Man in suit and tie

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose

COLUMBUS — America’s southern border is wide open. With the lure of free health care and education, and assurances the law will turn a blind eye, President Biden’s weak policies are facilitating a flood of illegal immigration, human trafficking, and drugs into Ohio.

It is nothing short of an invasion. These policies are a flashing neon “vacancy” sign inviting a surge of more than 10 million illegal aliens since Biden took office in January of 2021.

It’s a humanitarian crisis, a law enforcement crisis, and a national security crisis — and it’s entirely avoidable.

President Biden’s administration has conceded that thousands of people on the terrorist watch list have come across our border. Look at what is happening on our college campuses as terrorist sympathizers now openly advocate violence against Jews across the world and call for “from the river to the sea” ethnic cleansing in Israel.

Now we learn that universities are reluctant to crack down on them because the students are in the country illegally. As the world becomes increasingly unsafe thanks to President Biden’s foreign policy weakness, the threats of terrorists illegally crossing our borders only gets more dangerous.

One of the main drivers of this crisis is Biden’s reckless strategy of revering President Trump’s effective immigration policies, loosening asylum restrictions and granting “humanitarian parole” to migrants from countries experiencing civil strife.

These Biden asylum loopholes must be closed, asylum must be severely curtailed and those seeking the protection must only be considered when they enter legally at an official port of entry.

Most importantly Ohio’s next Senator must help send a message that there will be no amnesty for those who enter illegally and attempt to abuse our asylum system. Breaking our immigration laws will not ever be tolerated.

That message starts with following what President Trump is proposing to do to fix the problem.

First, we must close the border, finish the wall, utilize physical barriers and increase deployment of technology and border patrol agents.

Second, we must reverse Biden’s amnesty-first policies and deport those who came illegally during the wave of crossings over the last three years. This deportation will have a three-fold impact.

It will remove the illegals that just flooded over the border that we have no control over or information about; it will send a clear message to any prospective illegal immigrants that our border is closed as they see people being returned; and third the process of this removal will inform us as to how to handle the millions of other illegals in the country that have been here longer.

For example, the tools that ICE, border patrol, local law enforcement, the state department and our courts need to succeed at this task will lay the groundwork needed to understand how we can handle solving the much larger illegal immigration problem.

Third, there must be no amnesty for those who come illegally and a lifetime ban from ever gaining citizenship or government benefits.

If your first act in this country is to break the law, you should not be rewarded with citizenship, ever. Additionally, birthright citizenship should not be extended to those who enter our country illegally. It creates not only an incentive to break the law but a tragic situation for families.

Fourth, we need to reinstate and continue President Trump’s policy of enforcing Title 42, “Expedited Removal” policies, reinstitute “remain in Mexico” and other similar agreements with Latin American countries, and working to hold other nations accountable by reviving safe third country agreements to remove the burden on border states of unvetted asylum seekers.

Fifth, we need to immediately label the Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist entities to both force Mexico’s hand in dealing with them, to allow our government to instantly deport anyone associated with a cartel, and to give our government the power to take out cartel leaders over the border.

Sixth, considering the rising threat of radical Islamic jihadism we are seeing in the world, we must re-institute a ban on travel into the country from nations who have no security apparatus or ability to verify the background of the travelers.

Perhaps the most important reason why reversing the Biden border invasion is so important is because of the message it sends. By simply enforcing the laws in our country – at the border and with employers – and by showing that we mean business when it comes to removing illegals, history has shown that illegals already in the country will self-deport.

This will save us millions of dollars in enforcement costs with the remaining illegals in the country. It will also allow ICE to focus on higher value targets like drug smugglers, human traffickers and terrorists as the numbers of illegals dwindle.

The sad reality about the Biden border invasion is it didn’t have to be this way. Under President Donald Trump illegal crossings plummeted dramatically where Congress funded construction of the border wall.

He stopped catch-and-release policies. And he worked to shut down human trafficking, eliminate asylum fraud, and fully enforced the immigration laws of the United States.

If elected I will work with President Trump to turn off the neon vacancy sign, end the government welfare incentives, stop the illegal crossings, and “build the wall.”

As a soldier in the 101st Airborne I volunteered to serve on a counter-narcotics task force called JTF-6 where we supported the Border Patrol. While deployed on the border, I witnessed first-hand the danger open-border policies pose to our country.

I routinely meet Ohio families who have had their lives ripped apart at the seams by losing a family member to an opioid overdose.

Biden and Brown’s refusal to address illegal immigration and the open southern border is inexcusable and will have dire consequences for years to come. For Democrats, it seems, failure is an option.

America is a sovereign nation that must protect its borders; we must finish the border wall; tighten asylum laws; fund effective border enforcement strategies to prevent illegal crossings; eradicate drug trafficking cartels; require legal status to get a job; and deport Biden’s border invasion.

Despite the hyperbole from the radical left we insist on a secure border because we love America – not because we hate anyone else.

The time for open borders to end is now and I will work with President Trump to fix our broken immigration system.

Frank LaRose is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate and Ohio Secretary of State.