The House Republican-led Committee on the Judiciary launched an investigation into the Biden administration’s handling of the immigration crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, including whether the president had the authority to cut razor wire installed by Texas authorities on the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, Texas.
In a letter addressed to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the committee said the U.S. is experiencing “the worst illegal immigration crisis in our nation’s history,” blaming the actions taken by the Biden administration.
Since Biden took office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has encountered 6.3 million illegal immigrants along the southwest border, and DHS has release 2.9 million illegal immigrants into U.S. communities, the letter notes. The committee added that there were more than 1.7 million known “gotaways” that evaded Border Patrol and entered the country since Jan. 20, 2021.
The committee cited recent events in September, when in just five days, over 45,000 illegal immigrants were encountered along the border, with 4,000 occurring on Sept. 20 in Eagle Pass.
On one late September day, there were nearly 11,000 migrant encounters along the southern border, marking the single highest day in recent memory.
Leading up to Sept. 20, a Mexican cargo train filled with foreign nationals was heading to Piedras Negras, Mexico, across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, and the day before it arrived, the city was forced to declare a state of emergency.
CBP closed two of the three international bridges into Eagle Pass — bridge 1 and the international rail bridge, which is the second-busiest rail crossing along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The committed accused the Biden administration that by closing the train bridge, it prioritized processing illegal aliens “to the detriment of the American people by shutting down legitimate trade and travel via the international bridges.”
Then, when Texas state and local governments in Eagle Pass attempted to deter illegal aliens by installing Concertina wire and fencing, the Biden administration chose to cut and remove the razor wiring.
“In fact, as encounters continued to surge in Eagle Pass, and while a lawsuit challenging the practice was pending, the Biden Administration “escalated matters, trading bolt cutters for an industrial-strength telehandler forklift to dismantle Texas’s border fence…,” the letter read. “Days later, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order, largely halting the Administration from cutting, interfering with, or removing Concertina wire installed by the State of Texas.”
As a result of the actions, the committee is asking for several things, including all documents and communications regarding the ingress and egress of foreign nationals en route to the U.S. before the influx on Sept. 20 in Eagle Pass, and all communications regarding the cutting, interfering with or removing of Concertina wire and fencing installed by state and local governments along the southern border.
The committee also asked Mayorkas whether there was a policy on cutting or interfering with the razor wire installed by local or state governments, and asked to have it explained, as well as the identification of the individuals who made the decision to cut the concertina wire.
The letter was signed by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who is the chairman of the committee, and Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif.
It comes just less than a week after a federal judge ordered the Biden administration stop cutting razor wire along the southern border. The temporary order is the result of a lawsuit brought on by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, arguing that federal officials said they had the authority to destroy state property “to allow [illegal] aliens to enter & be processed.”
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