Katko headed to the Southern border in El Paso, Texas along with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and 12 of his GOP colleagues.
Katko suggested that Biden’s border security policies are more lax than those of his predecessor President Trump and as a result, border agents have stopped people who are on the terrorist watchlist.
‘People who they’ve got in the last few days… have been on the terror watchlist,’ said Katko during a press conference held at the border.
‘Individuals that they have on the watch list for terrorism are now starting to exploit the Southern border. We need to wake up, we need to understand. Listen Mr. President Biden, you’re an OK guy. Why don’t you just admit you made a mistake with this policy and go back to the way it was and keep America safe for all of us?’
GOP Congressman John Katko says the U.S.-Mexico border is being exploited by ‘terrorists’ who are even on the terrorist watchlist
Last week, Katko held a sign during a press conference about of the situation at the border between Mexico and the U.S.
‘And use that money that we’re wasting down here on American citizens,’ he continues. ‘The door should not be open and we should have immigration the right way.’
Later on Monday, Katko expanded on his claims and suggested ‘people from Yemen and the Middle East are coming across the border now.’
Such claims have been made before by former president Trump who in 2018 claimed ‘Middle Easterns were traveling with a caravan of migrants making its way to the US.’
The claims were later found to be widely inaccurate with less than 0.1% of migrants intercepted in Mexico from the Middle East, according to QZ.com.
Katko said that terrorists were exploiting the ‘disorder at the border by executive order’ and even joining Mexican drug cartels.
US Representative John Katko (R-NY) addresses the press during the congressional border delegation visit to El Paso, Texas on Monday as President Joe Biden faced mounting pressure Monday from Republicans over his handling of a surge in migrants — including thousands of unaccompanied children
‘The cartels know when to exploit the Southern border and they’re doing it now masterfully,’ Katko said. ‘They’re doing it because President Biden rolled back a lot of the orders of the previous administration that were working.’
‘There is indeed disorder at the border by executive order. No question about it.’
Before Katko was elected to Congress, he was a former assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted Mexican drug cartels in the El Paso.
The has been an increase in attempted border crossings during in the seven weeks Biden has been in office according to Newsweek.
So many are arriving, the government is set to use the Dallas convention center – normally a venue for concerts and sports events – to house up to 3,000 migrant teen boys as it scrambles to address increasing overcrowding at other facilities.
Migrants in United States Border Patrol custody file into a Border Patrol Station in El Paso, Texas
There has also been a surge of unaccompanied minors arriving at the border.
Democrats are upset that some Trump-era detention facilities are to be reopened to temporarily detain the migrant children.
Under former President Donald Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ those coming across the border were sent straight back across to Mexico where they would wait for their asylum cases to be decided.
But their prospects are much brighter after the Biden administration scrapped the policy within days of taking office.
Under Biden’s revisions, single men and women will still be sent back but families with young children will be taken to a Border Patrol facility, processed and released with a notice to appear before an immigration court at a later date.
A large group of migrants from Central America is gathered after being apprehended by Border Patrol in Penitas, Texas this weekend. The migrants are classified, their property is checked and depending on their situation either transported to a processing center or returned to Mexico
Migrant children and teenagers from the southern border of the United State wait to be processed after entering the site of a temporary holding facility south of Midland, Texas
Unoccupied minors, meanwhile, are being housed at a newly-opened Border Patrol facility 60 miles east in Donna, Texas.
Democrats have claimed they inherited a ‘broken system’ while Republicans say the Biden administration sparked chaos at the southern border by ripping up Trump’s hardline policies.
According to Customs and Border Protection, the number of migrant apprehensions reached 78,323 in the month of January 2021 alone – double the amount from January 2020.
And in February 2021, CBP encountered 100,441 migrants attempting to enter the U.S. along the Southwest border – a 28% increase over January 2021.
In Texas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to open the Dallas Convention Center to house boys between the ages of 15 and 17 as soon as this week.
The numbers of those crossing the border has risen since Biden took office and there are plans to use Dallas Convention Center, pictured, to house 3,000 teenage boys
Nearly 4,300 unaccompanied children were being held by border patrol officials as of Sunday, according to an agency official who requested anonymity to discuss the matter. Children are spending an average of nearly five days in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody, the official said.
By law, the children should be transferred out of the jail-like CBP facilities to shelters run by HHS within 72 hours. But as of Sunday, roughly 3,000 children were being held beyond that limit due to a lack of available shelter beds.
Under pressure from migrant advocates and critics within his Democratic Party, President Joe Biden’s administration is scrambling to speed up processing of hundreds of unaccompanied children who are crossing the southern border every day.
FEMA and HHS will lease the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center from the city of Dallas to use it as a ‘decompression center’ for teens.
The government plans to operate the facility for up to 90 days. The city of Dallas will not be involved in operations.
The convention center is one of the country’s largest, according to its website, with more than one million square feet of exhibit space and 88 meeting rooms. It is normally used for expos, sports events, concerts and auto shows.
The facility will house the teens while the government seeks to release them to a sponsor family or finds a more permanent shelter for them.