House GOPers demand Mayorkas answer for ‘appalling’ border stats

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House GOPers demand Mayorkas answer for ‘appalling’ border stats

A group of 20 House Republicans are calling out Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for “lackluster performance” in a letter demanding detailed answers to questions about the Biden administration’s immigration policies.

“The southern border is in crisis despite the Biden Administration’s refusal to call it what it is,” read the letter sent Monday, which was initially obtained by Fox News.

“The American people can see the numbers, and Americans in communities across the nation are feeling the burden of our open borders.

“Due to the unprecedented nature of this crisis, it is dangerously irresponsible for your Department to not be as transparent as possible with the American people.”

The letter — which was signed by lawmakers including Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Greg Steube (R-Fla.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), and Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) — includes 13 separate requests for information about the surge of illegal immigrants attempting to cross the US-Mexico border since President Joe Biden took office in January.

A family of migrants from Guatemala and Honduras  arriving in the United States after crossing the Rio Grande river into Roma, Texas on July 28, 2021.
A family of migrants from Guatemala and Honduras arriving in the United States after crossing the Rio Grande river into Roma, Texas on July 28, 2021.
REUTERS/Go Nakamura/File Photo

The Republicans’ requests include a breakdown of the number of border agents reassigned from patrol duties to migrant holding facilities; a report on the number of illegal immigrants who tested positive for COVID-19 while in US custody and were released while infected, or were offered a vaccine while being held; information on the number of illegal immigrants released into the US after being apprehended; migrants with connections to cartels or terror groups who have entered the US; and the amount of taxpayer money spent on food, shelter and transportation for illegal immigrants.

In a court filing last week, a top Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official estimated that approximately 210,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in July, an 11 percent increase from the 188,829 stops in June and the highest number in more than 20 years.

Migrants waiting in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the El Chaparral border port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico on August 3, 2021.
Migrants waiting in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the El Chaparral border port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico on August 3, 2021.
REUTERS/Jorge Duenes

In the same filing, the official said that more than 19,000 unaccompanied minors were picked up by border authorities, beating the previous high of 18,877 in March.

In past years, the number of attempted border crossings has peaked in May, then dropped in subsequent months due to the scorching summer heat, but that has not proven to be the case so far this year.

The GOP letter Monday described the crossing numbers as “appalling,” telling Mayorkas they are “a direct result of the Biden Administration’s weak border policies and your lackluster performance as the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

“DHS’s mission is ‘with honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values,’” the letter adds. “Frankly, you are not fulfilling that mission.”

The letter gives Mayorkas until Sept. 6 to respond.

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