OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 1:00 PM PT – Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Republican members of the House Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing on the border crisis on Wednesday.
The GOP members decided to hold the second border security-related congressional hearing in McAllen, Texas. The decision was made in order to hear directly from border patrol officials and families that have been impacted by the border crisis.
Representative Mark Green (R-Tenn.) the chair of the committee, blamed the current administration for violating laws that were written by Congress and signed by former President Donald Trump.
“It’s clear to me this secretary of DHS wants nothing more than to flood the country with people,” Green said. “The problem with that is, it’s empowered the narco-human trafficking, terrorist cartels.”
United States Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz testified before the committee early on Wednesday, refuting much of what Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has stated.
Ortiz testified that the border in that area has seen over 9,000 migrant encounters this year. He went on to further express his concerns for his officers by pointing out that in 2022, 17 CBP officers had died by suicide.
He also testified that the government does not have operational control over the border, contrary to what Secretary Mayorkas has previously claimed. However, the Border Patrol chief said that he has worked with Mayorkas to increase the consequences for “criminal aliens.” He also said that border agents have apprehended more criminal aliens in the last 24 months than ever before.
Ortiz ended his testimony by saying that the Border Patrol desperately needs more officers on the front lines in order to effectively do their jobs.
Sheriff Brad Coe of Kinney County, Texas also testified saying that the area he works in is “under siege by illegal immigrants.”
“My office has six full-time deputies and eight part-time to cover the 1,370 square miles of the county. This causes large areas of the county to go unpatrolled,” Coe testified.
None of the Democrat members of the committee made the trip to Texas. Democrats have said that the reason they did not attended the hearing was because of the Republicans politicization of the event.
Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) released a statement to the Washington Examiner explaining the Democrats’ reasoning.
“After careful consideration, Committee Democrats have decided not to participate in the Republicans’ field hearing this week,” The statement read. “Unfortunately, it has become clear that Republicans planned to politicize this event from the start, breaking with the committee’s proud history of bipartisanship. Instead of a fact-finding mission to develop better border security and immigration policies, Republicans are traveling to the border to attack the administration and try to score political points with their extreme rhetoric — despite having voted against the resources border personnel need.”
Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) denounced the move by the Democrats.
“House Democrats have the chance to see firsthand the disastrous impact of Biden’s open border policies,” he tweeted. “Instead, they’re bailing.”
Texas Department of Public Safety Lieutenant Chris Olivarez said that it is imperative to hold those hearings in the field when addressing the border crisis. He said that both political parties needed present in order for a bipartisan productive discussion to be held.
“I think it’s very important to have these hearings at the border where the problem is,” Olivarez said. “I mean, it really shines light and exposes the reality of the situation at the border.”
Olivarez expressed his frustrations and said that they need a solution since it has now been two years since the border crisis situation began to unfold under the current administration.
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