Hageman: Border Security And Immigration No. 1 Threat To US

During a town hall meeting in Rock Springs, Wyoming, on Thursday, Harriet Hageman said the growing border crisis is the No. 1 threat to the U.S., and that we’re only months away from having a new president.

Tracie Sullivan

February 23, 20248 min read

U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyoming, tells a packed crowd for a Rock Springs town hall meeting Feb. 22, 2024, that border security is the No. 1 issue facing the U.S. now.
U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyoming, tells a packed crowd for a Rock Springs town hall meeting Feb. 22, 2024, that border security is the No. 1 issue facing the U.S. now. (Tracie Sullivan for Cowboy State Daily)

ROCK SPRINGS — Despite hundreds of miles and other states between Wyoming and America’s southern border with Mexico, U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman worries about the ongoing crisis there and its broader implications for the United States.

And many of her constituents in Sweetwater County share these concerns.

During a town hall meeting Thursday night in Rock Springs, Hageman met with more than 100 locals to talk about key issues facing the country, and the border was No. 1 for all, who perceive it as the greatest national security threat.

Hageman detailed recent visits she took to Eagle Pass, Texas, and Yuma, Arizona, both border towns at the epicenter of a growing immigration crisis. While there, she said she encountered troubling scenes that only worries her more.

“This is not a humanitarian approach to asylum seekers, to anybody,” she said. “This is not a humane thing to do. You have to have an orderly border. You have to be able to do that.”

Hageman talked in detail about how Mexican drug cartels earn about $32 million a week smuggling people across the border, specifically in the Yuma desert. She also pointed out that people who don’t pay the cartel for assistance in crossing the border are often killed.

Biden Our Time

The congresswoman outlined several solutions she’s working on, including the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Since that action, Hageman said she has been appointed as one of the prosecutors for if there’s an impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate.

The House also shot down a bill aimed at addressing the border issue, which she said would have continued to allow 5,000 to 8,500 crossings a day. In addition, she said there was no enforcement and as such, refused to support it.

Instead, the House recently passed an alternative bill that is the “very best border security bill that has ever passed Congress,” Hageman said.

“We have to try and push back as much as we can on this issue,” she said. “The courts are going to address some of this, but the reality in November is incredibly important, and I’m going to say it because I think it’s reality: Once we get a new president, we are going to have to do mass deportations. I just don’t think there’s any other way.”

Her comments were met with enthusiastic applause, as several attendees also shared their concerns about the border before the meeting.

About That BLM Plan

Hageman also touched on issues surrounding the controversial Rock Springs Resource Management Plan proposed by the Bureau of Land Management. If implemented, the agency’s preferred plan would reduce mining, grazing and energy production on about 1.8 million acres within the region, significantly impacting Wyoming’s economy.

Characterizing the process of creating the RMP as "illegal," Hageman underscored the importance of the state selecting the best legal representation to fight the BLM and Biden administration in court.

And Climate Change

The war on climate change also weighed heavily on the minds of voters during the town hall meeting, as many expressed concerns over the global push to eliminate coal, oil and natural gas.

In a passionate speech advocating for these industries, Hageman attributed the energy resources from Wyoming to creating the America’s middle class.

“Affordable energy is the key to prosperity,” Hageman said. “And if you destroy prosperity, you destroy your environment. Go to a third-world country and tell me what they do with their water, their soil and their air. We don’t want to go there.”

Furthermore, Hageman said that 96% of climate change data that’s been presented to the public has been “compromised,” emphasizing that she does not believe it.

Part of her solution — “facetiously” — would be to implement pilot programs in states advocating for the elimination of coal and gas.

“How about we just ask, say Boulder, Colorado — you guys go first. We’ll take out all your gas stations, gas-fired water heaters, stoves and ovens and everything and you tell us how it goes,” she said.

Not A Fan Of The UN

Asked if she trusts Gov. Mark Gordon after his recent remarks saying climate change is a real concern and that Wyoming should be the first “carbon negative” state. In a very careful response, Hageman conceded that she doesn’t agree with the governor on this issue.

“I don’t know that I would use the word trust. I haven’t really thought about that,” she said. “What I would say is that I would like to see him be a bit more conservative on things. … I think this is an area I have been very vocal about.

“I do not believe in carbon neutral and I do not believe in carbon negative, and the moment we are successful at going carbon negative all life on earth is going to cease to exist.”

In her efforts to oppose the climate change agenda, Hageman said the United Nations promoting it is a problem and she recently signed onto a bill that would remove the U.N. from the United States.

“The U.N. is a corrupt organization that has been dictating world poverty for decades,” she said.

‘Stolen’ Election

With the presidential election just months away, some locals voiced apprehension in voting again this year, stating they are worried the election would once again “be stolen.”

Trying to assure voters that this time around will be different, Hageman outlined several steps she and the Republican Party have taken since the 2020 presidential election.

“I think they’re working and they’re doing everything that they can,” she said. “We’ve got lawsuits filed all over the country challenging some of the election activities that are going on in Wisconsin, Arizona. There are others.

“I have spent hours with these folks questioning them on how they are trying to strengthen our elections and the integrity of our elections. And hopefully, they’re doing a doggone good job, but we need to hold them accountable too.”

Hageman also talked about a consent decree signed by a New Jersey judge that had been enforced from the 1980s, prohibiting Republicans from serving as poll watchers.

This decree was overturned in 2019 by an Obama-appointed judge who deemed it unconstitutional. Consequently, 2020 was the first year that Republicans were “allowed in the room,” she said.

Besides encouraging voters to become poll workers, Hageman told her constituency to vote early. She pointed to the election in New York last week where Republicans lost because of a blizzard that kept voters home that day.

“The Republicans didn’t vote,” she said. “People couldn’t even get to the polling stations because they waited until election day. Had they voted four days earlier, their votes would have counted. We have to bank our votes. We don’t know what’s going to happen on election day. We don’t know if there’s going to be a closed highway.”

About Biden

In response to concerns about the direction of the Biden administration, Hageman assured voters that "one president" is not capable of destroying America.

“I know that there are people, and I’ve heard it a couple of times tonight, that feel like this administration is out of control,” Hageman said. “I know every one of you want to ask me the question, ‘OK Harriet, what are you going to do about it?’ And here’s what my response to you is going to be:

“No one president is going to be able to destroy the United States of America. We have a foundation. We have a Constitution that protects us from doing that.”

She went on to address skepticism in the room by assuring voters that the “rule of law” will ultimately prevail. Hageman pointed to the packed room as proof.

“Look at this room. A year ago, I don’t think I could have filled this room. I know I couldn’t have filled this room,” she said. “People are so much more engaged now. They’re recognizing what is happening in our cities. They’re recognizing what is happening in Washington, D.C. People are so much more engaged with running for office and participating and trying to right this ship.”

Following the meeting Hageman again emphasized her concerns about the border with Cowboy State Daily saying she believes the border crisis is the No. 1 threat facing America.

“It is the No. 1 issue facing America,” said. “I am terribly concerned we are being invaded. We have maligned countries who are sending people for a reason. Venezuela is emptying their prisons. China is sending over tens of thousands of military-aged men.

“These are all things we have to address and we have got to acknowledge them and address them, and when we get a new president in November we’re going to have to change what we’re doing.”

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Tracie Sullivan