Graham, Hawley call on Judiciary Committee to hold hearing on US-Mexico border

Graham, Hawley call on Judiciary Committee to hold hearing on US-Mexico border
© Greg Nash

GOP Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden DACA court ruling puts weight of immigration reform on Democrats Senate braces for a nasty debt ceiling fight MORE (S.C.) and Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyTrio of Senate Republicans urges Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade Atlanta-area spa shootings suspect set to be arraigned Noem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event MORE (Mo.) want the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on the influx of migrants at the southern border, a central issue among Republicans critical of President BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race GOP lawmakers request Cuba meeting with Biden For families, sending money home to Cuba shouldn't be a political football MORE’s reversal of several Trump-era policies. 

Graham and Hawley, two Republican members of the Judiciary panel, wrote in a letter to Chairman Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenators scramble to save infrastructure deal Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Democrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan MORE (D-Ill.) on Friday that the surge in migrants amounts to “a severe humanitarian and public health crisis,” adding that members of Congress should not “let this surge continue due to our complacency.” 

The senators specifically called for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasHillicon Valley: Tech groups urge Congress to 'dig deeper' on Facebook role in Capitol riot | Kaseya denies paying hackers for decryption key | Tech coalition expands tracking of extremist content Hillicon Valley: Amazon employees petition company to investigate discrimination allegations | ACLU calls for investigation into Alaska official over tweets | Electric cars to outsell combustion vehicles by 2036 Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks MORE and top officials from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to testify before the committee to help ensure that it is “doing its part to protect the vulnerable, and restore order to the border.” 

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The specifically cited “historic numbers of migrants not seen in over 15 years,” measured by CBP in recent months.

According to updated data released Friday, CBP encountered 188,829 people attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in June, a 4.5 percent increase from the number recorded in May. Border patrol apprehensions have topped 1 million for the fiscal year so far, more than double all of fiscal 2020.

Graham and Hawley wrote Friday that the “increased numbers are testing the limits of CBP’s processing capacity.” 

“Smugglers and cartels are making billions of dollars off our broken border by preying on vulnerable migrants,” they argued. “Yet, the Biden administration has not proposed any meaningful solution to shut off the flow and regain control.” 

“In fact, President Biden has made conditions at the border much worse,” they wrote to Durbin, specifically citing Biden’s reversal of former President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE’s “Remain in Mexico” policy and reinstating “catch and release” practices. 

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“The most egregious part about the border crisis is that it could be solved if only we take appropriate action,” Graham and Hawley wrote. “The Committee shouldn’t stand by and watch this catastrophe unfold yet again.”  

“We must hear from the Department of Homeland Security about the problem so we can find a workable solution,” they continued. “If we don’t, we’re afraid we will have no one to blame but ourselves.”

The Hill has reached out to Durbin’s office for comment. 

The letter comes days after Senate Republicans urged the Biden administration to keep in place the Trump-era Title 42 policy that allows border agents to swiftly expel those who cross into the U.S. from Mexico. 

The demand followed reports that Biden planned to lift the directive later this month, which Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoOfficials warn of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in water systems Graham, Hawley call on Judiciary Committee to hold hearing on US-Mexico border GOP senators urge Biden to keep Trump-era border restrictions MORE (R-W.Va.) argued would be a disaster for an administration that she said was unprepared to handle the influx of people at the border without Title 42 in place.