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Rogers Opening Statement DHS Budget Hearing with DHS Acting Secretary McAleenan

May 22, 2019

Rogers Opening Statement DHS Budget Hearing with DHS Acting Secretary McAleenan

WASHINGTON – Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), House Homeland Security Committee ranking member, today delivered an opening statement at Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget hearing with Acting Secretary McAleenan.

There is a national security and humanitarian crisis at the border. That is why I supported the president’s February national emergency declaration.

The facts on the border prove it:

CBP detained more than 109,000 immigrants along the southwest border last month.

That’s a 591 percent increase compared to April 2017.

On May 4th of this year, CBP apprehended 5,235 migrants at the southwest border.

That’s the highest number ever recorded.

In the first six months of FY19, over 150 groups of 100 or more migrants reached the southwest border.

That’s a 7,400 percent increase over the entirety of FY17.

CBP apprehensions between ports of entry are on track to reach a 12-year high.

CBP has already uncovered more than 3,000 fraudulent cases this year alone where adults posing as a biological parent or legal guardian.

If this isn’t I crisis, I’m not sure what this Committee deems one.

Actually, we do. Just yesterday the Transportation Subcommittee held a hearing entitled: “The TSA Workforce Crisis: A Homeland Security Risk.”

I appreciate the TSA workforce has issues, but I would say that thousands of migrants per day overrunning and breaking our immigration system is the actual crisis and the true homeland security risk.  

This will be the Committee’s 6th hearing in five months focused on the border. How many hearings before we see solutions coming from this majority?

Six hearings. Zero solutions. 

This Committee has heard testimony that transnational criminal organizations are exploiting our immigration laws for financial gain. Worse, these TCOs abuse women and children during their journey here, then dump them in the desert in poor health without food or water.

Men, women, and children are dying because of this dangerous journey human smugglers profit of off.

I know no one on this Committee finds that acceptable. So why won’t this committee address it?

In April, DHS requested legislation to address this abhorrent practice. Yet, here we are in another hearing and I don’t understand why this Committee won’t act.

Maybe it’s because this Committee is spending too much time on twitter. Since the Democrats were sworn into office in January, they have tweeted 316 times about the border.

Six hearings. 316 tweets. Zero solutions. 

On May 1st, the administration sent to Congress a request for emergency humanitarian appropriations to address the crisis at the southwest border.

This request of $4.5 billion would feed and shelter migrant families and unaccompanied children. It would provide urgent medical care and transportation services to sick migrants. It also would have supported the men and women of DHS who are working overtime on the frontlines of the crisis.

Yet, the majority on this Committee sent out a press release refusing to consider the request.

When I drafted this emergency humanitarian request as an amendment to the supplemental, the Democratic Majority on the Rules Committee voted it down nine to four when Rep. Lesko offered it at their markup.

Six hearings. 316 tweets. One amendment denied. Zero results.

I hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will use this opportunity today to ask Acting Secretary McAleenan what resources his department needs to fulfil its lawful mission on the southwest border.

The Republicans on this Committee are ready to work with anyone on the other side to solve this growing humanitarian crisis. Hearings, tweets, press releases won’t solve it. Hatred for the president won’t solve it, either.

We can’t wait another two years to address our southwest border crisis.  We must act now.