Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are calling on Democrats to provide them with more information about a number of trips to Mexico, after reports have been released that a Democrat was “coaching” migrants about how to break the law to enter the country illegally.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked Chairman Elijah Cummings in a letter about two trips into Mexico by committee staff.
“Although you have the authority to direct Committee staff to travel internationally on official committee business, you have not explained why you authorized this travel into Mexico or what you sought to learn through these trips,” Jim Jordan wrote. One of trips necessitated an escort back to the U.S. by Border Patrol agents.
He said, they made these trips “to delegitimize the administration’s border security efforts and vilify the men and women who protect our border,” Fox News reported. Jordan also mentioned that no Republicans were notified about the trips beforehand.
Republicans are worried the trips “could continue to result in misleading information about the administration’s border security efforts.”
Jordan specifically noted in the letter to Cummings a report involving Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), who was part of a trip to Tijuana. Escobar, a vocal advocate of liberal immigration policies was accused of coaching asylum-seekers by secretly sending staff to Ciudad Juárez to help illegals to return to the United States.
The representative presented a line of questions for the Democratic members, including why they visited Mexico, with whom they connected, why Escobar attended, whether any “coaching” was provided to migrants and what this coaching included, Fox News reported.
The Department of Homeland Security barred Democratic staffers who were sent by Cummings from visiting Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection centers just a few weeks ago. Their “rude” and “disruptive” behavior got their access denied as they reportedly didn’t follow directions and “interfered” with operations.
Cummings hit back in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.
“I am writing to express my deep concern,” Cummings wrote in August, “that the Department of Homeland Security decided to block Committee staff from conducting visits to 11 detention facilities just days after previous staff inspections revealed potentially serious ongoing problems with the treatment of children and adults in DHS custody—including blocking visits to sites where the Inspector General warned about an ‘immediate risk to the health and safety of DHS agents and officers, and to those detained.”