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Republicans demand the Senate reject Biden’s ‘dangerous anti-border security’ nominees for key roles

Republican co-chairs of the House Border Security Caucus are urging the Senate to reject President Joe Biden‘s ‘dangerous anti-border security’ nominees for three key Homeland Security positions because of their ‘history of dangerous policy making.’

Reps. Andy Biggs and Brian Babin claim Biden has ‘unleashed the worst border crisis in two decades’ on a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

They say confirming his progressive-leaning picks for key immigration roles would ‘endorse the policies that created the crisis.’

‘Each of these candidates has a history of making dangerous policy decisions, ignoring immigration law, and perpetuating the open borders narrative,’ Babin, who represents a Texas district not on the southern border said.   

None of the three nominees would ‘enact the changes necessary to end the crisis,’ Republicans say. Seen here are migrants being escorted off an immigration bus on the Hidalgo International Bridge in Texas on June 2

Biggs (right) and Babin (left) say confirming Biden's progressive-leaning picks for key immigration roles would 'endorse the policies that created the crisis.' Pictured here on May 20

Biggs (right) and Babin (left) say confirming Biden’s progressive-leaning picks for key immigration roles would ‘endorse the policies that created the crisis.’ Pictured here on May 20

Biden’s nominee to head U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ur Jaddou, said in a May nomination hearing that cutting down the ‘dramatically increasing’ visa backlog would be a priority for her in the role. 

Jaddou led the Biden-Harris transition team’s review of DHS under former President Trump. 

‘In this role she developed the policies that created the current crisis at the southern border,’ Biggs and Babin claim.

Jaddou led the Biden-Harris transition team's review of DHS under former President Trump. Pictured here on May 26

Jaddou led the Biden-Harris transition team’s review of DHS under former President Trump. Pictured here on May 26

Tucson, Arizona Police Chief Chris Magnus, Biden’s pick to lead Customs and Border Patrol, ‘publicly defended’ sanctuary cities, the GOP statement reads, which made it ‘more difficult for DHS to enforce immigration law, and endanger federal law enforcement officers.’

The statement points out that Biden’s nominee to head ICE, Ed Gonzalez, ‘terminated a formal cooperation agreement’ with the agency when he was sheriff of Harris County, Texas.

None of the three nominees would ‘enact the changes necessary to end the crisis,’ Republicans say.

‘In April, over 178,000 illegal aliens were encountered at the border, representing a 944 percent increase from the prior year. April was not an anomaly; in March, more than 173,000 were encountered, in February more than 101,000 were encountered. The inhumane border crisis that the Biden administration’s policies created is growing.’ 

 

Chris Magnus 'publicly defended' sanctuary cities, the GOP statement reads, which made it 'more difficult for DHS to enforce immigration law , and endanger federal law enforcement officers'

Biden's nominee to head ICE, Ed Gonzalez, 'terminated a formal cooperation agreement' with the agency when he was sheriff of Harris County, Texas

Chris Magnus ‘publicly defended’ sanctuary cities, the GOP statement reads, which made it ‘more difficult for DHS to enforce immigration law , and endanger federal law enforcement officers’

Trump also took aim at Biden’s border policies, blasting his ‘disastrous decision’ to formally end the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy that forced asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court.

‘The Biden Administration inherited the most secure border in history, and they turned it into the greatest border disaster in history. Our border is now run by cartels, criminals, and coyotes,’ Trump wrote in a statement Wednesday. 

‘Not only are illegal immigrants being caught and released, they are being put up in hotels at taxpayer expense,’ Trump said, referencing the more relaxed ‘catch-and-release’ immigration policy the Obama administration has been associated with.  

Biden’s decision to end the Trump-era policy ‘is proof that their objective is to eliminate the U.S. border entirely and flood the country with so many illegal aliens that every community is overwhelmed,’ Trump claimed.

The Biden administration formally ended the controversial immigration policy on Tuesday.

Democrats praised the move, calling it a huge victory for immigrants’ rights.

Judy Rabinovitz, the American Civil Liberties Union attorney who led a case challenging the policy, called the Trump-era rule ‘cruel, depraved and illegal’ in comments to CNN.

Also on Tuesday the Biden administration marked the first day of National Immigrant Heritage Month by asking Congress to pass the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which Biden pitched his first day in office, providing a way for an estimated 11 million undocumented people to legally stay in the U.S. 

‘My plan would provide a pathway to lawful permanent residency and citizenship for these undocumented immigrants, including Dreamers, individuals with Temporary Protected Status, farm workers, and other essential workers who contribute to our Nation every day,’ a White House proclamation read.  

The Biden administration marked the first day of National Immigrant Heritage Month by asking Congress to pass the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which Biden pitched his first day in office, providing a way for an estimated 11 million undocumented people to legally stay in the U.S. Pictured here are asylum-seekers from Venezuela waiting for U.S. Border Patrol on May 27

The Biden administration marked the first day of National Immigrant Heritage Month by asking Congress to pass the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which Biden pitched his first day in office, providing a way for an estimated 11 million undocumented people to legally stay in the U.S. Pictured here are asylum-seekers from Venezuela waiting for U.S. Border Patrol on May 27

Biden’s changes to Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ were a foregone conclusion – as Biden had promised as a candidate to end the policy – but the president left a window open by ordering a review before shutting it down permanently. 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said keeping the policy intact or modifying it ‘would not be consistent with this Administration’s vision and values and would be a poor use of the Department’s resources’ in a White House memo.

The policy coincided with a sharp decline of asylum-seekers at the border, but critics noted that people were hampered by violent conditions in Mexico, lack of access to lawyers and difficulty making it to court. Mayorkas acknowledged those concerns by noting the high rate of denied claims for failing to appear in court and the lack of housing, income and safety in Mexico.

Since Feb. 19, about 11,200 people with active cases have been allowed to return to the United States to wait for a ruling, a process that can take years in the backlogged court system. 

The administration has yet to say if tens of thousands more whose cases were either dismissed or denied will get another chance. 

It has also largely kept in place pandemic-related powers introduced by President Donald Trump in March 2020 to expel people to Mexico without an opportunity to seek asylum, justified on grounds of protecting public health. 

Mayorkas acknowledged planning for those pandemic-related powers to be lifted but was light on specifics.

The secretary pointed to a new docket in immigration court announced Friday that aims to decide asylum cases at the border within 300 days.  

He promised ‘additional anticipated regulatory and policy changes,’ without elaborating.


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