March 19, 2021

Live from the Southern Border Crisis

Our Nation is facing a complete crisis on our southern border with illegal crossings nearing a 20-year high and the levels of unaccompanied minor crossings reaching levels we have never seen before.
 
This is not only an illegal immigration crisis, but a humanitarian one.
 
Right now, thousands of unaccompanied migrant children are coming across our borders illegally every single day. They are trafficked and transported by coyotes, drug cartels, and other bad actors intent on exploiting these children for money. We have also seen the safety and security of our own citizens put on the line. Border Patrol confirmed to me that individuals on the terror watch list have been apprehended coming across the border just as hundreds of agents are being pulled off their important missions to staff processing facilities and mitigate the surge.
 
I traveled to the southern border on Monday with Leader McCarthy, Committee on Homeland Security Republican Leader John Katko, and several other of my Republican colleagues to survey the facilities there on the ground. What I saw, and what was told me to me by Border Patrol officers, is a complete overwhelming of our facilities, resources, and manpower.
 
We toured the central processing facility in El Paso, which was built only last year by the Trump Administration to house 1,040 migrants. On Monday, that facility reached capacity for the first time. This is only one of many facilities along our border that are filled to the brim with illegal migrants who have been encouraged by the rhetoric and dangerous policies espoused by the Biden administration. 

I filmed a Facebook Live video from the border. Watch it here or below.
HHS Housing Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Midland

The facilities along the border are so overwhelmed that children are being bused hundreds of miles to holding spots within the interior of the United States. One of these is in the heart of the 11th District―in Midland.
 
During the middle of the night last Sunday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made the surprise decision to move up to 700 unaccompanied migrant children into Midland without consulting, coordinating, or properly notifying city and state officials.
 
Our sheriff, mayor, police, and fire departments were completely blindsided. We had no time to prepare and no opportunity to provide input and advice. We were given no answers as to how long they will be there, if more are on the way, or what was being done about the spread of coronavirus.
 
This is completely unacceptable and an indication of this administration’s lack of transparency and willingness to accept accountability for this crisis.
 
This week I had the opportunity to question the DHS Secretary directly. I asked Secretary Mayorkas to explain the Administration's handling of the Emergency Intake Center they sprung on Midland. The Secretary admitted it was a "failure" on the part of the Biden Administration.
 
He couldn't give me a straight answer to many of the questions I have about the HHS site in Midland, so I sent him a letter demanding answers to 10 of my most-pressing questions. You can read that letter here, and I will of course update you as soon as I receive a response.
 
President Biden needs to reverse course on his administration’s dangerous rhetoric and reinstate the policies that were in place and working: re-start building on already appropriated wall funding, re-impose the Remain in Mexico policy, end catch and release, protect Title 42 authorities, and most importantly, properly invest in the tools and resources our brave Border Patrol and ICE agents need to secure our border.
 
The security of our border should not be partisan. Migrants have been given false hope by new administration that our borders are now open. Sadly, this creates a situation in which traffickers are operating without fear of criminal prosecution. The President’s actions throughout this crisis have been completely unacceptable—I am continuing to mount pressure against the administration to address this terrible and distressing situation.
Thank you for reading. It is the honor of my lifetime to serve you in Congress. Please follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for daily updates.
Rep. August Pfluger
Member of Congress