EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — House Republicans say President Joe Biden is ignoring an immigration “crisis” on the border.
The group of Republican House members spoke to media after touring a migrant processing center and meeting with border officials Monday during a visit to El Paso, Texas. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy led the Congressional delegation to discuss what he calls “President Biden’s border crisis.”
The representatives each gave brief statements after their tours. One-by-one, they spoke at a podium set up just a few yards from the border where Texas, New Mexico and the Mexican state of Chihuahua meet.
The representatives say Biden misled migrants, prompting them to make the dangerous trek to the U.S.-Mexico border.
On Thursday on the Capitol steps, Republican House leaders blamed the surge of immigrants on the border on the Biden administration’s changes to asylum and immigration policies.
“President Biden announced it was his priority to offer citizenship to 11 million undocumented immigrants,” McCarthy said. “What did he think would happen?”
However, Democratic Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, whose 16th congressional district covers most of El Paso County, said the number of migrants arriving, including those being flown into El Paso, is nothing new.
“Back in 2014, we saw the Rio Grande Valley Sector being unable to process the number of families arriving because they don’t have the same resources or capacity that the El Paso Sector has,” Escobar said. “So, they chartered flights and sent migrants to El Paso to be processed (here). The exact same thing is happening today. So, this is not unlike what we experienced in 2014.”
In February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, including the U.S. Border Patrol, stopped 100,441 persons attempting an illegal entry along the Southwest border. That represents a 28-percent increase over January 2021. Encounters with so-called family units — one or more adults with one or more children — have increased 164 percent, while 29,792 unaccompanied minors have been taken for processing so far this fiscal year. Of the latter, 26,850 fall in the 13 through 17 age range, while almost 3,000 were under 12.
Monday’s congressional delegation includes:
- Ranking Member on Homeland Security John Katko (NY-24)
- Ranking Member of House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03)
- Ranking Member of Homeland Security Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations Subcommittee Clay Higgins (LA-03)
- Rep. Tony Gonzales (TX-23)
- Rep. Michael Cloud (TX-27)
- Rep. Carlos Gimenez (FL-26)
- Rep. Yvette Herrell (NM-02)
- Rep. David Joyce (OH-14)
- Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02)
- Rep. August Pfluger (TX-11)
- Rep. John Rose (TN-06)
- Rep. Maria Salazar (FL-27)
McCarthy and the other Republicans will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. MDT. A livestream of the
news conference will be available in this article.
To watch the live stream, click here.