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Katko to Mayorkas: Stop Recruiting Journalists to Process Migrants at the Southwest Border

July 22, 2022

Katko to Mayorkas: Stop Recruiting Journalists to Process Migrants at the Southwest Border 

WASHINGTON, DC – As first reported in an exclusive from the Daily Caller, Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, is calling out the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) blatant lack of strategy to manage the Biden Border Crisis, pointing out that DHS is sending journalists to the Southwest border to help process migrants—presenting a significant conflict of interest.

In a letter to DHS Secretary Mayorkas Ranking Member Katko wrote, “Instead of implementing a cogent and strategic plan to secure and protect our Southwest border, it is my understanding that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now relying on the DHS Volunteer Force (DVF) to bring on other federal employees to process the unprecedented influx of migrants. This includes journalists from the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) and Voice of America (VOA), who are now performing migrant processing duties at the border. This is an unprecedented and troubling move.”

Katko continued, “To be clear: journalists play a critical role in reporting on the crisis playing out along the Southwest border. Additionally, I acknowledge the benefits that an intra-agency detail program can provide within DHS. However, I have concerns about recruiting volunteers from agencies outside of DHS, particularly from the USAGM and VOA, whose journalists have done extensive reporting at the U.S. border.”

“Through the DVF, journalists are given access to sensitive case files, migrant data, and the migrants themselves. Not only does this create a tremendous conflict of interest, but it is also a serious national security risk. [D]ue to the serious security issues this situation creates, we request that DHS immediately remove any journalists currently detailed to DVF at the Southwest border,” Katko concluded. 

Read the full letter to Secretary Mayorkas here.

Read the Daily Caller piece here.