by Emily Greene | January 10, 2024

Each time you turn on the news, you’re likely to see coverage of the  chaos at the southern border. It’s no surprise that this developing crisis is receiving media attention regularly—the numbers speak for themselves. Since February of 2021, there have been 5,815,600 apprehensions at the southern border. To put that into context, from 2021-2023, border patrol experienced 1.35 million more apprehensions than they had in the past 10 years. Simply put, this is a national security crisis. Bipartisan policymakers led to this crisis, but bipartisanship can create sound policy solutions to address the safety issues Americans face each and every day due to lack of inaction from the current administration. 


As we turn the calendar to 2024, the November elections draw near. From an electoral standpoint, immigration remains an issue top of mind for likely voters. According to polling published late last year by Fox News, 80% of voters of all political ideologies classify the situation at the southern border as either an “emergency” or “major problem”. Moreover, earlier this year, CBS News released a poll demonstrating that 68% of Americans disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of the situation, which is 4% higher than the poll released by the Wall Street Journal last November.  


Regardless of the intent behind voters’ concern with the crisis at the southern border (for example, most Democrats cite humanitarian concerns, whereas Republicans cite national security), there Is vast room for improvement in fixing the system. There is consensus from both sides of the political aisle: we need leadership that will address the crisis head-on, in short order. 


Last June, Americans for Prosperity Foundation Pennsylvania had the opportunity to tour the border along the Rio Grande in McAllen, TX. As we stood by the river, Chief Chris Clem, former Yuma Sector Border Security Chief, shared startling statistics about his experience over the past four years. From 2019 to 2022, when Chief Clem retired, his region in Southwest Arizona saw an increase in arrests by over 300,000 year over year. What was the driving force behind this increase in arrests? Ineffective policymaking, such as President Biden’s arbitrary barring of immigrant deportation for his first 100 days in office.  


Americans for Prosperity believes that we can solve the crisis continuing to develop at our southern border—and there’s a pathway to do this in a bipartisan manner. First, we must address the humanitarian crisis at the border by increased security, better technology, and reforming the asylum system. Washington must also cut regulations that punish legal immigrants and prevent businesses from sponsoring individuals that make up a critical part of our workforce. Finally, policymakers must replace the unlawful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or, DACA) program with one that promotes certainty, transparency, and accountability for individuals who grew up in the United States illegally, though not through fault of their own. 


Border security and protecting human dignity do not need to be mutually exclusive. We can provide tall fences and wide gates—metaphorically speaking—and promote national security and opportunity. Congress must take swift action now to address this crisis. Learn more at 


This is Emily Greene, Deputy State Director with Americans for Prosperity-PA.