EXCLUSIVE: Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday invited Chairman Jerry Nadler and other committee Democrats to join them on an upcoming trip to the border — as they accused Democrats of ignoring what they called the “Biden border crisis.”
“The humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border is the direct result of President Biden’s abrupt reversal of President Trump’s successful immigration policies,” the letter from Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio and Tom Clintock, R-Calif., and obtained by Fox News, says. “The Judiciary Committee — the committee with jurisdiction over our nation’s immigration laws and programs — cannot ignore this crisis.”
“Because Democrats refuse to act, we write to notify you that Committee Republicans intend to travel to the southern border in the coming weeks to hear directly from individuals affected by the Biden border crisis,” they say.
Republicans have been sounding the alarm for weeks about the growing numbers of migrants flooding the border, overwhelming agencies and forcing the Biden administration to quickly open new facilities and come up with new strategies to handle the increase in unaccompanied children and migrant families.
Customs and Border Protection encountered more than 100,000 migrants in February. A Customs and Border Protection official told Fox News last week that the number of migrant children in federal custody has surged past 4,000 with roughly 94% of beds for migrant children occupied. Migrant children are entering federal custody far faster than they are leaving it, creating an unsustainable backlog, the source said.
Republicans have blamed a number of Biden immigration policies for the surge — including the halt to construction of the border wall, the limiting of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrest priorities, and the ending of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) which kept migrants in Mexico.
The Biden administration has claimed there is not a crisis at the border, but has described the situation as a “challenge” and the numbers as “overwhelming” while it blames the Trump administration for the rise in numbers.
“What we are seeing is the result of President Trump’s dismantlement of the safe and orderly immigration processes that were built over many, many years by presidents of both parties,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ “That’s what we are seeing, and that’s why it’s taking time for us to execute our plans to administer the humanitarian claims of vulnerable children. That’s what this is about.”
Jordan and McClintock said in their letter that “radical policies” and a failure of leadership by Mayorkas and Biden have caused the crisis, and accused Nadler of also refusing to act in his capacity as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
“We will therefore plan to use Committee funds to travel to the southern border to observe firsthand what Democrats refuse to acknowledge and hear directly from those affected by the Biden border crisis,” they say. “We welcome any Democrat colleagues on the Committee to join us.”
“The Committee cannot continue to sit idly by and allow our nation’s borders to be erased. This crisis demands the Committee’s attention,” they write. “The American people deserve far better than for Committee Democrats to ignore this threat to our national security, condone the worsening humanitarian crisis, and allow the Biden administration to radically rewrite our immigration policies.”
The letter comes less than a day after the Biden administration said it was opening a second facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas to hold approximately 500 unaccompanied children. That came as the Pentagon announced it has received a request for assistance from HHS to house UACs at Fort Bliss and Joint Base San Antonio in Texas.