WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today spoke in Easley, South Carolina on the evolving situation in Afghanistan, the status of police reform negotiations, and the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
- GRAHAM: “I've been amazed at how badly the last six months have gone for the United States under Biden's watch. The border is in chaos. Afghanistan is teetering. China is rearing its head. Inflation is growing because we're spending so much money that's not paid for. You see lawlessness in the streets, the cops do not feel supported. But having said that, I sense a growing effort to do something about the problems of our country. I'm involved in an effort with Senator [Tim] Scott to reform the police, not defund the police. I'm involved in an effort with 20 other Republicans and Democrats to pass an infrastructure bill for roads, bridges, and ports. So in the middle of all the chaos and all the fussing and fighting, we're actually beginning to show signs of getting things done. But I don't see any effort by the Biden Administration to adjust their policies on the border. They seem to be doubling down on policies that are failing.”
- GRAHAM: “It is not in America's national security interest for the Taliban to take over Afghanistan….If the Taliban take over part of Afghanistan, I fear that al Qaeda and ISIS will reemerge and we’ll be paving the way for another 9/11. This can all be avoided if America stays involved with the Afghan Air Force, which gives it an edge over the Taliban. So two things I'm asking President Biden to consider: providing American airpower in support of the Afghan National Security Forces and maintaining a relationship with the Afghan Air Force to make sure it can fly to create an advantage against the Taliban militarily. If we do not do this, I fear that al Qaeda and ISIS will reemerge from the ashes of a civil war that's brewing in Afghanistan 20 years after 9/11.”
- GRAHAM: “I’ve been on the phone with different law enforcement organizations with Senator [Tim] Scott talking about police reform, where we would be incentivizing better policing, creating programs to get more officers accredited, try to get recruitment up, particularly among minority officers, and maybe student loan forgiveness for those who want to go into law enforcement. But there are two goals here: to drive better policing so that some of the abuses we've seen in the past no longer occur, and try to make sure that the men and women in blue feel appreciated and that we put money on the table to professionalize our police forces but also to pay them more and train them better. I’m somewhat optimistic that that can be done in a bipartisan fashion.”
LOSS OF CONTROL AT OUR SOUTHERN BORDER:
- GRAHAM: “We've lost control of the border between Mexico and the United States. The Biden Administration is in denial. They're refusing to adjust their policies – the worst is yet to come. There are criminal elements coming across the border, not just individuals who are trying to flee oppression. I worry about terrorists getting in the middle of this wave of humanity. We're looking at 2 million illegal crossings in 2021 – the highest in the history of the country. In December 2020, right before President Trump left [office], we had the lowest illegal crossings in 45 years. Today we have the highest because what Biden has done is change all the Trump policies. We've gone back to catch and release. Unaccompanied minors are coming into the country by the thousands. This is a humanitarian disaster and a national security disaster, and it's costing the American people billions of dollars to take care of these folks.”