House Homeland Security rip DHS's 'unacceptable' failure to comply with subpoena

House Homeland Security rip DHS's 'unacceptable' failure to comply with subpoena
© Stefani Reynolds

The top Democrat and Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee are deriding as “unacceptable” a failure from the secretary of Homeland Security to respond to a subpoena from the panel for last week.

In a letter Wednesday, Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonDemocrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus Pelosi forms House committee to oversee coronavirus response Democrats introduce bill to set up commission to review coronavirus response MORE (D-Miss.) and ranking member Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersFreshman Dem finds voice in fight against online extremism Lawmakers criticize Trump's slashed budget for key federal cyber agency GOP lobbyist tapped for White House legislative affairs MORE (R-Ala.) urged Acting Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfTop House Oversight Democrats ask DHS to reduce immigrant detainee population Democratic lawmakers demand government stop deporting unaccompanied children Hillicon Valley: Malicious emails spike amid coronavirus | Real ID deadline delayed one year | Trump officials to limit Huawei's chip access MORE to comply with their request, after blowing through an original Dec. 11 deadline for materials related to border security.

"Today, nearly a year after materials were initially requested from then-Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenHillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 Sen. Kennedy slams acting DHS secretary for lack of coronavirus answers The 'accidental director' on the front line of the fight for election security MORE and a week after the deadline for production pursuant to the subpoena, the Committee has yet to receive any documents. This is unacceptable," wrote Thompson and Rogers.


The documents in question relate to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) role in enforcing border security and immigration laws.

"You are required to produce the responsive documents, which are essential to the Committee’s oversight of the Department’s border security activities, including the treatment of children in custody, the separation of families, and metering of individuals at ports of entry," wrote Thompson and Rogers.

DHS representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The subpoena was issued by the committee on Nov. 20 and approved in a bipartisan voice vote.

In his letter from the time issuing the subpoena, Thompson noted DHS "has not been responsive to our requests for documents related to the handling of children, families and others who were apprehended at the southwest border by U.S. Border Patrol or who had sought to access a port of entry maintained by [Customs and Border Protection] Office of Field Operations to make asylum claims."