GOP Committee Members Rip Chair Over Lack of Border Crisis Hearing Committee chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., delivers opening remarks during a House Oversight Committee hearing. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
By Charles Kim | Friday, 11 June 2021 05:16 PM
Republican members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee blasted Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and committee Democrats for not holding hearings on the current border crisis, as was requested three times in 100 days.
''For 100 days, Chairwoman Maloney and Oversight (Committee) Democrats have failed to hold a single hearing on President (Joe) Biden’s border crisis,'' said ranking member Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., in a press release Friday.
''During this time, masses of children have been held in overcrowded facilities during a pandemic and past the legal timeframe, apprehensions at the southwest border are at a 21-year high, the human smuggling industry is booming, and deadly drugs like fentanyl are pouring across the border. Oversight Democrats held multiple hearings on the treatment of children at the border under the previous administration, but it seems they no longer care about this issue when a Democrat occupies the White House.''
The lawmakers said they requested a hearing on the crisis three separate times — March 4, March 25 and June 2 — but did not get a response from Maloney.
''Migrants have made it clear they are coming to the United States because of President Biden’s open border policies,'' Comer said. ''President Biden created this crisis by announcing to the world he wants to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants and by rolling back deterrent policies aimed at curbing illegal immigration. It’s past time Oversight Democrats hold this administration accountable for the humanitarian and national security crisis unfolding at the border.''
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reported this week that southwest border encounters were at a 21-year high with 180,000 migrants encountered along the southern border in May.
The migrants included more than 121,000 single adults, 45,000 family units and some 14,000 unaccompanied children.
According to the CBP, these numbers represent a 1 percent increase compared to the previous month of April and resulted with 62 percent being expelled from the country.
CBP reports enforcement actions for the fiscal year from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30; it currently shows 1 million enforcement actions through the end of May, compared to a total of 646,822 in 2020.
That averages out to more than 133,000 actions per month this year, compared to about 54,000 per month last year and about 96,000 per month in 2019, which was the previous highest year, according to the agency’s statistics.
A spokesperson for the Laredo Sector of the agency said last week that the sector is experiencing an increase of about ''1,000 percent'' in the number of criminals being arrested at the border.
More than 760 criminal undocumented immigrant arrests since Oct. 1 were reported in the Laredo, Texas, sector of the southern border alone.
Overall, the agency encountered about 9,000 ''criminal non-citizens'' since Oct. 1, including 1,241 with outstanding warrants or that were wanted, resulting in a total of 5,533 arrests by the end of May, CBP reported.
Rep. Maloney’s office did not respond to a request for a comment.