Rep. Jay Obernolte, R-Calif., coming off a trip to the border, told Newsmax on Saturday that the "rule of law has completely broken down at our southern border."
The congressman, interviewed on Newsmax's "American Agenda," said that the situation, which he documented in a video, should concern "every single American, regardless of what your stance is on immigration or immigration policy."
He noted that in April, U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered more than 230,000 migrants crossing illegally into the United States.
"They're doing this as a direct result of our own administration's policies on the border," Obernolte said. "The CBP told us that over 50% of the migrants that they detain end up being released into the United States. They give them a phone. They make them promise to show up to an immigration hearing, which is often years in the future."
He continued, "Unfortunately, less than 10% of them go through the process and show up, so regardless of what your stances on immigration policy, this should be concerning to everyone because we are a nation that believes in the rule of law."
Obernolte said he represents a non-border, inland district in California, but noted, "We are seeing the effects of the Biden administration's immigration policy."
Deaths from fentanyl overdoses have gone up a record amount, by over 600%, he continued, stating that last year, "We had over 100 fentanyl deaths in my community and most of them are young people."
Most of the drugs are coming in from across the border, he continued.
"We're also having a problem with large-scale illegal marijuana cultivation," Obernolte said. "Drug cartels are bulldozing hundreds of acres of pristine Mojave Desert. They're setting up what we call hoop houses, which are hoops of PVC pipe with plastic sheeting. And they're stealing water from the California aqueduct, as well as from illegally drilled wells. And they're using banned pesticides to grow this product."
There is also a human tragedy involved in the illegal marijuana farms, the congressman said because most of the labor comes from across the border in the form of human trafficking.
Obernolte on Saturday also commented on President Joe Biden's attack on Republicans over gun control in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, school shootings.
"Obviously what happened in Uvalde and what's happened across our country in terms of gun-related violence over the last decade is heartbreaking, and Republicans care as much about this as Democrats do. But I think that there's a bipartisan agreement that we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but what we're not going to agree to is taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding Americans. And I also think that not enough attention is paid to the word 'violence.' When we talk about gun violence, other countries have much stricter gun control regulations that keep guns out of the hands of their population. But they still have violence, and just as many people are killed. So instead of a mass shooting, you'll have a mass stabbing. That's not progress."
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