YUMA, Arizona (Border Report) — Conservative members of Congress are finishing their second day of touring border crossings and other facilities in California and Arizona.
House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer, R-Kentucky; U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Arizona, and U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-New Mexico, on Monday visited facilities such as Ped West in San Diego, where hundreds of Ukrainian refugees are being granted access into the U.S.
While in California, they also toured areas along the border barrier including an iconic section where the fence runs into the Pacific Ocean.
Their goal, according to a news release issued by the group, is to “examine firsthand President Biden’s border crisis.”
On Tuesday, they toured CBP facilities in southwest Arizona around the city of Yuma.
“We’re here, we learned a lot, we’re angry, we came here upset with this administration and now we’re leaving even more upset,” Comer said during a news conference held at the conclusion of the border tour.
Other lawmakers involved in the visits are Glenn Grothman, R-Wisconsin; Pete Sessions, R-Texas; Byron Donalds, R-Floriday; and Paul Gosar, R-Arizona.
“If the administration just said, ‘We will process asylum claims, but we won’t do it at the southern border this would end overnight,” Donalds said. “The cartels would know you can’t charge people to take the journey to get here.”
Comer and the others involved in the tour believe President Biden’s border policies are flawed.
“Quite frankly, this is as bad, worse than I’ve ever seen it,” Gosar said. “And it’s going to get worse as Title 42 goes away there will be more people coming in than ever.”
They say Biden’s administration is “rewarding illegal immigration,” and they expect illegal crossings to surge once Title 42 is removed next month.
“What we’ve been told by DHS is that they are expecting 18,000 crossings per day,” said Rep. Gosar.
Title 42 is a federal mandate that has allowed border agents to expel 1.7 million newly arrived migrants to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Biden administration says the order is ending on May 23.
Immigration advocates in the past few weeks have welcomed the end of the Title 42 policy, pointing out that that showing up at U.S. borders to apply for asylum is lawful and allege that Title 42 has left thousands of asylum seekers no other choice but to enter the country illegally, turn themselves in to Border Patrol and request asylum.
The people involved in the tour also believe the planned end of Title 42 expulsions will generate a national security and humanitarian crisis at the border.”
In 2021, there were more than two million apprehensions of undocumented border crossers according to the U.S. Border Patrol.
In the Yuma sector, the numbers jumped from 8,800 in 2020 to almost 115,000 last year.