Arkansas senator Tom Cotton has led condemnation of the confirmation of Joe Biden‘s attorney general, insisting that Merrick Garland is soft on migration and backs an ‘extreme open-border amnesty agenda’.
He is expected to be sworn in at the Justice Department on Thursday.
Tom Cotton, the senator for Arkansas, spoke on Wednesday (pictured) about his concerns
Garland was confirmed on Wednesday and is expected to be sworn in on Thursday
Mitch McConnell, the most senior Republican in the Senate, who in 2016 audaciously blocked Garland’s appointment by Barack Obama to the Supreme Court, was among the Republicans who voted in Garland’s favor.
‘I’m voting to confirm Judge Garland because of his long reputation as a straight shooter and legal expert,’ he said on the Senate floor before he cast his vote.
Several Republicans objected, however, including Ted Cruz, senator for Texas, and Josh Hawley of Missouri.
Cruz said that despite Garland’s reputation for integrity, he had ‘refused to make clear that he would stand against the politicization of the department, which we saw during the Obama-Biden years.’
Hawley spoke out at Garland’s confirmation hearing to express concern that the veteran prosecutor, whose career-defining moment was perhaps investigating the Oklahoma City domestic terror attack, would not take what he thought was a hard enough line on violent demonstrators.
Ted Cruz, senator for Texas, was concerned Garland would ‘politicize’ the Justice Department
Cotton said that he was deeply troubled by Garland’s immigration stance
Cotton, known for his hardline views on immigration, spoke out against Garland on the Senate floor, ridiculing his response that he ‘hadn’t thought about’ whether entering the country illegally should be a crime.
‘It stretches the bounds of belief that a federal judge who had been on the bench for almost a quarter century hadn’t thought about that question,’ said Cotton.
‘Judge Garland also refused to say whether illegal alien gang members or illegal aliens who have assaulted U.S. citizens should be deported, if a judge orders it.
‘Judge Garland’s silence shows he will, at best, meekly abide by the administration’s irrational immigration agenda.’
Cotton warned that Garland would ‘help transform zero tolerance into total tolerance of crime’.
The number of child migrants is proving particularly problematic at the moment, and the Biden administration continues to urge people not to send unaccompanied children across the border.
More than 3,250 unaccompanied minors are currently being held at the border. Lacking sufficient facilities and amid coronavirus burdens, more than 1,360 have been detained beyond the three days allowed by law, according to New York Times data.
Damaris, an asylum seeking migrant from Guatemala, embraces her children Kimberly, 7, and Esteban, 5, after crossing the Rio Grande into Texas on Wednesday
Migrants weep as they are escorted by a Texas State Trooper on Tuesday by the Rio Grande
Asylum seeking unaccompanied minors are transported in a Border Patrol vehicle on Tuesday
A Honduran man in Tijuana is seen on March 1 awaiting his chance to seek asylum in the US
A group of migrants ask Biden to let them in on March 2 at the Tijuana-San Ysidro crossing
Nearly 170 of those being detained are younger than 13, NBC News reported.
A total of 9,000 unaccompanied children crossed the border in February, according to data reviewed by the network.
A wave of immigrants appears to be drawn by Biden’s pledge to relax restrictions and provide a path to citizenship for people who are already living here.
Cotton tweeted on Wednesday: ‘The Biden administration claims they will stop illegal immigration by sending money to corrupt officials in Central America. Here’s an idea: Stop illegal immigration by enforcing our immigration laws.’
Child arrivals have tripled in the last two weeks, but on Tuesday the White House said they would not term the situation a ‘crisis’.
Republicans are demanding that Biden take action, and on Monday Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, will lead a contingent of Republicans to visit the border.
Cotton concluded on Wednesday: ‘As our border facilities and personnel are overwhelmed by the Biden border surge, our security will falter and even more drugs will pour into our country.
‘Hardened criminals will accompany the flood of drugs.
‘Thousands of confirmed and suspected gang members cross the southern border into our country, and even more will exploit the open border policies that Judge Garland will have a hand in creating.
‘This will fuel skyrocketing violence in our nation.’