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Rogers Opening Statement at MPP Hearing

November 19, 2019

Rogers Opening Statement at MPP Hearing

WASHINGTON – Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, today delivered an opening statement at a Border Security, Facilitation, and Operation Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Examining the Human Rights and Legal Implications of DHS’ ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy.”

This past year nearly 1 million illegal immigrants were encountered attempting to cross our southwest border illegally.

It led to an unprecedented humanitarian and security crisis.

CBP facilities were overwhelmed and overrun, leading to dangerous conditions both for migrants and law enforcement officers.

Every day, up to 50 percent of Border Patrol Agents were taken off the line to process and care for migrants.

For months, the administration requested emergency funds and new authorities to deal with the crisis.

For months, my colleagues ignored the crisis calling it a “Fake Emergency”.

Finally, Congress acted and provided critical emergency funding.

While the funding helped, it did nothing to address the root cause of the crisis – the loopholes in our asylum laws.

Democrats have yet to move any legislation to close these loopholes.

In the face of Congressional inaction, the Trump administration has been forced to act on its own.

The administration has secured agreements with Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to improve security cooperation across the region and reduce exploitation of our immigration laws.

After negotiations with Mexico, DHS also implemented the Migrant Protection Protocols program as part of a regional strategy to prevent abuse of our asylum laws, while protecting those with legitimate claims.

MPP discourages non-meritorious or false asylum claims and actually helps decrease wait times for immigration court hearings.

Migrants under the MPP program wait months compared to years for those currently within the interior.

Congress should focus on reforming our immigration laws instead of holding messaging hearings.

Thank you, and I yield back.