Jennie Taer on August 16, 2023
Reps. Chip Roy of Texas and Andy Biggs of Arizona questioned Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on using taxpayer dollars to fund migrant camps south of the border that are fueling illegal immigration to the U.S., in a Wednesday letter first obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Roy and Biggs expressed concerns over U.S. funding of a migrant camp in Panama, known as San Vicente, in addition to regional migrant processing centers in South and Central America, according to the letter. The State Department announced in April the formation of the processing centers, starting with Colombia and Guatemala, to allow migrants to apply for legal entry to the U.S., Canada or Spain in anticipation of the end of Title 42, a Trump-era expulsion order.
“Camps like this not only incentivize migrants to travel through central America to our southern border, but also pose a national security risk to the United States, as they serve as waystations for U.S.-bound bad actors traveling across the Western Hemisphere to infiltrate our nation,” the Republican lawmakers wrote.
Illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border remains at historic highs even after Title 42 ended on May 11. Border Patrol encounters at the southern border dropped in June to roughly 99,000 and jumped up to roughly 130,000 in July.
Border Patrol across all sectors had almost 17,000 illegal migrants in custody on the evening of Aug. 10 compared to 7,696 on the evening of June 8, according to data exclusively obtained by the DCNF.
Additionally, more migrants are making longer journeys to get to the southern border, including those from China.
The Biden administration also began allowing migrants to enter the country at ports of entry along the southern border using a phone application known as CBP One. That led to an additional record number of migrants coming through the ports of entry.
“The American people have a right to know if their tax dollars are being used for inhumane policies that facilitate illegal immigration and if those who pose a threat to our public safety, national security, and border are using these installations to facilitate their entry into the country. If they are, Congress has a duty to protect the American people and withhold those dollars,” they added.
DHS didn’t immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.