Ten Republican lawmakers have called for a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security to examine how the surge of illegal immigrants from south of the border may be impacting national security and the safety of Americans.
Led by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the Republicans made the request in a March 18 letter to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who heads the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
Calling the spike in illegal crossings a “crisis”—a label that the White House has pointedly avoided using—the Republicans alleged it was the Biden administration’s immigration policies that are fueling the surge of alien encounters along the U.S. southern border.
“The subcommittee should hear directly from officials from the Department of State, Department of Justice, and Department of Homeland Security about what the Biden Administration is doing to address the criminal activity caused by the Biden Administration’s radical policies,” they wrote.
The White House and Rep. Lee did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.
Fueling safety and security concerns was a recent report that four people arrested at the southern border since Oct. 1 matched names on the FBI’s terror watchlist, the GOP lawmakers noted in their letter.
Echoing the fear that the surge in illegal border crossings raised the risk of terrorists entering the United States was Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who recently told Sean Hannity in an interview that policy shifts around immigration—away from former President Donald Trump’s tough approach—are “a disaster in the making” and “the worst is yet to come.”
“This border insecurity is a great way for terrorists to come into our country,” Graham said, adding that, unless the Biden administration restores some Trump-era policies, the rush on the border will only intensify.
One of the Republicans who signed onto the letter, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, echoed that sentiment in a tweet: “In January, President Trump said: ‘If our border security measures are reversed, it will trigger a tidal wave of illegal immigration—a wave like you’ve never seen before.’ He was right.”
Border Patrol agents conducted 100,441 apprehensions or expulsions of migrants at the border with Mexico in February, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics show, the highest monthly total since a border crisis of 2019.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently said, “we are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years,” while Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott warned that the border surge “will grow tenfold and a hundredfold, especially because of the way the Biden administration has handled this.”
Biden administration officials have pushed back against claims that their policies have led to reduced border security.
“The border is secure and the border is not open,” Mayorkas told members of Congress during a Wednesday hearing. The White House has also called on people not to undertake illegal border crossings.
Mayorkas, in an interview Thursday on CBS News, said: “It is not safe to take the journey, it is not safe in a time of pandemic to arrive at the border. Families and single adults are being expelled. Let us rebuild, if I may, a safe, orderly way for you to apply for humanitarian relief under the laws of our country.”
Mimi Nguyen-Ly contributed to this report.