FIRST ON FOX: The House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing next week looking at what Republicans in the majority say are the regulatory and policymaking moves by the Biden administration that “undermine” U.S. immigration law.
The hearing, “The Biden Administration’s Regulatory and Policymaking Efforts to Undermine U.S. Immigration Law” will take place on Wednesday and will “examine how the Biden administration has engaged in a regulatory and policymaking onslaught against the rule of U.S. immigration law.”
Witnesses include Joseph Edlow, who served as acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director and chief counsel during the Trump administration, and former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Thomas Homan. Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill will also be a witness at the hearing.
REPUBLICANS, DEMS SPAR AT MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT HEARING AS STATE AGS DESCRIBE IMPACT OF MIGRANT CRISIS
Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., arrives for the House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing titled “Unsuitable Litigation: Oversight of Third-Party Litigation Funding” in Rayburn Building on Wednesday, September 13, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
The hearing comes as Republicans have been focused on the Biden administration’s immigration policies amid the historic and still ongoing crisis at the southern border, where numbers exceeded 300,000 encounters for the first time in December.
“The crisis at our southern border is a crisis of the Biden Administration’s own making. President Biden and his administration’s unilateral actions to unravel the rule of law have created the worst border crisis in U.S. history,” Chairman James Comer said in a statement announcing the hearing.
“Cartel drug smuggling and human trafficking are surging, terrorists are exploiting the crisis, and communities are overwhelmed by illegal aliens being released by the Biden Administration,” he said. “The Biden Administration refuses to reverse course and has the gall to ask for more money to throw at the problem. No amount of money can fix bad policy. It’s past time to put deterrent-focused policies in place and this hearing is a great opportunity to hear from experts what that looks like.”
Republicans have clashed with Democrats and the administration over the handling of the crisis, with Republicans blaming the surge in migration on administration policies including the release of migrants into the interior and the rolling back of Trump-era enforcement like border wall construction and the Remain-in-Mexico policy.
The administration has said it is dealing with a hemisphere-wide challenge and working within a “broken” system that needs more funding and comprehensive immigration reform. It has also pointed to what it says are large numbers of removals, more than a million in FY 22 and FY 22, and more fentanyl seized in two years than the prior five years combined.
MAYORKAS TELLS BORDER PATROL AGENTS THAT ‘ABOVE 85%’ OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS RELEASED INTO US: SOURCES
Currently, negotiations are ongoing in the Senate about potential compromises in order to pass the White House’s budget supplemental request, including $14 billion for the border. Republicans have demanded stricter limits on asylum and the use of parole to release migrants into the interior.
Dec. 12, 2023: Migrants are processed in Eagle Pass, Texas. (Fox News)
Meanwhile, in the House, Republicans have launched impeachment hearings against DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, arguing that he has refused to enforce the laws passed by Congress. DHS has pushed back, saying the process is “harmful to the Department and its workforce and undercuts vital work across countless national security priorities.”
“Unlike like those pursuing photo ops and politics, Secretary Mayorkas is working relentlessly to fix the problem by working with Republican and Democratic Senators to find common ground and real solutions,” a memo the department released Thursday said.
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Mayorkas also drew support from Democrats on the Committee with Ranking Member Bennie Thompson saying that Mayorkas is “doing his job across all the department’s many critical homeland security missions, including border security and immigration enforcement.”
“Despite what Republicans would have Americans believe, Secretary Mayorkas is enforcing immigration law,” he said.