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Sen. Lankford talks about migrants, rising drug problems & religious freedom

Posted at 8:04 AM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 14:36:36-04

TULSA, Okla. — U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) joined 2 News Oklahoma Today to talk about issues impacting Oklahoma and national issues like migrant relocation.

Recently Republican governors in Texas and Florida started using buses to transport migrants to other states: California, Chicago and Martha's Vineyard.The move is seen as a political move to criticize the Biden Administration's immigration policy.

Lankford supported this plan saying four million people crossed the border illegally since President Joe Biden's election. "This is not a simple issue for these communities that have these migrants showing up," Lankford said.

The U.S Custom Border Patrol said last week that the U.S. is seeing an increase in migrants.CBP said encounters from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua were up 175% in August 2022 compared to August 2021. They say that increase is due to people fleeing the failing communist regimes in those nations.

There are rumors Florida Gov. Rob DeSantis (R) is next planning to send another plane of migrants to Delaware, the home state of President Biden. He is not confirming that report.

DeSantis refuses to confirm reports of Florida sending migrants to Biden's home state of Delaware

A Texas sheriff is investigating an incident with 48 migrants from Venezuela flown from Texas to Florida and later Martha's Vineyard. The sheriff says the migrants were "lured under false pretenses." There is also a lawsuit filed against DeSantis. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Boston, alleges the migrants were told they were going to Boston or Washington, "which was completely false," and were induced with perks such as $10 McDonald's gift certificates. DeSantis says their decisions were voluntary.

What are some long-term solutions to the migrant issue in the U.S.? One humanitarian group is reaching out in Washington, D.C. to help the migrants and talk about solutions.


Lankford also addressed the rising problem of drugs like fentanyl, methamphetamines and cocaine in Oklahoma and across the country saying it "calls for more engagement in all communities."

2 News Oklahoma recently took an in-depth look at the fentanyl problem in Green Country.

IN-DEPTH: How the deadly drug fentanyl is impacting Tulsa

He also talked about the reauthorization of the International Religious Freedom Act— an independent commission that monitors the right to freedom of religion internationally.

“In America you can be any faith, you can change your faith or be no faith and you’re still honored as a great American," he said. This commission is designed to help people across the world have that same right.

Lankford cited the ongoing situation in Iran where women are facing violence and backlash for wanting to wear their hijabs differently and the government of that nation not allowing it. The United Nations wants an independent investigation into the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran.

She was detained by Iran's “morality police,” which was reportedly enforcing Iran's hijab law. The law requires women to cover their hair.

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