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FIRST ON FOX: Top Congressional Republicans are blasting the Biden administration’s failure to secure the southern border with Mexico as Texas begins to bus migrants crowding border cities to Washington, D.C.
A bus full of migrants from Texas were dropped at the foot of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday morning, as part of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s new plan to counter federal immigration policies during an ongoing border crisis.
Now, federal lawmakers are reacting to this move by the Texas governor, calling it a reaction to a “deep and ongoing frustration” at the Biden administration, which they say is losing total operational control of the border.
FIRST TEXAS BUS DROPS OFF MIGRANTS BLOCKS FROM US CAPITOL IN WASHINGTON, DC
“I think Gov. Abbott’s move in sending those buses to Washington, D.C., is reflective of a deep and ongoing frustration with the Biden administration’s handling of the border,” Rep. John Katko, the ranking member on the House Committee on Homeland Security, told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview.
A group of migrants were bused from Texas to Washington, D.C., where they were dropped off blocks from the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, April 13, 2022.
“I just got done with a meeting of all the border sheriffs from California to Texas down here in El Paso, and it is clear to me that they are stretched beyond the maximum already, and that is only going to get worse once Title 42 is rescinded. In fact, I think they’re going to lose operational control of the border. And I think what the sending of the buses to Washington is reflective of is just a deep frustration that the Biden administration has no clue as to how bad things are, and they have no plan going forward on how to address it,” Katko said.
Biden recently announced that he would be rescinding Title 42 in mid-May, which was used to expel migrants swiftly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
OVERSIGHT REPUBLICANS PUSH FOR ANSWERS ON DHS PLANS TO HANDLE BORDER SURGE WHEN TITLE 42 LIFTS
Katko said that border sheriffs told him this week that they are worried about a “huge surge” of migrants in May after Title 42 is ended, calling it an “untenable situation.”
“They all acknowledge it will be an untenable situation,” said Katko, noting that it’s the reason that vulnerable Democrats, including Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., are “peeling away” from the administration and supporting keeping Title 42 in place.
A bill introduced last week to extend Title 42 by an extra 60 days and provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with resources to combat a surge of migrants, includes support from Republicans such as Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and also a number of Democrats: Sens Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.
Migrants, mostly from Central America, queue to board a van which will take them to a processing center, on May 16, 2019, in El Paso, Texas.
(PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)
“President Biden refuses to visit the border to witness his self-inflicted crisis so Texas Governor Abbott is bringing the crisis to him,” Rep. James Comer, the ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, told Fox News Digital.
“Americans across the nation, especially in border states, are shouldering the burden of President Biden’s open borders agenda. Deadly drugs like fentanyl are pouring across the southern border, terrorists and criminals are attempting to exploit our immigration laws, and illegal immigrants are making a mockery of our immigration laws by snapping selfies at the border wall. Enough is enough,” Comer continued.
US Representative John Katko (R-NY) addresses the press during the congressional border delegation visit to El Paso, Texas on March 15, 2021.
(Justin Hamel / AFP)
Katko and Comer were part of a congressional delegation this week to the southern border with Mexico. The congressmen said they could see the cartels and human smugglers sending people across the Rio Grande right before their eyes, which Katko said is “dangerous” and fueling a booming Mexican cartel operation.
“The cartels are having a field day,” he said, noting that previous intelligence revealed the price to smuggle individuals increased from about $4,000 per person to over $10,000-12,000 per person at minimum, which is handing cartels billions of dollars per month on human trafficking alone, as border crossings have increased to nearly 200,000 in recent months.
“This week, several Oversight Committee Republicans visited the southern border in San Diego and Yuma,” said Comer. “We saw firsthand how President Biden’s border crisis is a national security, public safety, and humanitarian catastrophe. President Biden must end his lawless border policies that are fueling the crisis. He needs to keep Title 42 in place, finish the border wall, end catch and release, and implement other deterrent-focused immigration policies to end his self-made border crisis.”
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Katko also said that there is a “huge surge in number of Turkish migrants” coming into El Paso, Texas, that not many Americans may know about. He called them “special interest immigrants,” who are coming from countries of “great concern” including Yemen, Iraq and Iran and other countries that have “hotbeds” of anti-American terrorist activities.
The congressman said that there were around 40 special interest immigrants who crossed the southern border last year into the El Paso sector, and so far in 2022 border officials have seen around 900 or more.
“What this administration has created is a pull factor, not just for Mexicans and the Northern Triangle countries, but from people from around the world want to sneak into this country. And that is an untenable situation for the long term.”