Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 9:00 a.m., the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled, “Another Surge of Illegal Immigrants Along the Southwest Border: Is this the Obama Administration’s New Normal?” At the hearing, members will examine the swell of unaccompanied alien minors and family units crossing the southwest border and the Administration’s lack of vetting of unaccompanied children’s sponsors in the U.S.
Recent statistics from the Border Patrol indicate a significant increase in the number of unaccompanied alien minors and family units illegally entering the United States. During the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2016, the number of unaccompanied alien minors illegally entering soared to over 17,000 and family units increased to 21,000. This precipitous rise in illegal entry along the southwest border by people primarily from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala was created and perpetuated by the Obama Administration’s policies of non-enforcement of immigration laws and executive actions, beginning in 2011 and continuing today, which encourage them to make the dangerous journey from Central America, through Mexico, with the expectation that they will benefit from the Administration’s de facto amnesty.
Additionally, an investigation conducted by the Associated Press found that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lowered its safety standards during the border surge and placed unaccompanied alien minors in sponsors’ homes where some were sexually assaulted, starved, or forced to work with little or no pay.
Witnesses for the hearing are:
- Mr. Brandon Judd, U.S. Border Patrol Agent and the President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) National Border Patrol Council
- Mr. Steven McCraw, Director, Texas Department of Public Safety
- Ms. Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies, Center for Immigration Studies
- Democrat witness to be named
Below are statements from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on this hearing.
Chairman Goodlatte: “The ongoing surge at the southwest border is a crisis of President Obama’s own making and places innocent children’s lives at risk. The Obama Administration’s policy of non-enforcement has encouraged these children to take the long and perilous journey to the U.S. in the first place, and these children also face very dangerous situations once they arrive as a result of the Obama Administration’s lack of due diligence. Because the Administration took shortcuts in the vetting process, several children have been delivered into the hands of criminals and abusers and have faced horrific situations. This is tragic and unacceptable.
“The House Judiciary Committee has approved several pieces of legislation that address the underlying issues causing the surge and the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee will further examine this ongoing problem to determine if additional steps need to be taken.”
Subcommittee Chairman Gowdy: “The recent influx of illegal immigrants across our southwest border is a predictable consequence of the Obama Administration’s failure to enforce our immigration laws. This not only threatens our national security and public safety, it also endangers those unaccompanied minors risking their lives traveling to the U.S. border. President Obama consistently refuses to take the steps necessary to avoid this crisis, beginning with the faithful execution of our laws and prioritizing public safety and national security. We look forward to further examining the issue during our hearing.”
This hearing will take place in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at https://judiciary.house.gov/. Camera crews wishing to cover must be congressionally-credentialed and RSVP with the House Radio-TV Gallery at (202) 225-5214.