House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte is demanding answers from the Department of Homeland Security about the tens of thousands of undocumented unaccompanied minors and family units illegally crossing America’s southern border.
“I am formally requesting information needed by the Committee in carrying out its oversight responsibilities regarding the unprecedented influx of unaccompanied alien minors and alien minors accompanied by adults seeking to enter the U.S. illegally along our southern border ant the Department of Homeland Security’s response to this immigration and national security crisis,” Goodlatte wrote in a letter to DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson Thursday.
According to Goodlatte — who calls the situation an “Administration-made disaster” — his staff has already requested some of the information he is formally seeking, but DHS has not provided it “within the very reasonable timeframes.”
In his letter Thursday, the Virginia Republican requested answers to 22 questions dealing with the number of illegal immigrants, the illegal entrants’ places of origin, where in the United States they are being transported, what types of immigration benefits they are seeking, and how many actually show back up for their removal proceedings after they are released.
Next week the Judiciary Committee is holding an oversight hearing on the situation.
While the Obama administration has pointed to violence and poverty as a push factor sending the illegal immigrants northward, many Republicans and the committee chairman have argued that the Obama administration’s policies such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the easy approval of “credible fear” claims at the border have served to fuel the influx.
“Word has gotten out around the world about President Obama’s lax immigration enforcement policies and it has encouraged more individuals to come to the United States illegally, many of whom are children from Central America,” Goodlatte said earlier this month. “Illegal border crossing is extremely dangerous and many of these children encounter drug and human traffickers along the way. Enforcement at the border and in the interior of the U.S. is crucial to end these kinds of situations, not another bureaucratic task force.”