Republican lawmakers are anticipated to slam President Joe Biden’s border insurance policies on Wednesday within the first of a collection of hearings on the difficulty since seizing management of the Home.
Over the course of Biden’s presidency, Republicans have repeatedly criticized the administration over the dealing with of the US-Mexico border, the place an inflow of migrants has stretched federal sources. Critics argue the historic variety of arrests is proof of Biden’s insurance policies not working regardless of the administration largely utilizing the identical protocols because the Trump administration, principally a Covid-era border restriction.
Now, with a Home majority and management on key committees, Republicans plan to lift these criticisms in congressional hearings and seize on a problem that’s been a political vulnerability for the president, starting with a Home Judiciary Committee listening to on Wednesday.
The committee described Wednesday’s listening to as an examination of “border safety, nationwide safety, and the way fentanyl has impacted American lives,” but it surely additionally serves as a platform for GOP lawmakers to air their grievances over the administration’s immigration insurance policies. Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who chairs the committee, is a fierce critic of these insurance policies, calling the state of affairs alongside the US-Mexico border a “disaster.”
The witnesses who will testify earlier than the committee on Wednesday embody Brandon Dunn, co-founder of Without end 15 Challenge, which seeks to lift consciousness on fentanyl, County Decide Dale Lynn Carruthers of Terrell County, Texas, and Sheriff Mark Dannels of Cochise County, Arizona.
The listening to is being billed as the primary in a collection. CNN beforehand reported Home Republicans are planning to make use of their new majority to construct a public case in opposition to Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, which may function a prelude to impeachment.
The Home Judiciary Committee is one in all many committees that might be holding hearings over the state of affairs on the US-Mexico border. The Home Oversight Committee additionally intends to carry a listening to on the difficulty and has already engaged in a backwards and forwards with the division over its witnesses.
Home Oversight Chairman James Comer, a Kentucky Republican, accused DHS of “refusing to allow” 4 chief patrol brokers to testify at an upcoming Oversight listening to that Comer invited them to the week of February 6.
DHS, nonetheless, supplied US Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, who oversees the 4 brokers Comer requested, to testify earlier than the Home Oversight Committee and stated it could make sector chiefs obtainable for a member-level briefing, in response to a letter from DHS to Comer obtained by CNN, citing its personal evaluation of who was applicable to testify.
The Biden administration faces unprecedented motion throughout the Western hemisphere that has contributed to a surge of migrants on the border, together with extra individuals from totally different international locations, equivalent to Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. The US is basically barred from deporting migrants to Cuba and Venezuela, presenting a novel set of challenges for DHS.
In early January, the Biden administration expanded a humanitarian parole program to incorporate Haitians, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans and Cubans to supply a authorized pathway for them to enter the US as an alternative of crossing the border. The administration additionally made these nationalities eligible for Title 42, which means they will now be turned away by authorities in the event that they don’t apply for this system.
Since then, there was a major decline in migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela crossing the US-Mexico border unlawfully, in response to the Division of Homeland Safety, which attributed the drop to new border measures.
Encounters with migrants from these 4 nationalities declined 97% in January in comparison with December, officers beforehand instructed reporters, citing preliminary numbers. Border numbers usually fluctuate relying on circumstances within the Western hemisphere, so it’s unclear how lengthy the pattern will maintain.
Already, although, Republican-led states have sued the administration over this system. Texas Legal professional Normal Ken Paxton, together with 19 different states, argued in a lawsuit that the administration didn’t undergo the discover and remark rulemaking course of earlier than instituting the rule. In consequence, the states are asking the court docket to dam this system.
Administration officers instantly pushed again.
“It’s incomprehensible that some states who stand to profit from these extremely efficient enforcement measures are searching for to dam them and trigger extra irregular migration at our southern border,” Mayorkas stated in an announcement.