Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) on Wednesday contrasted President Joe Biden’s “open border” policy with his ambivalence towards government-decreed school closures in the context of the White House’s ostensible concern about the spread of the coronavirus.
“The Biden administration has really upended our immigration policy [and] all of the policies that were put in place by the Trump administration,” Ernst said on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow. “[The Trump administration’s policies] really did slow down the flow of illegal immigrants coming across our border. All of that has been thrown out the window, and of course, the door is wide open now.”
The Biden administration’s “open border” policy is incompatible with its claimed prioritization of coronavirus as a governmental priority, Ernst held.
She said, “It just is unbelievable what we see with this administration. Our children — who we know can go back to school safely and responsibly — are not allowed to, and yet we have [illegal immigrants] flowing across the border into the United States spreading coronavirus.”
Marlow said, “We are also told that we can’t have schools open because of the coronavirus, yet we can have coronavirus-positive people flow into the country. … They’re not getting treated or even necessarily tested. They’re just moving in through the country.”
Ernst noted the partisan divide over public health policies in the context of addressing coronavirus, with Democrats and the broader left more hostile towards the opening of schools — ostensibly due to concerns for the health of students and teachers — than Republicans and the broader right.
“Our schools [in Iowa] have been open since last August, and I feel so badly for the children in a number of these blue states,” Ernst stated. “They are going to be so far behind their peers in the states that have opened, and what do we do about that? That’s another crisis on the verge. So it’s very unfortunate that we have such discrepancies out there. We know we can get these kiddos back to school.”
An unsecured southern border draws illegal immigration from beyond Mexico and South America, Ernst noted.
“What we’re seeing is not only immigrants coming from Mexico — as most people typically think — but up to 54 countries are accounted for in those illegal immigrants, so I see this not only as a humanitarian crisis but also a crisis to our national security.”
Ernst described an unsecured U.S.-Mexico border as a threat to national security in relation to China.
“China is exerting its influence all over Latin America,” Ernst remarked. They’re using Chinese-developed vaccinations for coronavirus; they’re distributing that, and they have alarming levels of trade and investment in those areas. It’s basically a payoff within our neighborhood to gain influence over these Latin American countries. With the open border, it does become a problem.”
She went on, “Not only are they influencing those countries and really coming into [South America], [China] is coming into our neighborhood. So these are typically countries that should be allied with us, and now they are turning to the Chinese for their influence or their products or their support. They’re also turning to Russia and Iran. We see those countries getting involved in South America as well and it is very very concerning.”
Ernst concluded, “Communist China continues to capitalize. They know that our border is open, right now, and they really are exploiting it. So we we really need to push very hard to get Biden to acknowledge that there is a crisis and that our national security is jeopardized when our borders are open.”
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