Green to Blinken: Border Crisis is “Shameful and Preventable”

WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Mark Green gave the following statement during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing titled, “The State of American Diplomacy: Growing Conflicts, Budget Challenges & Great Power Competition.” 


Rep. Green’s remarks:

“Mr. Secretary, I want to thank you for appearing here. I was encouraged to hear in your testimony that you want to restore Congress' pivotal role in foreign policy process. That’s a goal that you and I share. 

“But if that’s a genuine goal or desire of yours, two things have to happen. Firstly, it’d be great if you could appear before us more than once a year, that would be greatly appreciated, we enjoy the dialogue. I know you and I have had some agreements where we’ve talked about things: of course, my near-shoring bill, your department did a wonderful job providing some input on that.

“But secondly, I think you should own some of the mistakes. I think it would give you incredible credibility if you did that; both mistakes made, and mistakes being made. 

“One of the worst decisions, and I want to take an opportunity to point this out, I think the State Department has made is abandoning the Asylum Corporation Agreements that were negotiated with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras under the previous administration. I think this was one of the first actions that you took in office back in February of ‘21, and it’s been one of the most damaging to our homeland security. 

“As you know, there are currently no legal mechanisms to return a migrant to a transitory country they pass through on their way to the United States. Despite a humanitarian crisis on our border with Mexico, you withdrew from essential agreements with our allies that were stemming the scourge of human trafficking and the flow of lethal drugs through Central America. And I think that’s both shameful and preventable.

“The border chief just recently gave testimony to the Committee on Homeland Security, and he identified…[how] the cartels… [use] mass waves of people to control five of our nine sectors on our Southwest border due to the loss of the ability… to return people.

“And the termination of these return agreements has been a complete and utter disaster, I believe, on many of the metrics that you, in this budget process, say you support. You said you were pursuing a…’free, secure, open, and prosperous world.’

“But I want to tell you that we don’t get a prosperous, free world when you allow cartels to smuggle narcotics and traffic migrants across the Western Hemisphere and into our country. 

“You’ve also allowed our relationships with Latin American countries to deteriorate. I look at the many, I would say the metastasis of ‘Cuba-zuela’ across Latin America, and Mexico [is] increasingly becoming [a] lawless puppet of the cartels—almost. 

“I mean, the Mexican military just recently illegally seized the private property of an American company, a company with significant presence in my district in Tennessee. And rather than working to stop those violent cartels and deadly fentanyl taking American lives, Mexico is using its military and law enforcement to occupy private property of American citizens and American businesses. And that’s really unacceptable, and it shows how the perpetual weakness portrayed in this administration is emboldening the Mexican government’s lawlessness.”

Watch Rep. Green’s full remarks here.