Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Lankford talked about the impact problems at the United States-Mexico border are having on Oklahoma in a news conference Friday.
Lankford said he believes billions of taxpayer dollars are being wasted to pay contractors to not build a wall at the border.
"We're paying about $3 million a day to individuals to actually sit next to the steel that was already delivered. To sit next to it to make sure that it's not stolen. I have a very clear statement you can actually keep that metal from being stolen by actually installing it," said Senator Lankford.
Lankford claims a total of $2 billion has been spent to babysit the materials. He also said he's seeing new data that shows more people illegally crossing the border each month.
"I understand why a million people this year are trying to get here, even if they have to literally break in to get here because it is the greatest country in the world. But we also do a million people a year that go through the process legally and we want to continue to accelerate the legal process and be able to confront the illegal process," said Lankford.
“I think that people who are coming to the United States to seek safety and, of course, also to work should be allowed to do so. And they should be able to also have the flexibility and the ability to be able to go home," said Linda Allegro, with Tulsa's New Sanctuary Empowerment Center.
Allegro believes the recent changes in the Biden Administration's border police are having a positive impact on Tulsa.
Lankford said people illegally entering the country directly impacts employment, which is one of the biggest concerns of his constituents, but Allegro feels differently.
"So we're seeing those people arriving now. And that's a good thing. How many businesses right here locally restaurants, and construction, and landscaping, and hotel and hospitality - they don't have workers," said Allegro.
Lankford said when the Biden Administration took over in January they were working on a 60-day study of the border. He said they are still waiting on the results of that study.