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Every State Is a Border State: How the Migrant Crisis Impacts Wisconsin, Alabama, Virginia

Photo by Barbara Zandoval / Unsplash

By Tyler O'Neil, The Daily Signal / May 12, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Republicans in the House of Representatives voted Thursday to pass HR 2, a massive border bill. Many of them who represent states far removed geographically from the border told The Daily Signal how the crisis is impacting their states.

“We have had a rash of fentanyl overdoses in the 3rd Congressional District in the state of Wisconsin,” Rep. Derrick Van Orden told The Daily Signal at the U.S. Capitol Thursday, referring to the district he represents in Congress.

“In rural Wisconsin, we’re having people die of fentanyl overdoses, and it’s happening all the time and it’s tragic,” he added. “That’s an in-your-face testament to Joe Biden’s [Homeland Security] Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas—really, the Democrat Party writ large, especially over in the Senate with [Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer, just not caring about these things. I don’t know how else you can describe that.”

“If you could stop 90% of the fentanyl coming in over the southern border, why wouldn’t you? Because it’s killing our brothers and sisters and mothers and cousins and aunts and uncles,” Van Orden said.

He argued that HR 2 will address the fentanyl crisis and urged Senate Democrats and President Joe Biden to support it. He said, “Chuck Schumer needs to do his damn job, and Joe Biden needs to do his damn job, too. We’re doing ours.”

Rep. Barry Moore, R-Ala., described how the border crisis impacts Alabama.

“Well, we seized enough fentanyl a few months ago in Birmingham to kill every man, woman, and child in Alabama,” he told The Daily Signal. “So, although you may be a border town, this is a crisis for the entire country as this fentanyl pours in. It’s the No. 1 killer now in people between ages of 18 to 45.” (Some experts dispute this claim, which traces back to Families Against Fentanyl’s report on 2020 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has neither confirmed nor denied it.)

“As we see these people, 5 million encounters—that’s my state’s entire population—have been contacted coming across the U.S. southern border. That doesn’t count the ones that got away,” Moore added. “So, we basically displaced my entire state’s population.”

Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., cited the Foundation for American Immigration Reform’s estimate that at the end of 2022, there were “400,000 illegal aliens in Virginia, costing an average of $5,000 approximately per alien for Virginians to support them.”

“We’ve had murders in my own community where I live—in my district in Virginia—from illegal aliens who are here—MS-13 gang members,” he added.

He predicted an even larger number following the end of Title 42, a pandemic-era measure that enabled Border Patrol to deport illegal aliens in an effort to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

“Now you’ve got the cessation of Title 42, which is going to, by most estimates, double the invasion,” Good said. “Right now, we’ve got 10,000 a day coming. It’s estimated [to reach] maybe as many as 20,000 a day. This president is on track for some 15, 20 [million] illegals to invade the country during his time in office. And so far, we’ve had 5.5 million that have been released in the country essentially because of these policies.”

Good warned that some migrants may not be searching for a better life but for an opportunity to attack the United States. “We found a hundred on the terrorist watch list,” he said. “How many did it take to perpetrate 9/11?”

Tyler O'Neil is managing editor of The Daily Signal and the author of "Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center."

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