EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — A group of Republican members of the House judiciary committee wrapped up their tour of the border Wednesday afternoon by speaking to the media about the conditions they saw at the overflow migrant facility in Donna.
For the third time, lawmakers came down to the border to see the impact of the increase in migrant encounters firsthand.
February, Border Patrol agents had over 100,000 encounters with migrants, the most in February since 2006.
The Congressional delegation said that March was even busier than February, but Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have not yet released the official number of encounters for March at the time this article was written.
“When we were with border patrol agents yesterday, they told us that last month was the busiest month in the history of border patrol since they’ve been keeping records since they’ve been keeping data,” said Jim Jordan, the Republican Representative for Ohio’s 4th district. Jordan is also the ranking Republican on the House judiciary committee.
Throughout their short speeches, the group of Republican representatives placed the blame for the increase of illegal border crossings squarely on the shoulders of President Joe Biden.
Jordan told the crowd that Border Patrol agents had told him “without a doubt” policy changes by the Biden administration were the cause of the increase.
“Specifically, getting rid of MPP –the remain in Mexico policy– while people are being processed, assessed and evaluated,” he said.
Victoria Spartz, the Republican Representative from Indiana’s 5th district, said that the sheer number of migrants crossing the border was overwhelming Border Patrol and was becoming a national security issue.
“Forty percent of our border patrol agents are busy processing people and changing diapers. It means that they cannot do their job protecting the borders,” Spartz said.
She mentioned the two Yemini men who are on terrorist watch lists that were arrested after crossing the border as an example of how the border crisis was becoming a national security issue.
Several members of the delegation spoke of the humanitarian issues that were resulting from the increase of border crossings.
Burgess Owens, the Republican Representative from Utah’s 4th district, scolded President Biden for not doing more to help the agents on the ground.
“We have an administration that does not have the backbone to come down here and give encouragement to the great men and women doing their job that are being overwhelmed right now. Do not have the backbone to come see the misery your policy is giving,” he said.
Once again, Republican lawmakers encouraged President Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris to visit the border and see the situation for themselves.
While CBP has not released the encounter stats for March, trends from previous years predict it will be higher than February.
April and May should see the highest number of encounters between Border Patrol and migrants, after that decreasing as Summer starts and Fall gets closer.