Republicans in the House of Representatives are set to hold their first hearing on the border crisis since they took the majority in the Midterm elections.
The hearing will be held on Tuesday February 7 by the House Oversight Committee now led by Rep. James Comer (R-Kentucky).
In announcing the hearing, Comer stated, “President Biden’s radical open borders agenda has ignited the worst border crisis in American history. The Biden Administration’s deliberate actions are fueling human smuggling, stimulating drug cartel operations, enabling deadly drugs such as fentanyl to flow into American communities, and encouraging illegal immigrants to flout U.S. immigration laws. Republicans will hold the Biden Administration accountable for this ongoing humanitarian, national security, and public health crisis that has turned every town into a border town.”
The Biden administration has seen illegal border crossings and opioid deaths shattering one record after another.
For the better part of two years, Biden and the White House would not acknowledge a crisis and have taken no public steps to stem the flow.
Last month, Biden finally visited the border for first time as president, and the first time in most people's memory, but offered no comprehensive plan to halt the crisis.
The following career government officials have been invited to testify at the hearing:
● Jason Owens, Chief Patrol Agent, U.S. Border Patrol ● Gregory Bovino, Chief Patrol Agent, U.S. Border Patrol● Gloria Chavez, Chief Patrol Agent, U.S. Border Patrol● Patricia McGurk-Daniel, Acting Chief Patrol Agent, U.S. Border Patrol
Comer has also written Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas requesting documents, communications, and information about his agency's role in allegedly undermining efforts to secure the border.
Mayorkas has come under increasing pressure as the border crisis has worsened. He has repeatedly stated that the situation at the border is improved over that during Donald Trump's presidency because it is more in line with "our values."
Read more from the Oversight Committee here: Biden's Border Crisis
Read the letter at the link below, or published beneath the link.
January 19, 2023
The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is continuing to investigate the Biden Administration’s creation of and failure to resolve the worst border crisis in American history.1 The United States’ immigration system should be “safe, orderly, and humane.” It is not. The American people deserve answers about the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) role in undermining Customs and Border Protection agents’ efforts to secure the southern border. The Committee requests documents and information to understand DHS’s policies, the costs of the emergency measures needed to respond to the worsening crisis, and the national security risks created by these policies.
President Biden waited until there was a Republican majority in the House of Representatives to finally visit the border.2 The visit, however, comes long after DHS’s rollback of deterrent-focused policies3 that were working to reduce the number of illegal border crossings. This rollback continues to undermine law enforcement’s ability to work toward operational control over the southern border and cedes power to human smuggling organizations and cartel criminals that have made billions of dollars over the last two years.4
As the border crisis worsens, DHS and the Biden Administration continue to implement failed policies.5 For example, DHS is dramatically expanding unlawful abuse of the parole
1 See Nick Miroff, U.S. arrests along Mexico border top 2 million a year for first time, WASH. POST (Sept. 19, 2022).
2 See Jarret Renshaw & Andrea Shalal, Biden heads to Mexican border in bid to show progress on immigration, REUTERS (Jan. 8, 2023).
3 See DHS Statement on the Suspension of New Enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols Program (Jan. 20, 2021), available at https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/01/20/dhs-statement-suspension-new-enrollments-migrant- protection-protocols-program; Memorandum from Acting Secretary David Pekoske to Troy Miller, et. al., Review of and Interim Revision to Civil Immigration Enforcement and Removal Policies and Priorities (Jan. 20, 2021), available at https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/21_0120_enforcement-memo_signed.pdf.
4 Miriam Jordan, Smuggling Migrants at the Border Now a Billion-Dollar Business, N.Y. TIMES (Jul. 25, 2022).
5 See Eileen Sullivan, Biden Administration Has Admitted One Million Migrants to Await Hearings, N.Y. TIMES (Sept. 6, 2022).
The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas January 19, 2023
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process to bring in 30,000 additional foreign nationals per month.6 Instead of working to resolve the situation, the Biden Administration is lying to the American people that the border is secure7—despite thousands of illegal aliens and massive quantities of deadly fentanyl evading apprehension every day—and persisting in its ultimate goal to enact a massive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens.8
Fiscal Year 2022 set records for encounters of illegal border crossers,9 migrant deaths,10 apprehensions of suspected terrorists,11 and seizures of deadly fentanyl12 at the southern border. The first three months of Fiscal Year 2023 continued to trend in the wrong direction, with over 600,000 apprehensions, the vast majority of which – 430,000 – were released into the United States. In addition, there were 240,000 known gotaways who evaded apprehension entirely during this period.13 Massive quantities of fentanyl make it past law enforcement officials who are overwhelmed with apprehending and processing large groups of migrants. Cartels leverage this chaotic situation to their advantage, overwhelming Border Patrol agents with large groups of migrants, allowing them to successfully cross dangerous narcotics. The resulting misery and death are catastrophic. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports that Mexican cartels are responsible for 107,622 fatal drug poisonings just last year, with sixty-seven percent of those deaths resulting from fentanyl use.14
The American people and their elected representatives must know DHS’s role in the humanitarian and national security crisis along the U.S. southern border. The Committee requests the following documents and information, covering the time period January 20, 2021 to the present, as soon as possible but no later than February 2, 2023:
6 See Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Border Enforcement Actions, THE WHITE HOUSE (Jan. 5, 2023), available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/01/05/fact-sheet- biden-harris-administration-announces-new-border-enforcement-actions/.
7 See Douglas Murray, With Martha’s Vinyard Meltdown, Maybe Dems Will FINALLY Understand Illegal Immigration Problems., N.Y. POST, (Sept. 15, 2022); Hayden Sparks, Vice President Harris Calls Southern Border ‘Secure’ Under Biden Administration, THE TEXAN (Sept. 15, 2022).
8 Letter from Bryn McDonough, Acting Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, Dept. of Homeland Security to James Comer, Ranking Member, H. Comm. On Oversight & Reform (Dec. 30, 2022) (“Understanding that this is an urgent problem that only Congress can fix, President Biden sent the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 to Congress on January 20, 2021, his first day in office.”)
9 Newsroom, Southwest Land Border Encounters, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (accessed Jan. 1, 2023) available at https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/southwest-land-border-encounters.
10 Griff Jenkins, Bill Melugin & Timothy H.J. Nerozzi, Record 856 migrants die at southern border in fiscal year 2022: CBP, FOX NEWS (Oct. 22, 2022).
11 Newsroom, CBP Enforcement Statistics Fiscal Year 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (accessed Jan. 1, 2023), available at https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/cbp-enforcement-statistics.
12 Newsroom, Drug Seizure Statistics, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (accessed Jan. 1, 2023), available athttps://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/drug-seizure-statistics.
13 Griff Jenkins (@GriffJenkins), Twitter (Dec. 29, 2022 at 8:44am), available at https://twitter.com/GriffJenkins/status/1608458935807377410.
14 Letter from Joshua R. Lipman, Chief, Office of Congressional Affairs, Drug Enforcement Administration, Dept. of Justice to James Comer, Ranking Member, H. Comm. On Oversight & Reform (Dec. 29, 2022).
The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas January 19, 2023
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- All documents and communications containing any numerical accounting of illegal border crossers released from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) custody on or after January 20, 2021, into the interior of the United States;
- All documents and communications regarding any plan within DHS to secure operational control of the southern border, reduce illegal border crossings, reduce the number of gotaways, increase the seizure rate of dangerous drugs like fentanyl, and/or reduce the risk of terrorist entries;
- All documents and communications related to the decision to terminate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, including all documents and communications with any entity or individual within or outside of the U.S. Government;
- All documents and communications referring to or containing any analysis of the effect of historic numbers of illegal border crossings on retention rates, staffing, recruitment, and morale among U.S. Border Patrol agents;
- All documents and communications regarding the use of non-governmental organizations in facilitating releases of recent illegal border crossers from DHS custody, including those related to the use of federal taxpayer funds provided to nongovernmental organizations which facilitate the release of recent illegal border crossers from DHS custody;
- All documents and communications from DHS employees to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees referencing or interpreting the September 30, 2021, memorandum entitled “Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law;”
- All documents and communications containing any analysis conducted by ICE or any other DHS component regarding the impact that the September 30, 2021, memorandum entitled “Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law” will or did have on interior enforcement operations and removal proceedings;
- All documents and communications containing any analysis of the factors contributing to historically low interior enforcement actions and resulting removals by ICE.To schedule the delivery of responsive documents or ask any related follow-up questions,
please contact Committee on Oversight and Accountability Majority Staff at (202) 225-5074. The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is the principal oversight committee of the U.S. House of Representatives and has broad authority to investigate “any matter” at “any time” under House Rule X. Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this inquiry.
The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas January 19, 2023
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Committee on Oversight and Accountability
cc: The Honorable Jamie Raskin, Ranking Member Committee on Oversight and Accountability
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