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House Dem in Trump district takes heat for saying ‘nobody stays awake at night’ over border crisis

A House Democrat in an area that voted for former President Donald Trump twice is taking heat from Republicans for what they say are "tone-deaf" comments about the border.

A Washington state Democrat in a district that voted for former President Trump is under fire from Republicans for comments last year in which she said that “nobody stays up at night” because of the crisis at the southern border.

Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Wash., who won her seat in an upset in 2022, was on Pod Save America in March when she made the comments about the ongoing border crisis — arguing that most Americans have other things to worry about.

“Listen, nobody stays awake at night worrying about the southern border,” she said. “That’s just not…people stay awake at night worrying that their kid is gonna relapse or that, you know, someone’s going to drop out of school or they’re going to lose their house.” 


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“Those are the things that…not socialism and I think that’s been the most frustrating thing about being actually in DC is that we’re like voting on the horrors of socialism and it’s like that’s not what matters to people,” she said.

The remarks came in March and before the ending of the Title 42 public health order months later. Since then, migrant numbers have skyrocketed to record highs and in December there were more than 302,000 migrant encounters. Overall in FY 23 there were a record 2.4 million encounters.

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The National Republican Congressional Committee pointed to reports that her part of the country has seen a 500% increase in fentanyl-related overdoses amid a nationwide fentanyl and opioid crisis. Fentanyl is typically made in drug labs in Mexico using precursors from China and then shipped across into the U.S. via the land border. Republicans have highlighted the massive increase in seizures of the drug, as well as continued high deaths from the drug, and have linked it to the ongoing border crisis, warning that drugs could be slipping past overwhelmed agents. Of the over 107,000 overdose deaths in 2021, 75% involved an opioid, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC.) The Biden administration has put the increase in seizures of the drug down to better screening and technology at ports of entry, and has said it needs more funding.

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The NRCC also criticized her for voting against the Republican border security bill, H.R. 2 last year, which includes a slew of provisions to limit releases of migrants and increase border security.

“Marie Gluesenkamp Perez’s comments are not only tone-deaf, they reveal her dangerous true beliefs about the border,” NRCC spokesperson Ben Peterson told Fox News Digital.

“Gluesenkamp Perez callously dismissing the Biden border crisis as if it’s not fueling the fentanyl epidemic slamming her district, then voting against border security shows how unfit she is,” he said.

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A few months after her comments on Pod Save America, Gluesenkamp Perez co-sponsored a bipartisan bill in May that would compel DHS to create a comprehensive strategy to secure the border, including a review of security risks and tools for combating fentanyl trafficking. Her office did not respond to requests for comment from Fox News Digital.

The criticism comes as negotiations are ongoing in Congress over the White House’s request for $14 billion in border funding as part of its overall $105 billion supplemental request. Republicans are demanding stricter limits on asylum and releases into the interior. Meanwhile, Texas has been facing off with the federal government over who has the authority to tackle the continuing crisis. 

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