Lankford Pushes for Answers Amid Influx of Illegal Border Crossers
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s Q&A on YouTube.
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s Q&A on Rumble.
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today demanded answers on Biden’s wide open border from members of his Administration at a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing entitled, “Securing and Ensuring Order on the Southwest Border.” Yesterday, Lankford grilled Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas about his lack of meaningful work to address the chaos at the border and some of the other things DHS is doing instead of securing our border like creating an Orwellian Ministry of Truth in its “Disinformation Governance Board.” Today, Lankford pushed a panel of Biden Administration border officials to stop delaying information to his office and to actually answer his questions about what is being done to stop the flow of migrants to our border. Lankford also asked for additional information on the Migrant Protection Protocols program, known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy.
The panel of witnesses at today’s hearing included: January Contreras, Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families under the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS); Blas Nuñez-Neto, Acting Assistant Secretary for Border and Immigration Policy for the Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans; Maryann Tierney, Senior Coordinating Official for the Southwest Border Coordination Center; Benjamine “Carry” Huffman, Acting Chief Operating Officer for Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and Emily Mendrala, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Department of State.
After the highest year on record for illegal crossings this past year and 221,000 encounters of border crossers last month, Lankford introduced the Public Health and Border Security Act to require all COVID-19 related national states of emergency to be lifted before Title 42 is officially terminated until a workable plan to replace it is put in place. Lankford also introduced a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to dissolve a proposed Biden Administration rule that would illegally upend the process by which the US government grants asylum claims to migrants.
Lankford: I talked to Secretary Mayorkas recently, and we were talking about his six-point plan that he’s put out, which I have some significant questions on. There’s a section of it—in the six-point plan—that says they’re going to work with countries in Central America for them to be able to enforce their borders as well and to also have asylum-seekers there. I asked him the question of: what leverage are you using on those countries to encourage them to actually enforce their borders? His response to me was, ‘State Department actually is in charge of that,’ so let me ask State Department: what leverage are you using to encourage countries in Central America for them to enforce their borders? What are you doing there for them to stop regular migration that’s just passing through country and heading north?
Mendrala: We have strong partnerships with countries in Central America, and many of them are enforcing their borders for their own reasons and to protect their own national interests. During COVID-19, the height of the pandemic, many of the countries imposed public health requirements, additional document checks, and additional public health requirements that prevented transit through their borders for public health reasons for example. We are supporting through our foreign assistance training of border personnel for example to train them on more effective, more humane enforcement tactics. But I would say that most of the countries in the region are conducting those enforcement actions out of their own national self-interest.
Lankford: …But that’s not additional border enforcement…I’m asking specifically what’s in the plan, what State Department is doing to put leverage on countries to enforce their own borders? You talked about training that you’ve done in the past, things that they did during COVID years ago. We still had 2 million people last year, many of those crossing through those borders. What are we doing now to encourage those countries to enforce their borders?