Special to BIZ. Magazine
United States Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04) sent a letter Tuesday to President Biden demanding answers regarding the Administration’s immigration policies.
Read the letter below:
Dear President Biden,
I write to express my concerns about the decisions of your administration regarding immigration policy. Those decisions have clearly failed to secure our nation’s borders and have given the impression to people around the world that they have an open invitation to enter our country illegally. I and my fellow Republicans in Congress have repeatedly asked that you take immediate and meaningful action to address the crisis at our southern border. Thus far, our urgent requests for you to restrict the unending flow of migrants there have fallen upon deaf ears.
By any objective measure, this is a serious threat to the safety and stability of our local communities throughout the United States. In the month of June, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers encountered more than 178,000 individuals crossing the border, which was the most of any single month since 2000. So far this year, CBP has already recorded more than 1 million of these encounters.
I traveled to the southern border three weeks ago with nearly two dozen of my Republican colleagues to witness this emergency firsthand. It is difficult to overstate the tragedies taking place every day as weary, poor individuals, many of them children, are subjected to a treacherous journey at the hands of human traffickers. Each day of inaction from our federal government compounds this suffering, with the toll felt not only by those seeking freedom, but also our law enforcement officials who have been forced to abandon their security duties to shepherd individuals to processing facilities.
The impacts of this surge are also being experienced well beyond the immediate vicinity of the border region. Last week, with no advance notice, busloads of Haitian migrants were dropped off in Shreveport, Louisiana, the largest city in my district, and I am now being told by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to expect many more. This is not a sustainable situation, and my constituents did not volunteer to assist with the fallout of your administration’s failure to maintain the integrity of our southern border.
To that end, I plead with you once again to immediately reinstate commonsense border security measures that have proven to be effective in stemming illegal immigration, and to encourage the leaders of your party in both houses of Congress to work with us on the Republican side to solve these problems with substantive legislation. I myself have filed legislation which could achieve bipartisan consensus (e.g., H.R. 759, the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act) if it were allowed by Speaker Pelosi and her leadership team to be debated and advanced through regular order.
In addition, I request the following specific information regarding the busloads of migrants that have, and reportedly will be, dropped off in Shreveport, Louisiana:
Why was Shreveport chosen as a destination for illegal immigrants?
Specifically, how many additional buses of immigrants are projected to be sent to Shreveport, and how many individuals will be on each bus?
How much advance notice will be given to my office and local officials for those future busloads?
What are the administration’s expectations for these individuals?
What other cities have been chosen as destinations for these migrants?
What means are being used to verify: the identities of these specific individuals; whether their personal records include criminal backgrounds and/or other derogatory information; whether they reach their final destinations; and if, in fact, these individuals are being “reunited” with family members as reported?
If these persons are seeking asylum in the U.S., approximately how many years will it take for their claims to actually be adjudicated at a hearing, and what percentage of these persons does the administration expect will actually return for a scheduled hearing?
Thank you for your attention to these urgent matters.
Congressman Johnson is the Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference, a member of the House Judiciary and Armed Services Committees, and a former constitutional law litigator.