It was a Wednesday afternoon in the middle of June in Arizona. The temperature reached 100 degrees, but it felt more like 110. I was sweating and uncomfortable, walking with a group through the desert near the southern border in Pinal County. But the scorching heat was the least of my concerns. I was far too troubled by the words coming from the man who was leading our group, Chief Deputy Matthew Thomas.
“We would see bras and panties hanging from these trees. And then you start debriefing informants and they would say, ‘that’s where rapes take place,’” he said. Thomas explained how coyotes who smuggle women and children into the United States will sometimes rape them and leave pieces of their clothing hanging in the trees as a trophy. He has been a law enforcement officer in this southwest county near the U.S. and Mexico border for nearly 30 years.
It’s heartbreaking to imagine the trauma these individuals go through.
As we continued to walk, we saw torn clothing, carpet shoes, toilet paper rolls hanging on tree branches, and garbage bags where migrants would rest at night. I was sick to my stomach.
How can the greatest country on earth allow this to happen? How can the federal government of the United States of America incentivize this horror?
This isn’t just a border crisis. This is a humanitarian crisis and a national security crisis. Cartels are smuggling human beings and drugs into the country at levels never seen before. This not only puts the lives of the migrants in danger, but it puts American lives in danger too.
The infuriating part is that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Last year under President Donald Trump’s leadership, we had possibly the most secure southern border in history. Unfortunately, Trump’s policies came to a screeching halt when President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took office. Their administration halted construction on the border wall and re-implemented catch and release policies that President Trump rightfully disposed of.
Rather than turn them away at the border, President Biden has insisted that these unknown illegal immigrants be brought into the United States and released until their court hearing. We have no idea who these people are, but they are allowed free access to our country until their day in court. And let’s be honest. They are often never seen again. And when illegal immigrants are given free access to our country upon arrival, many more are incentivized to make the journey as well.
Don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at the actual statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. There were 180,000 apprehensions at the border in May of this year. In May of last year, there were approximately 23,200 apprehensions. That’s a 675% increase in just one year! And those are just the illegal immigrants we know of. How many more pour over our border and into the interior of the country undetected?
The federal government appears to be complicit in this international tragedy. Vice President Harris should be at the border to witness what is going on for herself. But she refuses.
The inaction and lack of urgency from the Biden administration can only leave one to assume the influx of illegal immigration happening right now, is intentional.
So, what can we — and more specifically the states— do about it?
I asked Chief Deputy Thomas that very question. And here is what he said:
“There’s a lot the states can do. The governors understand the power they hold in the United States. If the governors unite on this problem…a problem that affects crime, a problem that affects the citizens of their state, and they acknowledge there’s a proper way to immigrate to our country… if they stand united on that, they could hold the federal government and the White House accountable, very easily.”
When I am elected governor of the state of Georgia, I plan to do just that.
With Democrats in control of Congress and the federal government, it is up to the states to fight back against these absurd open-border policies from the Biden administration.
My own state of Georgia has approximately 475,000 illegal immigrants costing the state nearly $1.9 billion annually. That is an expense paid out of the pockets of taxpayers in Georgia, and the same is happening in every state throughout the country.
In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp talked a big game when President Trump was still in office. He even ran a campaign on helping President Trump fight against illegal immigration. But in the face of an adversarial Biden administration, Governor Kemp seems to have backed down. In fact, he recently signed legislation favoring illegal immigrants.
In late April, Breitbart reported that “Georgia lawmakers passed bills last week that would allow illegal aliens in the state to obtain professional licenses, following lobbying from the state’s Chamber of Commerce.” Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) fellow David North additionally reported in April that “Georgia currently has a carefully constructed technique for seeing to it that those illegally present in the U.S. do not get state professional licenses for a large range of regulated occupations, such as professional counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists and audiologists.”
Mr. North then added, “Through a sneaky, indirect legislative maneuver, that structure is in danger of being demolished by causing Georgia to enter inter-state compacts on licensing these professions; by signing on to these compacts, the state would lose its current power to deny licenses to illegal aliens.” He pointed to Georgia House Bills 34, 268, and 395.
And with this knowledge, Governor Kemp went ahead and signed the three bills in May without any additional changes made by the Georgia House and Senate. Rather than fight back against President Biden’s open-border agenda, Governor Kemp has now given illegal immigrants within the state access to professional licenses for several important fields. That is nothing short of weak leadership. No wonder the Biden administration has been so successful in implementing open borders.
When I am elected governor, I will sign new legislation to block illegal immigrants from accessing professional licenses in Georgia. And I will take a stand against President Biden’s anti-American policies to ensure that we put America first and Georgia first. When dealing with an administration actively trying to destroy the framework of our great nation, there is no room for weakness. And there is definitely no room to provide aid for illegal immigrants when our own citizens are struggling.
Vernon Jones Bio:
Born and raised in a small farm town in North Carolina, Vernon comes from humble beginnings. His late mother taught him the value of hard work, the importance of faith, and the moral obligation to do what’s right, even when it isn’t easy.
He took these lessons and applied them to public service. He served two terms as the CEO of DeKalb County, where he managed a $3.2 billion budget and a 7000+ member workforce and increased funding for roads, parks, and libraries, all while maintaining a balanced budget. He attributes this budgetary success to a few simple words told to him on the farm by his mother – “If you don’t have it, you don’t spend it.”
Following his successful tenure as County Executive, Representative Vernon Jones served in the Georgia House of Representatives, where he maintained an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association and sponsored legislation that criminalized political violence targeting Trump supporters, reined in the power of government, and sought to curtail and address the issue of illegal immigration.
Long an independent voice, Representative Jones, a former Democrat, never failed to buck the party line when he felt that it was right. When the Democratic Party embraced open borders, he fought back. When the Democratic Party embraced the assault on Judeo Christian values, he spoke up. And when the Democratic Party sought to do more to divide America, rather than unite it, he left.