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Chairmen Green & Jordan Join Speaker Johnson in Demanding Answers from Secretary Mayorkas Over DHS Actions During House Republican CODEL

January 12, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C.— This week, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN), Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA), and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calling on him to answer for various reports and eyewitness accounts that DHS intentionally released thousands of aliens from custody prior to House Republicans Congressional Member Delegation (CODEL) to Eagle Pass, Texas, last week. The letter also demands an answer to why members of Congress were denied the ability to document conditions at the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) facility they visited, but seemingly special treatment was given to camera crews from CBS to film the same facility on the same day. 

In the letter, the Speaker and Chairmen state, “While nearly 10,000 illegal aliens were in Border Patrol custody in Eagle Pass on December 20, 2023, when our CODEL arrived 14 days later Border Patrol officials advised us they had less than 600 aliens in custody. According to one news report, a concerned CBP official disclosed that in the days leading up to our CODEL’s arrival, DHS intentionally released nearly 1,500 illegal aliens every day from custody in Eagle Pass until the illegal alien detained population there was approximately 5.0% of what it had been on December 20th, equal to nearly half of the facility’s holding capacity.”

“Media reports have suggested DHS took these steps to hide the truth from Members of Congress. According to one CBP source, they sought to ensure what the CODEL witnessed would “pale in comparison to the migrant surge and grossly overcrowded facilities experienced during the month of December.” 

They conclude, “Further, both prior to and during our tour of the Eagle Pass facility, CBP officials attempted several times to stop Members of Congress from taking photographs of what they saw. Meanwhile, we were accompanied at the facility by several CBP officials who used professional cameras to take pictures of the CODEL. When one Member of Congress asked why CBP officials were able to take photographs while Members and our staff were prohibited, a CBP official responded to say, “We are the government.” Simply put, the effort by your Department to impede and obstruct Congress in our efforts to engage in oversight of the Executive Branch is unacceptable.”

Read the full letter here