House and Senate Republicans are demanding transparency and action from the Biden administration on the “out of control” situation at the southern border, where suspected cartel members have reportedly been taunting Texas Army National Guard soldiers.
This week, 16 Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee wrote to President Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas accusing the administration of failing to acknowledge the situation as “a national security and humanitarian crisis,” which they said is now “out of control,” according to Fox News.
“It is time to admit that there is a crisis at the southern border and that the men and women of the United States Border Patrol are overwhelmed,” they wrote. “It is time for your Administration to take appropriate steps to prevent a recurrence of what we witnessed in Del Rio, Texas. We demand transparency from your Administration on behalf of the American people.
“The minority Members of the Committee on Homeland Security want to work together with your Administration on these critical homeland security issues; however, in order to productively work together, your Administration needs to be more open and more forthcoming with the Committee.”
On Wednesday, several Senate Republicans joined together to also urge Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to take action.
“This is unconscionable,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told reporters. “And Joe Biden and Kamala Harris caused it. The way to fix it, is reverse the political decisions they made on January 20 of this year, they could do it and fix it. It is only partisan politics that prevents them from doing so.”
The Texas senator cited three decisions made by the president and vice president on their first day in office as reasons behind the crisis, including halting construction of the border wall, reinstituting a catch-and-release policy for illegal immigrants, and ending the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy.
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) warned that among the historic number of illegal immigrants crossing the border, “Of course we’re going to have rapists, we’re gonna have those that are terrorists, we’re going to have other bad people entering our country.”
She added that the issues Texas has been facing regarding the illegal immigration surges will now affect every state, adding that “every state is now a border state.”
The Republicans’ demands come weeks after Del Rio, Texas, saw unprecedented amounts of illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico and camping under the Del Rio International Bridge in a squalid makeshift migrant camp. At one point, some estimated 15,000 people were camped under the bridge waiting for processing. Local and state officials pleaded for immediate action, citing health and safety concerns, including terrorist threats.
While many later were deported to Haiti or voluntarily returned to Mexico, roughly 12,400 migrants were released in the US, according to Mayorkas.
In recent days, suspected cartel members reportedly involved in human smuggling armed with AK-47s have been taunting Texas Army National Guard soldiers along the Rio Grande, according to Fox News.
There have been multiple incidents of gunmen wearing tactical vests standing in and near the river in Starr County, per the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The department has vowed to investigate any potential threats toward law enforcement and the military, saying they are fully committed to securing the border under Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.