Contact: Timothy Svoboda, (202) 225-2476
(Washington, D.C.) – This week, Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-WI) joined House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) and Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-NM) in El Paso, Texas and along the southern border in New Mexico to examine President Biden’s border crisis. Biden’s border crisis continues to escalate, encouraging human smugglers to profit from the administration’s open borders policies and placing migrant families and unaccompanied children at risk as they seek to come to the United States illegally.
“It is hard to understand the full breadth of the crisis along our Southern border unless you are there seeing the children in custody, talking to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents, and witnessing just how easy it is to walk across the border illegally,” said Grothman. “I have visited the border several times and this is, by a mile, the most concerning trip. Seeing row after row of young children alone without their parents waiting for processing was truly heartbreaking. Hearing about the tens of thousands of people crossing the border unimpeded while border patrol dealt with paperwork made me wonder if our country will ever be the same.”
To see how the crisis is escalating, Rep. Grothman toured the Border Patrol Station 1, the El Paso Processing Center and the Santa Teresa Port of Entry; heard the trying stories of local officials and ranchers in New Mexico; toured the border wall, including the location where construction has ceased because of President Biden’s executive order; and participated in a night ride with the National Border Patrol Council.
Over the course of President Trump’s time in office, he signed several executive orders to deter, slow, and in some cases stop the flow of migrants into the United States, most of which President Biden has since rescinded or revoked. The rescinded orders include commonsense policies like declaring the crisis at our southern border a national emergency; the Migrant Protection Protocols, which allowed migrants to remain in Mexico to await hearings rather than be released into the interior of the United States; allowing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prioritize the removal of all illegal immigrants, especially those who committed crimes, posed a national security risk, engaged in fraud or willful representation before the government, or abused welfare programs; and construction of the border wall.
As a result, the crisis is on track to be the worst in 20 years, according to DHS. In March of 2021:
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered over 172,000 illegal immigrants at the southwest border, the highest monthly total in 15 years and an increase of 400% compared to March 2020.
- CBP encountered nearly 19,000 unaccompanied alien children (UACs), an increase of 486% compared to March 2020.
- CBP encountered more than 53,000 family units at the southwest border, an increase of 1056% compared to March 2020.
President Biden’s administration has opened twelve emergency shelters for unaccompanied minors since he took office. The Biden Administration has also reduced background checks on staff and volunteers caring for UACs by waiving the fingerprint-based FBI background checks due to the need to more quickly staff emergency intake facilities for UACs. To date, neither President Biden nor Vice President Harris have visited the border to witness conditions first-hand.
Rep. Grothman and Oversight Republicans have repeatedly called on the Biden Administration to provide a plan to address the issue at the border, but they have not provided one. Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) has also ignored calls from Republicans, including Rep. Grothman, calling for a hearing about the crisis.