Blog: House Oversight Republicans Demand Hearing on Border Security, COVID-19, and Title 42 Implementation

August 11, 2021

By John A. Zadrozny

Yesterday afternoon, Rep. Yvette Herrell (NM-02) and Republican Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) requesting that the committee hold a field hearing along the United States-Mexico border in the short term to address the threat of illegal immigration, the introduction of untold numbers of COVID-19-positive individuals into the country as a result of illegal immigration, and the Biden Administration’s inconsistent application of Title 42 authority.

Rep. Herrell’s letter, its concerns, and its requests speak for themselves (at the above link), but it is worth emphasizing some of the numbers she cites in her letter. She does an excellent job of framing the volume and scale of the problem in a time when people are growing increasingly numb to statistics:

“The United States is on pace to have nearly 2 million people cross our border by the end of this fiscal year, the approximate size of New Mexico’s population. Thus far this fiscal year [October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021], Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has encountered more than 1.1 million illegal immigrants, which includes more than 822,680 during the Biden Presidency. There is no end in sight, as 188,829 illegal immigrants were encountered in June, while in July it may have been upwards of 200,000, according to CBP briefings. This does not include at least 270,000 illegal immigrants that escape capture or detection by the Border Patrol.”

In her letter, Rep. Herrell also politely notes a significant point of frustration for many Americans: Joe Biden’s interest in fueling the massive influx of illegal aliens stands in sharp contrast to his support for increased restrictions on the freedoms and liberties of citizens.

Rep. Maloney is most likely not going to schedule the requested hearing (or anything like it), even though the total absence of border-related hearings this Congress, with a Democrat in the White House, stands in sharp contrast to the deluge of immigration oversight during the Trump Administration. But Rep. Maloney should consider the choice at hand. If she does not work with other Members of Congress to offer even token oversight or ask basic questions, she runs the risk of freeing them to pursue independent oversight efforts on behalf of their constituents. This problem is just too big and important to ignore. Rep. Maloney’s refusal to take a hard look at current problems and challenges will only degrade the value of her committee, and her own credibility as chair, over time.

John A. Zadrozny serves as Director, Center for Homeland Security and Immigration for the America First Policy Institute (AFPI).