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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) joined Charles Payne on Fox News to discuss the ongoing negotiations over a national security supplemental bill. Thune stressed that the package must have strong border security components in order to pass the Senate.
On the national security threat at the southern border:
“What we’ve argued all along is we've got a national security crisis at our southern border, and national security starts at home. We cannot move a national security bill that doesn't address that crisis.
“And there isn't a day goes by where we're not getting more and more signals that you've got people on the terrorist watchlist who have been coming into the country, trying to get into the country, illegally, you know, through the southern border, some of them getting caught, but there are a ton of 'gotaways.' Who knows how many of those 'gotaways' are perhaps on the terrorist watchlist or have malign designs on the United States.
“One way or the other, we know, at some point, there's going to be an incident here, and that incident is going to get traced back to somebody who came across our southern border. The terrorists have figured it out. The cartels obviously have figured it out. It is time for us to get serious about shutting it down.”
On the overwhelming conditions at the southern border:
“When you look at the numbers we saw last week, which were [10,000] to 12,000 every single day, you annualize that, that's over 4 million a year.
“And remember, back under the Obama administration, then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said 1,000 a day would overwhelm our system. We saw, on Tuesday of last week, over 12,000 people be apprehended trying to come across the border illegally.
“The magnets are there. The big green light is there. All the signals are saying, ‘Come.’ And we've got to change that, because it's now no longer just a humanitarian issue. This is a national security crisis.”
On the need for the national security supplemental to address the border crisis:
“If the president wants assistance for Ukraine, many of us are inclined to support that request, but it's got to come with some border security measures that defend America's borders first and foremost.
“They could do that tomorrow, Charles. So it's, you know, obviously they're trying to win the messaging war here. But in our view, at least, all they have to do is come to the table, work with us to reinforce our southern border, to try and deter the national security threats that we believe are very real down there, and we can address these national security issues that we're facing elsewhere around the world.”