Oregon Republicans are going to the border

A southern border fence located in Arizona

A group of Oregon Republicans, around one third of incumbent lawmakers and three candidates, are heading to Arizona to “witness with their own eyes the devastation Biden’s immigration policies have had,” according to a press  release from Ashely Kuenzi, the communication director for the Oregon Republican caucus. 

The trip for representatives will be paid for with campaign and personal funds. 

The release details how, though Oregon is not a border state, it still deals with consequences from what they describe as America’s “wide-open” border, though according to the Department of Homeland Security, “the U.S. border is not open to illegal immigration and immigration laws remain strict,” as evidenced by bills such as Title 8, which went into effect in on May 12, 2023. 

Title 8, the previous and more punitive bill the U.S. uses to manage immigration, was reinstated during the Biden presidency after Title 42, a less punitive bill lapsed during it.  

The trip comes after Oregon Republicans earlier this year signed a letter to Gov. Gregg Abbott of Texas praising his efforts such as putting up concertina wire up at the border as well as busing undocumented migrants to various cities around the country. 

Republicans are heading down to the border with the purpose of learning more about the effects of mass illegal immigration by touring the border with Border Security Alliance, an organization made up of former and retired law enforcement whose goal is to promote social welfare by advocating for public policies to secure the northern and southern borders, by focusing on what they describe as the “border crisis.” 

While undocumented immigration does occur at the southern border, the majority of those that enter the country do so legally and then overstay the term length of their visa, according to a report by the Center for Migration Studies.  

The report described how overstays outweighed undocumented immigration and, in 2014, immigrants overstaying their visa term accounted for two-thirds of all undocumented immigrants in the country. 

“Now that the Legislature has effectively ended the nationwide movement to decriminalize and destigmatize drugs by reversing much of Measure 110, we have to go after the supply,” Senator Tim Knopp said. 

The release details how “mass quantities of dangerous cartel drugs are being smuggled across the border and into streets across America,” though according to the U.S. 

Customs and Border Protection agency, fentanyl, its precursors and equipment – such as pill presses – used to make the drug, most often enter the U.S. through common trade pathways, such as air cargo and express courier, not via the border nor is it carried by migrants. 

This notion is corroborated by other authoritative organizations such as the Cato Institute who said that, “Over 90% of fentanyl seizures occur at legal crossing points or interior vehicle checkpoints, not on illegal migration routes, so U.S. citizens (who are subject to less scrutiny) when crossing legally are the best smugglers.” 

Attending the tour on April 29th is: Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend; Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer; Sen. Fred Girod, R-Silverton; Rep. Vikki Breese-Iverson, R-Prineville; Sen. David Brock Smith; R-Port Orford; Rep. Greg Smith, R-Heppner; Rep. Court Boice, R-Gold Beach; Rep. Virgle Osborne, R-Roseburg; Rep. Boomer Wright, R-Coos Bay; Rep. Lucetta Elmer, R-McMinnville; Rep. Christine Goodwin, R-Canyonville; Rep. Dwayne Yunker, R-Grants Pass; Bruce Starr, Senate candidate from Dundee; Michael Summers, Senate candidate from Redmond and Keri Lopez, House candidate from Redmond.

Highlighting the group’s continuing goal, Representative Vikki Breese-Iverson described how Republicans “cannot merely recriminalize drugs and expect the drug addiction and overdose crisis to go away. Oregon Democrats think they can bury their heads in the sand and let it be someone else’s problem, but we disagree.”

Contact Quinn Stoddard
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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