Twenty-two years ago, New York was the victim of an unprovoked terrorist attack that shocked the conscience of our nation and the world. Tragically, history repeated itself this month when Hamas terrorists stormed from Gaza into Israel and brutally murdered innocent Israelis and 31 Americans, including children, the elderly and the disabled. As Americans, we proudly stand with Israel and its citizens and pray for the victims of these war crimes.
Beyond the human tragedy, Hamas’ attack serves as a stark reminder that America and its democratic allies remain targets for those who hate freedom and our way of life.
Because of the Biden administration’s open border policies, the recently concluded federal fiscal year shattered all records for the number of illegal immigrants entering our country. In fact, more than 6 million migrants have illegally entered the U.S. since Biden became president. Even worse, this is an accelerating crisis in which September was the single worst month in history; more than 220,000 migrants were processed by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol last month.
The consequences of this profound failure to secure our border are grave. While New York is struggling with the most obvious effects of the migrant crisis, Border Patrol also confiscated 27,000 pounds of fentanyl this year, which was nearly twice the record set the year before, fueling an overdose epidemic that is now the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 45.
In September, more than 8,000 migrants from “special interest countries” crossed the southern border, with 76,000 entering our country during the previous 12 months. Moreover, the September figure includes more Border Patrol encounters with people on the Terrorist Watch List than the last six years combined. These are chilling figures that present an unprecedented homeland security risk.
Since the federal government is incapable of securing the border, New York state has a responsibility to act. I introduced legislation (A.7319) requiring the state to perform background checks and collect fingerprints from and track every migrant who has come to New York. This common-sense measure will enable law enforcement to prevent violent incidents, like the sexual assaults committed by two migrants New York City Mayor Eric Adams relocated to suburban Buffalo, and thwart homeland security threats who may be taking advantage of the broken immigration system.
Despite what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and the Socialist Squad would like us to believe, illegal immigration presents an enormous threat to our country. That is why Gov. Kathy Hochul must immediately repeal New York’s sanctuary state policy that handcuffs law enforcement and prohibits the communication with federal immigration officials needed to remove criminal immigrants from our state and “connect the dots” regarding homeland security threats. The politicians who, like Gov. Hochul, have embraced dangerous sanctuary policies at the local level need to understand the damage that they are causing.
In light of the horrific attacks on Israel, the facts require our state to take a fresh look at the policies it has adopted and take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers.