Rep. Katko: Counties Along the Border in Texas Had to Cut Their Budgets to Deal with Migrants’ Bodies

Melanie Arter | September 20, 2022 | 10:53am EDT
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Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) (Photo by JUSTIN HAMEL/AFP via Getty Images)
Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) (Photo by JUSTIN HAMEL/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) said Tuesday that there are counties along the border in Texas that have had to cut their budgets by 10 to 20 percent just to deal with migrants’ bodies.

Katko told Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria Bartiromo” that it “smacks of hypocrisy of the highest order” to hear New York City Mayor Eric Adams complain about the migrants being bused into his city when his city is a sanctuary city.


“I think what is going on is desperation. It’s desperation at the border. You’ve been down to the border many times, and I was a prosecutor on the border, and I’ve been down many times this year in my capacity as head of homeland security, and I can tell you that what’s going on down there is a crisis of a magnitude people just don't understand,” he said.

“There’s not a country on Earth that would put up with what we are experiencing at the southern border, and so these entities and these jurisdictions on the southern border are completely overwhelmed,” the congressman said.

“They want all people in America to know how overwhelming it is, so by sending a few hundred people to New York City, a city of millions and then having a mayor complain about the fact that they can't handle them is ridiculous, and it just smacks of hypocrisy of the highest order, because these are the same cities who want sanctuary cities, which means they don't want to prosecute illegal aliens for being there, and they’re going to coddle them,” Katko said.

“They’re going to coddle them as long as they don't come, and that’s the hypocrisy of it,” the congressman said.

As to why the Biden administration is allowing a record influx of migrants at the border, Katko said, “The administration is allowing this because they just think that everyone that wants to come into this country should come into this country. You can't have law and order when that happens. There literally isn't a country in the world - I don't care how liberal that country may be - there’s not a European country that would put up with this.

“They just want these people to come across because they feel sorry for them or whatever. Listen, I was just in Honduras and Guatemala. They don't want the people coming to the United States, but the president has created a huge pull factor, and Guatemalan and Honduran citizens are telling me time and again how much these people are being exploited on the trip,” he said.

“There’s counties along the border in Texas that have to cut their budgets 10, 15 to 20% just to deal with the dead bodies. There’s some counties that are dealing with one or two deaths a day from people coming across. It’s dangerous. Women are getting raped and exploited. Children are being exploited, and it’s not a way to do it,” the congressman said.

“If you want to fix immigration, let’s sit down and fix it. This isn’t the way to fix it. This is chaos, and this is really bad, and by the way, more than 100,000 Americans have died in drug overdoses last year. It’s now the number one killer for people 18 to 45 years old, the number one killer, and the cartels are able to get it across because of the humanitarian crisis,” he said. 

The Biden administration plans to resume construction of the border wall, but Katko said it’s mostly “symbolic.”

“They may do symbolic moves, but look, let’s face it, they are instructing Customs and Border Protection to let people in,” the congressman said.

“You saw images a week or two ago where people on their own private property had their gates locked and Customs and Border Protection ordered to go in there and let those people through that gate on private property, so they’re not going to secure border, and the only way we’re going to secure the border is through the election, and if we take over the House in the fall I think we're going to. I’m in charge of the blueprint,” he said.

“The blueprint’s ready to go on day one. We’re going to have a blueprint to secure the border, and hopefully have real meaningful immigration reform follow that, but you got to secure the border first. You can't even begin to have a discussion on immigration reform,” Katko said.

On the topic of people leaving his home state of New York, the congressman said the root cause is because “it’s too expensive.”

I think what we got to do is first recognize the root cause of why people are leaving New York state. It’s too expensive. When I was a kid, we had more than 40 members of Congress in New York state. We’re now down to 26. Think about that. In the meantime, Florida did the exact opposite. States where there’s low taxes have better business environments.

New York is starting to realize that to some extent, so we have to change the dynamic with respect to the tax structure in New York state and the business structure in New York state, but we also have to– crime issues are very, very important.

That’s another prong of what I’m responsible for is the crime issues, and we’re going to send a lot of funding back to the states to refund police and to have ties to that funding so to make sure that if they accept funds, they’re not going to have sanctuary cities. 

They’re not going to have bail– no bail for murderers. That type of stuff. So there’s a lot we can do when we take over the House. We’re really excited about it, and we’re going to do it, and inflation is probably one of the biggest reasons why we're going to do it. 

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