Arkansas AG: ‘The Only Thing the Biden Administration Needs to Build Back Better Is the Wall on the Southern Border’

By Melanie Arter | May 20, 2022 | 11:06am EDT
Migrants follow a US Border Patrol agent upon arrival at the US-Mexico border wall separating Algodones, Mexico, from Yuma, Arizona, on May 16, 2022. - A US Federal judge is expected to make a ruling on health policy Title 42 which has been used at the border to expel illegal immigrants due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
Migrants follow a US Border Patrol agent upon arrival at the US-Mexico border wall separating Algodones, Mexico, from Yuma, Arizona, on May 16, 2022. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

( – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, one of 21 attorneys general suing the Biden administration to prevent it from lifting Title 42, told Fox Business’s “Mornings with Maria Bartiromo” on Friday that her state set a record of nearly 500 fentanyl overdose last year because of illegal border crossings. 

“Well, Title 42 is important to keep Americans safe we are already seeing a dramatic increase in illegal crossings through our southern border into the United States. They’ve gone up over 30% in April 2021 alone. We don't even have the numbers yet for these past last few months. We are seeing dangerous amounts of fentanyl into Arkansas,” she said.

“We had nearly 500 overdose deaths in Arkansas this past year, a record setting high, and it is because of the illegal border crossings. So when we talk about ‘Build Back Better,’ the only thing the Biden administration needs to build back better is the wall on the southern border to keep Americans safe,” Rutledge said.

The attorney general said that Vice President Kamala Harris is not the border czar as she’s been tasked, because she hasn’t visited the part of the southern border where all the border crossings are occurring.

“She’s not. She and Joe Biden are the weakest president and vice president that we have seen with regard to keeping America safe and our strong foreign relations. We've got to protect Americans and people from coming into the United States that we don't know who they are,” Rutledge said. 

“We want people to come to America, but we want to know who they are and what their intentions are when they come to the greatest country the world has ever known. Kamala Harris is missing in action. She’s been missing in action on this matter from the time she took office, from the time that president Biden appointed her as the border czar, and we need safety and security,” the attorney general said.

“They’re sending baby formula down to the southern border for illegal immigrants coming into the country when we have people right here in Arkansas, mothers who are struggling, who are going to the store all hours of the night trying to find baby formula to feed their own children, but yet, the liberal left, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris are more worried about illegal immigrants coming into the U.S. than are about taking care of our own,” she said.

Rutledge said she’s “very concerned” about human smuggling and her state has seen enough drug busts of fentanyl recently to wipe out the entire population of her state.

“Well sure, as the chief law enforcement officer of the state we are very concerned because it is less than day's drive from the southern border between Mexico and the United States, to right here Little Rock, Arkansas, less than day's drive,” she said.

“We've seen a number of drug busts recently with enough fentanyl to wipe out the entire population of the state of Arkansas, and that’s come up again, straight through southern border,” the attorney general said.

“It passes-- we have I-30 and I-40 that go right through our beautiful state, and those drugs are being used to smuggle right up through our state. Likewise, you talked about human trafficking, Maria,” Rutledge said. 

“We have numbers of young men, women, children who are being smuggled struggled into the United States not just for sex trafficking but also for labor traffic, and this is something that the Biden administration has allowed to happen, and it’s time that we put a stop to it, and that’s why it’s imperative that we keep Title 42 in place,” she said.

Rutledge said that she’s hoping to hear from the judge on the Title 42 lawsuit over the weekend, because Title 42 is set to expire on Monday.

“Well we are hoping that it will, that we will hear something today or over the weekend from the judge, because again, that is set to expire on Monday. We’re hoping to get that temporary into a permanent on Monday so that way we can protect Americans and Arkansans. Texas does have a separate case, but these 21 states that are fighting to protect our communities against Biden’s open door-- open border policies,” she said. 

Rutledge is also suing pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy benefit managers over the increasing cost of insulin.

“In Arkansas we have nearly 1.2 million Arkansans impacted, that are pre-diabetic or diabetic. The cost of insulin increased 1,000% the last 15 years, Maria, 1,000%. Yet the cost to produce has not increased. It’s probably decreased and This is what hurts, Arkansans and Americans,” the attorney general said.

"For years, we heard politicians talk about lowering cost of prescription drugs, but you know what? I am going to get it done, because we are going to hold these drug companies and these PBMs accountable, because Americans need, Arkansans need that insulin. It’s a lifesaving drug, and unfortunately, they have to decide do I pay electric bill or do I buy insulin to try to stay alive. Which one of these things can I afford,” she said.

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