United States

Theriault criticizes Golden on border policies

(The Center Square) – Former NASCAR driver and Republican state Rep. Austin Theriault will face off against Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Jared Golden in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.

Theriault has been critical of Golden for his position on the ongoing border crisis.

Backed by former U.S. President Donald Trump, the former race car driver won the GOP primary in Maine in June against fellow Maine House Rep. Mike Soboleski. Theriault accused Golden of aligning with U.S. President Joe Biden on immigration and border policies that he says have threatened U.S. national security and Americans’ lives.

Thariault’s campaign released a statement to The Center Square accusing Golden of spending his career in “Washington forgetting the very Mainers who have faced the consequences of Joe Biden and the Democrats’ open borders.”

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports that in 2024, the number of illegal immigrants encountered in Maine was up to 15,322, and immigration arrests increased by 178% during 2023. In the first eight months of fiscal 2024, more than 99,000 foreign nationals were apprehended after illegally entering through the northern border, The Center Square previously reported, a record number.

More than 12 million people have illegally crossed the northern and southern borders since Biden has been in office, The Center Square also reported. And the greatest number of known or suspected terrorists have been apprehended at the northern border.

“After granting amnesty for half a million illegal immigrants, allowing terrorists to enter and roam our country freely, making it easier for drug traffickers to sell their deadly fentanyl in Maine, or refusing to build the wall, our state and nation have become less safe under Golden’s leadership” Theriault’s campaign said. “We cannot continue to bail water out of the basement when we haven’t stopped the leak – and I am going to change that. When I’m elected, I’ll work to close the border, build the wall, and ensure our border is safe and secure.”

Golden in April 2023 introduced the bipartisan DHS Rural and Remote Hiring and Retention Strategy Act. The bill would address the shortage of border patrol agents and develop a plan to improve the hiring process for new officers in rural and remote areas.

“Absent a meaningful strategy and progress by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to hire and retain more border patrol agents, immigration and customs enforcement officials, and other border security officers, DHS will likely need to reallocate personnel from other areas in order to address potential migration surges on the Southern Border in the coming months,” Golden said in a news release announcing the measure.

Golden released a statement on his Congressional web page regarding Biden’s June executive order on immigration. He called it an overdue step but still far from complete and urged giving back to agents the power to expel illegal migrants.

“President Biden needs to use the authority given to the executive by Congress to immediately reimplement 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b)(2)(C), and we are again calling on leaders in both the House and Senate to pass legislation to give the Border Patrol back the expulsion authority that expired last year,” Golden said. “Border security must be the top national security priority for President Biden. The President needs to do all he can to restore operational control of our Southern border and stop drug cartels from trafficking fentanyl into communities across America.”

Golden’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.

Back to top button