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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) joined Martha MacCallum on Fox News to discuss the need for strong border security provisions in a national security supplemental bill. Thune noted that a supplemental package will not be considered before the end of the year because the White House waited until last week to engage with Republican negotiators, despite Republicans introducing their border proposal during the first week of November.
On the White House refusing to engage on border security until last week:
“These are policies that [President Biden] changed when he came to office, completely abandoned everything that was working throughout the course of the previous administration.
“But to your point, the reason we don’t have a deal right now is because the Democrats didn’t come to the table until literally last week. I told you this, we had a proposal out there, first week in November. We have been waiting for seven weeks for the Democrats to engage.”
On the border crisis being a national security threat:
“You’ve got to stem the flow. Right now, everything, every policy this administration has, they’re pull factors. They’re pulling people into this country. It’s like we’re putting a big welcome sign out there, and all the signals are, ‘Come, come, come.’
“And right now, it is overwhelming the southern border, and it’s overwhelming our cities in the interior of the country, too. Every state now has become a border state.
“But if you just look at the composition of the people coming across the border, in the month of October, 1,569 people had criminal convictions, 93 had warrants out for their arrest, 50 were gang members, and 12 were on the terrorist watchlist. And last year, on the terrorist watchlist, 169 people came into this country across our southern border.
“This is a national security crisis, and it needs to be treated that way by this administration.”
On the timing of the Senate processing a national security supplemental package:
“We are going to get something across the finish line. Now, it’s not going to get done before the holiday for the reasons I just mentioned.
“[Democrats] just came to the table, and the administration hasn’t up until recently gotten serious about the policy changes that are going to be required to stem the flow at the border.“We will get this done. It may be early January, but these numbers are out of control. They have completely lost control of the border, and they should be taking steps on their own to address that, but we’re certainly going to do everything we can do to make sure that they do.”