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“Absolutely Unsustainable”: Homeland Security Republicans Hear From National Border Patrol Council Leadership, Northern Border Security Caucus Members and More on a Growing Crisis

March 28, 2023

“Absolutely Unsustainable”: Homeland Security Republicans Hear From National Border Patrol Council Leadership, Northern Border Security Caucus Members and More on a Growing Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability, led by Chairman Dan Bishop (R-NC), held a hearing to examine the worsening crisis at our Northern border, in which they heard testimony from Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), Pete Stauber (R-MN), President of the National Border Patrol Council Brandon Judd, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Safety Robert Quinn, the Honorable Andrew R. Arthur, Resident Fellow in Law and Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, and the Executive Director of the Future Borders Coalition Laura Dawson.

As one sector of our Northern border experiences an over 800 percent rise in illegal alien encounters compared to last fiscal year, today’s testimony detailed the devastating toll the diversion of necessary resources to the Southwest border crisis has had on the security of the U.S.-Canada border, the surrounding communities, and Northern Border Patrol agents. These agents and communities continue to pay the cost of the Biden administration’s reckless open border policies and refusal to enforce our nation’s laws.


In his opening question, Subcommittee Chairman Dan Bishop (R-NC) asked National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd about the cause of the growing crisis on the Northern border and its effects on our Border Patrol:

“You’ve stated recently that agents on the Northern border were asked to deploy to Florida to deal with the surge of illegal migrants there as well. Your testimony also referenced a mere 450 agents on duty at any one time to cover this 5,500 miles of land and water border with Canada. Can you describe the impact of the administration’s ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ approach to border security?”

Mr. Judd answered, highlighting the detrimental policies of this administration:

“Not only are we not deploying as many agents to the field as what we have in the past, we also have a staffing model that is just completely and totally antiquated. We have one supervisor to every two agents […] When you pull more agents out of the field, what it does is it requires agents to patrol an area that is just not able to be patrolled with just one single agent. You cannot control an area if you are deploying an agent to patrol every 30 miles […] it’s impossible to quantify how many are crossing when you do that.”


“When you look at what [Biden’s] proposed, 300 new agents, that’s a drop in the bucket. Especially when we are losing agents at a 6.8 percent attrition rate right now. It’s absolutely unsustainable. We cannot send agents from the Northern border to the Southwest border and expect to keep control of the northern border.”

Subcommittee Chairman Bishop asked Andrew Arthur, a former immigration judge, about the policies that have helped worsen this Northern border crisis:

“Why are people from Mexico entering through the Northern border from Canada?”

Mr. Arthur answered, in part:

“Back in 2016, Mexico and the Trudeau government reached an agreement that would allow Mexicans to enter Canada without first obtaining a Visa to go to that country. Looking at these numbers, looking at the trends, it would appear that a number of Mexican Nationals are exploiting that loophole.”


“Given how broad the border is, given how few agents that we have, the opportunities to enter illegally and not be caught are much higher.”



Rep. Mike Ezell (R-MS) asked Mr. Judd about the lack of resources at our Northern border due to the Biden administration’s self-made crisis at the Southwest border:

“As a former law enforcement officer, I understand the difficulties our men and women in uniform have to face. Can you describe some of the challenges our Border Patrol agents are facing at the Northern border?”

Mr. Judd answered:

“The main issue that we are dealing with right now is that we just don’t have the infrastructure, technology, nor the personnel that’s necessary.”


“When you look at what’s going on at the Southwest border, it all starts there. […] If we can get control of the Southwest border, then we can control the Northern border, we can control our coastal borders as well.”


“There are solutions, but [the Biden administration] just doesn’t have the political will to implement those simple solutions, it’s very frustrating, it’s very upsetting to every single Border Patrol agent that there is.”


Rep. Dale Strong (R-AL) asked Mr. Arthur about how many of the migrants who seek formal asylum are truly granted asylum:

“The things that we saw at the Southern border, I’ve been there twice since I’ve been a United States Congressman, they are not just coming from Mexico, they’re coming from Honduras, Guatemala, Cuba, El Salvador, Haiti, Iran, and they’re coming from China too. […] Does DHS admit that of all the people subject to expedited removal who claimed fear from between 2014 to 2019, only 15 percent of their asylum claims were ever actually granted?”

Mr. Arthur concluded:

“During that 12-year period, we saw that it was almost twice as likely that a migrant would be ordered removed in absentia when they failed to appear at their hearings than that they were actually granted asylum.”



Rep. Eli Crane (R-AZ) asked Mr. Judd about the toll this crisis takes on Border Patrol:

“In your professional and longstanding position in the Border Patrol, do you think that has anything to do with Border Patrol agents feeling like it doesn’t even matter what they do.”

Mr. Judd answered:

“I speak with agents on a regular basis that are leaving the agency because they know that they can’t do the job that they wanted to do.”

Rep. Crane continued:

“Can you briefly describe some of the most detrimental policy changes that the current administration has put into place?”

Mr. Judd answered, highlighting the Biden administration’s failed policies:

“When you look at the main magnet that draws people across our borders illegally, [it’s] whether or not they are going to be released into the United States. Right now, nearly everybody that crosses the border illegally, if they’re not expelled under Title 42, which is only about 30 percent right now, then they’re released into the United States.”



House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) joined the Subcommittee hearing to ask Mr. Judd about the impacts on Border Patrol agents in her district, which contains six counties of the busiest Northern border sector: 

“I am very familiar, hearing from my constituents about the crisis on the Southern border, how that has impacted the morale of Border Patrol officers up north who have been transferred over and over again to the Southern border with no-notice deployments […] We do not have the personnel we need operationally along the Northern border, specifically the Swanton Sector.”

Mr. Judd concluded:

“In little over 25 years, I’ve never seen the morale lower in the Border Patrol than what it is today. […] We know that we do not have the support of this administration to actually protect the American people.”