Just over a year ago, President Biden began his tenure in office by immediately signing executive orders reducing effective deterrence measures for illegal immigration. Tragically, we are now seeing the result of these misguided policies.

One year later, we just witnessed a December with 178,000 illegal border crossings, a 142% increase from the prior December. This astronomical figure brought total border apprehensions in 2021 to a record of nearly two million, a number less than half the size of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

And now, new videos have shown that the Biden Administration is releasing large numbers of illegal immigrants into communities across America – during the dark of night.

Many of us saw this sad reality coming. When President Biden announced executive orders upon taking office to stop construction of the border wall, scrap the successful ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, and pursue amnesty for illegal immigrants, he sent a message to the world that our border was open and ready for entry.

The Remain in Mexico policy was a commonsense approach from the Trump Administration which held migrants on the Mexican side of the border while their asylum cases were under review. But as has been the case with every major issue, President Biden gave in to his far-left base and scrapped this successful approach.

Unfortunately, we are now seeing the consequences of decisions that prioritize political pandering over national security.

For example, on President Biden’s watch the amount of fentanyl seizures at the border increased by 134% in the 2021 fiscal year. This deadly substance has severe consequences for communities across America, creating heartbreak and crisis for families and law enforcement.

In addition, President Biden’s border crisis has hurt America’s fight against COVID-19. The federal government has been forced to transfer funding from coronavirus testing to housing unaccompanied minors coming across the border – even as Americans have struggled to access the very tests the Biden Administration once promised would be free and widespread.

And there’s the obvious national security risk of a wide-open southern border, where large stretches of land sit unguarded as the White House practically issues an invitation for anyone to enter the United States unimpeded.

Last April, I traveled with some of my colleagues from the House Oversight Committee to the southern border to see this crisis firsthand. Unfortunately, the chaos we saw was only the tip of the iceberg. This trip illustrated the need for strong border security measures to be reinstated, which I’ve been advocating for ever since the President let this situation get out of control.

If the Biden Administration continues to turn a blind eye to the southern border, America’s safety and national security will only continue to decline. As President Biden turns his attention to Russian aggression on the Ukrainian border, it is imperative that he prioritize the security of the border in his own country.

Rep. James Comer is a United States Congressman for the 1st Congressional District, which spans from Central Kentucky to the river counties of far western Kentucky. He serves as the Republican Leader for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Contact him with any questions or concerns in his Washington D.C. office at (202) 225-3115, in the Tompkinsville Office at (270) 487-9509, in the Paducah Office at (270) 408-1865, or schedule an appointment in the Madisonville Office by calling (270) 487-9509.