In the wake of violence in Mexico and the ongoing influx of criminal immigrants to the U.S. through the southern border, Rep. John Mica (R-FL) Wednesday suggested the closing of all the U.S. consulates there.
“The figures are astounding,” Mica said during a House Oversight Committee hearing, reiterating that last year one out of every five arrests at the border was a criminal alien, a statistic quoted earlier in the hearing by National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd.
“So to get arrested they had to be in and caught” Mica said. “That is absolutely astounding. Simple math, that’s probably 100,000 criminal aliens entering the United States. Basically it’s out of control.”
The Florida congressman noted that in Judd’s earlier testimony, the Border Patrol union head had encouraged “consequences.”
Mica pointed to the consulates the U.S. has in Mexico as a possible area for consequences.
“How many consulates do we have? I counted about nine in Mexico. Is that right? I think we should close every one of those consulates immediately. Put the property up for sale. I think you have to have some consequences for actions. The place is out of control,” Mica said.
He continued, recalling recent reports of murders and violence such as the cartels shooting down a Mexican helicopter earlier this year.
“So it doesn’t sound like it’s getting much better. They’re even killing the people who are trying to do something about the injustice and slaughter that is going on in Mexico,” Mica added.
Judd said that to him, the most concerning aspect of the violence in Mexico is that it has come to the U.S.
“What I find the scariest part of all of this border violence is how it’s extending now into the interior of the United States. We just had a young man shot in the back by presumedly an illegal alien from El Salvador associated with the Mara Salvatrucha gang. We just had a U.S. citizen in San Francisco who was just killed. So we’re not only seeing violence on the border but this is extending into the United State and that’s scary,” Judd said.
The Oversight Committee hearing, titled “Violence on the Border: Keeping U.S. Personnel Safe,” was called in order to look at the current security situation in Mexican border cities and consulates.
Earlier in the year House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX) pressed Secretary of State John Kerry on recent violence in Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo and Guadalajara. They further requested information on why the consulates stay open in the wake of the violence noting that last year 100 U.S. citizens were murdered in Mexico, at least 130 were kidnapped and that the U.S. Consulate in Matamoros reported 227 separate security incidents in February.