Illinois congressional primary focuses on U.S. border security

As thousands of migrants continue to arrive in Illinois, one congressional primary race is placing a strong emphasis on securing the nation’s border.

During the upcoming March 19 primary, Republican voters will face a choice between two candidates for the 12th Congressional District: Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, the incumbent representative since 2015, and Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, a former state legislator. This district encompasses 34 counties in southern Illinois, including Metro East, and extends from Charleston to Cairo.

Bailey took to the Texas-Mexico border on Monday to address the media and advocate for the urgent construction of a border wall.

Bailey accused President Joe Biden and his Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of enabling the cartels and profiting from human suffering. He emphasized the devastating impact of the cartels’ activities, particularly the influx of deadly fentanyl into our communities. Bailey argued that it is essential to recognize the cartels as what they truly are: terrorist organizations.

Last year, the Texas state legislature officially designated Mexican cartels as terrorist organizations.

According to Bailey, it is high time for the Republican Party to “purge its ranks and come together to put an end to the turmoil plaguing us.”

Bost released a statement to The Center Square.

“I’ve had the opportunity to visit Eagle Pass on two occasions within the past 10 months. During these visits, I had the chance to meet with border patrol agents and assess the effectiveness of the security measures in place at one of our most vulnerable entry points. I wholeheartedly supported the construction of the wall, the discontinuation of catch and release policies, and the recruitment of additional border agents. In fact, I even took the initiative to introduce legislation that would prevent the Biden administration from redirecting funds meant for American veterans to provide healthcare services to undocumented migrants. Unlike my opponent, who hastily organized a superficial publicity stunt at the border just a month before the election, I have always regarded border security as a matter of utmost importance.”

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The country is abuzz with discussions about the border situation. Late Sunday, the U.S. Senate unveiled a $118 billion proposal aimed at providing emergency funding to cities such as Chicago, which are grappling with the challenge of accommodating millions of foreign nationals who have entered the country over the last three years. However, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson dismissed the Senate bill, stating that it is “dead on arrival” in his chamber, as he believes it does not effectively address border security concerns.

From October to January, approximately one million non-citizens migrated across the southern border, and the majority of them were given permission to enter the United States. These individuals are allowed to stay in the country for up to ten years while awaiting a decision on their asylum applications.

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