Chairman Green Threatens to Subpoena DHS for Documents Related to CBP One App Following Months of Stonewalling
October 17, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) warned Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that the Committee will subpoena DHS if the Committee’s requests for documents concerning the expanded use of the CBP One app to release inadmissible aliens into the United States are not met by October 20. DHS is currently over four months delinquent in satisfying the Committee’s June 1 request and a month late in providing documents and information for the Committee’s September 14 follow-up request.
Read more via Mark Tapscott from The Epoch Times.
The second request followed bombshell reporting by the Washington Examiner, which confirmed that Mexican cartels are abusing the Biden administration’s expanded use of the CBP One app as part of their vast human smuggling operations. The report showed that the cartels are using virtual private networks (VPN) to skirt requirements that aliens signing up for appointments at ports of entry via CBP One be present in northern Mexico before making the appointment. Using these VPNs, the cartels can exploit vulnerabilities in the app and schedule appointments for individuals regardless of their location—all for a fee—and they advertise this “service” on social media.
In the letter, Chairman Green states,“The Committee’s June 1, 2023 letter requested eight categories of documents and information related to CBP One with a production deadline of June 15, 2023. To date, the Committee received no document responsive to any of the requests. The only response received was on June 2, 2023 from Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Zephranie Buetow, and was merely an acknowledgment of receipt of the June 1, 2023 letter. The requested documents and information are now 120 days delinquent.”
Chairman Green continues, “On September 14, 2023, the Committee sent a follow up letter after an August 4, 2023 press report suggested that cartels exploited a CBP One geofencing feature by using a virtual private network to secure appointments for migrants. The reporting raised additional concerns regarding CBP One and the Committee made 11 additional categories of requests for documents and information with a production deadline of September 28, 2023. As with its original requests, all that the Committee received in response is an interim letter from Assistant Secretary Buetow merely acknowledging receipt of the September 14, 2023 letter. The Department has not produced any documents responsive to the requests.”
Chairman Green concludes, “To date, the Department has neither produced nor provided a timeline to produce the documents or information requested in the Committee’s June 1, 2023 and September 14, 2023 letters, all of which will assist the Committee’s oversight of the Department’s CBP One application. The Committee requires the requested documents, communications, and other information to fully evaluate potential legislation to reform the Department’s authority to use CBP One to issue an illegal alien advanced travel authorization and grant parole into the United States. The Committee is concerned that the Department’s use of CBP One to facilitate parole for large classes of illegal aliens extends beyond the Department’s statutory parole authority that allows release of detainable illegal aliens applying for admission ‘on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit . . . .’ The Committee seeks legislative solutions to further clarify limits on the Department’s parole authority. If the outstanding requests related to CBP One remain unsatisfied by 5:00 p.m. on October 20, 2023, I will consider utilizing compulsory process. I expect prompt and complete compliance with all the Committee’s outstanding requests for documents and other information.”
Read the full letter here.
In August, DHS processed 45,400 inadmissible aliens through the CBP One app. The app was created for commercial use, but the Biden administration is now using it to incentivize otherwise inadmissible aliens to schedule an appointment and claim asylum directly at a port of entry, after which they will be released into the interior, regardless of the legitimacy of their claim.
Chairman Green and the House Committee on Homeland Security have warned of the dangers of the expanded use of the CBP One app for months. In April, the Committee introduced the Border Reinforcement Act, legislation that was later passed by the House as part of Republicans’ Secure the Border Act. This legislation includes a provision to restrict the use of the CBP One app to its original intent—allowing for the efficient movement of commercial goods into the United States.