Home Homeland Safety Committee Republicans accuse Democrats of ignoring raging border disaster

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Republicans on the Home Homeland Safety Committee are accusing their Democratic counterparts of ignoring the disaster on the southern border, claiming they’re failing to deal with border safety and the environmental impacts of the surge in unlawful immigration.

Republicans are within the minority on the committee, and so they had been incensed this week when Democrats held a markup of a invoice to deal with local weather change — a transfer they stated ignored the raging border disaster. Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, instructed Fox Information Digital that Democrats had not held a listening to of the complete committee (reasonably than a subcommittee) devoted to frame safety.

“Chairman [Bennie] Thompson has didn’t conform to a listening to regardless of the continued disaster. So as an alternative of doing that, what they selected to do, Democrats selected to have a listening to about local weather impacts on the border,” he stated.

“There is no different hearings scheduled for Homeland Safety. Not a single one, and they also will go this whole two-year interval when we now have the worst disaster at our southern border within the historical past of this nation with out truly having a listening to on it. That is the legacy the Democrats will go away,” he stated.

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Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, meets with native officers in Del Rio. (Rep. Pfluger)

A Democratic committee assist pushed again, telling Fox Information Digital that there had been 4 full committee hearings since 2021 with Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the place members centered on the border. The staffer additionally famous that that is along with hearings held by the border safety subcommittee and member briefings.

Thompson, in his opening assertion, stated the invoice would “assist DHS — which incorporates the US Coast Guard, FEMA, and Customs and Border Safety — profit from federal analysis findings concerning local weather change pushed impacts which will have homeland safety implications.”

Pfluger was not the one member angered at what Republicans perceived as a concentrate on local weather change reasonably than the border disaster, with Rep. Michael Visitor, R-Miss., describing the markup as “asinine.”

“We’re not speaking about securing the border, we’re not speaking about doing what we will to guard the border communities, we’re not speaking concerning the $20 billion that the immigrants who’ve come throughout over this administration is costing the taxpayers As a substitute, we’re speaking a few local weather change invoice,” Visitor stated. “We must be centered on our main mission.”

“We will not ask [DHS] to cope with cybersecurity, to cope with catastrophe response, to cope with securing the border, after which on the similar time put one other pointless federal regulation on this company. That, to me, is asinine,” Visitor stated. “Our main mission is securing the folks of this nation.”

Rating Member John Katko, RN.Y, was equally important of the transfer, saying that DHS mustn’t redirect funds given the vary of challenges it faces — together with on the border.

“The Committee will even contemplate right now laws aimed toward redirecting taxpayer {dollars} allotted for homeland safety analysis and growth in the direction of the Biden administration’s local weather targets,” he stated in his opening assertion. “Sadly, with the litany of safety crises dealing with the homeland from relentless cyber threats, a large open southwest border, and resurgent terrorist teams, I don’t imagine that important DHS analysis and growth efforts ought to be redirected for this goal.”

There have been greater than two million migrant encounters this fiscal yr, with border cities and communities overwhelmed with the sheer magnitude of the migrant surge. Republicans have dismissed the Biden administration’s declare the border is “safe” and have blamed a rollback of Trump-era border insurance policies and a rise of “catch-and-release.” The Biden administration is blaming “root causes” like violence and poverty in Central America, in addition to the Trump administration for rolling again authorized asylum pathways.

Whereas Pfluger instructed Fox that he’s involved about figuring out the explanation for the migrant surge, in addition to safety issues of terrorists and criminals coming throughout, he’s additionally involved concerning the environmental influence of the disaster — and launched an modification that may require evaluation of the “environmental impacts on personal and public land alongside the southwest border by aliens unlawfully current in the US.”

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That modification would have a look at whether or not unlawful immigrants have threatened wildlife, broken agriculture and the prices related to the injury.

Pfluger stated he had seen the environmental injury attributable to the Haitian migrant disaster in Del Rio final yr and has been instructed by farmers about what they’re dealing with every day.

“Not solely are the folks in Del Rio and different poor cities being affected, but it surely’s additionally the ranchers and the farmers who’ve shared story after story after story with me to incorporate their very own private experiences with destruction of property, the chopping of fences, trash, burning of buildings and in some circumstances…deceased our bodies that had been being left behind because of this destruction.”

He stated his modification would have pressured the federal authorities to get entangled on this side of the disaster.

“It mainly would have stated that as an alternative of local weather change, let us take a look at the setting, the setting being the bodily land, the land alongside the southwest border. And let us take a look at that as a spot the place 4.2 million unlawful immigrants have crossed and have actually littered it. And as an alternative of Texans being chargeable for this or different locations being accountable…the federal authorities is within the sport on this,” Pfluger stated.

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The modification did move by way of the committee, however solely after it was closely amended.

The up to date language seems at environmental injury “which will relate to frame safety operations and infrastructure on the northern and southern borders of the US, and inside every border area, as could relate to personal and public lands, agricultural producing lands, sacred websites, wildlife habitats, different environmentally delicate areas, and migration exercise.”

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