Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar wants the House Oversight Committee to open an investigation into the Obama administration moving detained illegal immigrants from south Texas to bus stations in Arizona.
In a letter to Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, the Arizona lawmaker highlighted the “questionable and potentially dangerous actions” on the part of the Obama administration, whereby, according to reports, detained illegal immigrants have been moved from south Texas and dropped off at bus stations in Arizona.
“If true, these actions are appalling and inhumane. The federal government gave no notice to the states of these policies,” Gosar wrote in a letter to Issa and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings Monday. “The actions themselves amount to violations of human rights, unnecessary and wasteful uses of taxpayer money, illegal activities on the part of these government officials, and unfunded mandates placed upon the states.”
“It is our duty as members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to investigate these allegations and to hold responsible those who have acted with such negligence, ignorance, and malfeasance,” he continued.
Gosar enclosed a list of questions he hopes the Obama administration will answer, specifically who authorized the movements, the reasons behind them, past precedent, the possibility for it to continue, and what will happen to those who have been released.
According to reports, the Obama administration has been transporting hundreds of illegal immigrants for the past eight months — according to The Arizona Daily Star — from Texas to Arizona bus stations. The numbers have recently increased, as more and more illegal immigrants cross the border.
Also Monday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer called on President Obama to put a stop to the policy.
“I urge you to end this dangerous and unconscionable policy immediately and instead take actions to fulfill the federal government’s fundamental responsibility of protecting our homeland by securing our nation’s borders,” Brewer wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama.
According to Gosar’s office, he spoke with Issa Monday about the possibility of an extensive investigation into the releases.
“As a member of that Committee, I plan on taking a lead role in seeking accountability for those individuals responsible for this violation of the Rule of Law, should the Committee favorably respond to my request,” Gosar said in a statement.
Read the letter:
Dear Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Cummings,
I write to you today to make you aware of certain questionable and potentially dangerous actions being taken by the Obama Administration, including Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. Recent reports have surfaced from various news sources indicating that hundreds of illegal immigrants are being transported from south Texas into Arizona and dropped them off at bus stations.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey have sent me letters highlighting some of these allegations and making inquiries. I have enclosed their letters here, and I respectfully request that the Committee review these letters and the questions therein. For more background information, I have included four articles from various news sources on the events in question.
I also officially ask that the Committee hold a hearing on this matter so that we may gather information about these allegations and bring in officials from ICE and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to testify to Congress regarding these allegations. In addition to the questions raised by Mr. Ducey’s letter, I believe the hearing should focus on the following topics and questions, in addition to any others the Committee finds pertinent:
· Who authorized this directive at DHS/ICE?
· What is the law enforcement purpose of this policy?
· Why would DHS/ICE be transporting these individuals to Tucson from as far away as Texas?
· Why were Arizona/Phoenix/Tucson chosen as the drop off location(s) for these illegal immigrants?
· Is it at all possible that DHS/ICE could be directly or indirectly facilitating the practice of human trafficking? Please see attached article from TownHall.com dated December 19, 2013.
· What exact instructions were given to these illegal immigrants after they were dropped off in Arizona?
· Have these types of actions taken place before? If so, when, where, and how often?
· If this action has taken place before, what has been the success rate in self-reporting to court dates and properly resolving immigration status?
· What measures are being taken to account for an estimated 60,000 illegal immigrant children who will cross the U.S. border?
· How or why is this Administration executing immigration policies which amount to the inhumane transfer and neglect of women and children?
· Is the practice of busing illegal immigrants to Arizona or other neighboring states the policy that the U.S. intends to implement now and in the future?
· What recourse will be implemented to attend to these displaced persons and which agency or federal program will manage the care?
· What policies are in place to address any illegal activity that takes place amongst these individuals while detained or abandoned?
If true, these actions are appalling and inhumane. The federal government gave no notice to the states of these policies. The actions themselves amount to violations of human rights, unnecessary and wasteful uses of taxpayer money, illegal activities on the part of these government officials, and unfunded mandates placed upon the states. It is our duty as members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to investigate these allegations and to hold responsible those who have acted with such negligence, ignorance, and malfeasance.
My staff and I stand ready to assist the Committee in whatever way we can. I thank you for your continued leadership on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. As always, I ask that this matter be handled in strict accordance with all existing rules and ethical guidelines. I thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this request.