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EXCLUSIVE: House Oversight Committee Republicans are accusing the Biden administration of “actively” working to sabotage the “Remain in Mexico” policy and allowing for the release of illegal immigrants into the U.S., after conducing multiple discussions with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents on the border.
Ranking Member Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., led several GOP members in sending a letter Wednesday to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas raising concerns that the administration is not enforcing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), commonly known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, that allows the U.S. to send migrants back over the border to await immigration hearings.
A federal court ruled in 2021 that the administration must keep the policy in place “in good faith” because it violated the Administrative Procedure Act in deciding to end the protocol.
“Despite being ordered by a federal court to work in good faith to reimplement MPP, we learned on a recent trip to the southern border that Border Patrol agents across multiple sectors call into question DHS’s commitment to full reimplementation,” write the lawmakers in a letter to Mayorkas exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital.
House Oversight Republicans are demanding information on MPP from DHS. (Fox News)
“This raises questions about whether the Biden Administration’s DHS political appointees and the White House are actively working to sabotage MPP to facilitate the release of even more illegal border crossers into the U.S.,” continued the Republicans.
The Republicans recently traveled to the border and met with CBP officials who told them that “new requirements” by the Biden administration on MPP “rendered it useless in their sector.”
“Agents speculate that release into the interior is the actual intent of Biden Administration officials, not a defect of the process. If true, these reports reveal gross mismanagement and intentional thwarting of our system of law and order by political appointees in the Biden Administration.”
House Minority Leader leading GOP delegation meeting with Border Patrol in Eagle Pass, Texas. (Fox News’ Bill Melugin)
“One high-level CBP official told us they are limited to an arbitrary 10 enrollments in MPP per day in one sector, and the additional bureaucratic requirements increased the average enrollment processing time from 1.5 hours to over 8 hours per migrant,” the lawmakers wrote.
They also point out that there were 489 enrollments in MPP in February 2022 despite over 158,000 illegal crossings across the border in the same month.
Reps. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Yvette Herrel, R-N.M., Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., Pete Sessions, R-Texas, Byron Donalds, R-N.Y., and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., joined Comer in demanding documents between DHS and CBP officials on the MPP program, statistics on enrollments and other communications between related agencies.
The Remain in Mexico case is currently before the Supreme Court, which held oral arguments this week on Tuesday over whether the Biden administration can properly do away with the former Trump administration’s policy.
The Republican congressmen said they could see the cartels and human smugglers sending people across the Rio Grande right before their eyes during a congressional codel trip to the border. (House Oversight Committee Republicans)
“If Mexico’s the waiting room it’s a disincentive for those cartels to actually move the $100 million a week in human smuggling that we were told by law enforcement at the border is actually happening,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt told Fox News Digital after oral arguments.
The Biden administration is also in the process of ending the Title 42 public health order that has allowed the expired removal of migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayorkas is set to testify before both the House Appropriations DHS Subcommittee and the House Homeland Security Committee Wednesday, largely on Title 42 and MPP.
Title 42 is set to expire on May 23, despite pushback from both Democrats and Republicans, who are concerned that it will lead to an unsustainable rush at the Mexico-U.S. border.
DHS did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on the letter.