MPP program is essential for organizing the entry of migrants into the United States, reducing the volume of migrants released into the country and expediting asylum decisions. In the first year of the program, arrests along the southern border dropped by 30%.

Again, this is the bad decision of the Biden administration. Relaxing our immigration policies and procedures will only add to the chaos at the southern border.

There are a number of legislative solutions Congress can and should seek to address these border blunders.

This includes the Safe Our Communities Act – a bill I recently signed on to that would close a legal loophole perpetuating “catch and release” immigration practices.

I also adhered to legislation to require the Department of Homeland Security to develop a comprehensive strategy to secure the southern border and to combat human trafficking and drug trafficking.

Then there is the Asylum Accountability Act – another important bill that would increase the penalty for migrants who fail to show up for immigration court hearings. This is necessary to prevent those who take advantage of the asylum system from living illegally in the United States for years.

If passed, these three bills would have an immediate and positive impact on border security.

Current administrative policies and an open border pose a direct threat to public safety. We must act to secure the border and improve public safety.