By Dan Spalding
WARSAW – Describing it as the worst humanitarian crisis in the history of the United States, U.S. Rep. Jim Banks newed his call for Gov. Eric Holcomb to support efforts in trying to halt the flow of illegal immigration into the country.
Banks blames President Joe Biden’s reversal of policies that former President Donald Trump had instituted for opening the doors to illegal immigrants over the past five months.
Banks, who now serves as the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, led a delegation of 23 lawmakers to the southern border earlier this month in Texas, where they were joined by former President Donald Trump in demanding changes to help reduce the influx of people crossing the border.
In his five years in Congress, Banks has visited the border on three occasions.
In his most recent trip, Banks said he saw groups of migrants huddled together while trying to cross the border. He said they are often told to look for big white buses they can board to be processed by U.S. officials.
Banks said border police say they don’t have time to crack down on drug smuggling because they are more focused on illegal crossings.
The circumstances have led numerous Republican governors to send National Guard troops and other types of law enforcement to the border, saying Biden is not doing enough.
Banks, during a stop in Warsaw on Tuesday, July 13, called on Holcomb to do the same.
The 3rd District Republican from Columbia City said every state should consider itself as a border state.
Twice on Tuesday, he called it the worst humanitarian crisis in the country’s history.
“This has as much to do with Indiana as it has to do with Texas because we have an invasion of migrants coming across the border, controlled by the cartels, bringing illegal activities … sex trafficking, human trafficking and drug trafficking across the border.”
He said anything Holcomb could do to help would be “a worthy effort.”
“I’ll leave it up to Gov. Holcomb to decide what that might look like,” he said.
Holcomb said in June he has no plans to send troops to the border.
Circumstances on the border have changed greatly since Biden halted construction on the wall. He also reinstituted a “catch and release” policy and ended the “remain in Mexico” policy.
As a result, the policies have turned the southern border into a magnet for young people and law enforcement now has no time to focus on the illegal drug trade.
He contends one million migrants crossed the border illegally and were processed and set free in the United States since Biden took office.
He also suggested the situation has become so bad that one county had run out of body bags.
Asked how many are dying, Banks said he didn’t know, but that information is readily available through Google.
On top of immigration, Banks said Biden’s policies have led to rising inflation, increased national debt and growing violent crime.
As chairman of the RSC, Banks has a leading voice in shaping the Republican agenda, which echoes Trump’s priorities.
Banks said he considers Trump to be the most effective president of his lifetime and was asked if he’d like to see Trump run again for president. While some don’t like Trump, Banks said many Republicans agree that his agenda “is good for the country.”
“The contrast couldn’t be any more clear between where the country was on President Trump’s watch versus what the Democrats and socialists are doing to our country on President Biden’s watch,” he said.
He said he’ll continue to urge Republicans to follow the Trump agenda.
Banks avoided whether he would like to see Trump run again and said he’s unsure if Trump will run.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with him in the past month. He says he’s leaning in that direction,” Banks said. “If he doesn’t run, we have a great field. We have the best field in-waiting that I’ve ever seen.”
While in Warsaw, Banks had breakfast at the Buzz on Buffalo, met with elected officials, checked out the county fair and participated in a luncheon hosted by the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce.