“Northern border” House Republican members sent a letter to the Biden administration to raise questions on the “dangerous ramifications” his policies on the southern border have to the northern border.
Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and John Katko (R-NY) pressed the Biden administration on the policies they are using on the U.S.-Mexico border, saying they are “exacerbating the crisis at the Southern Border.”
“At 5,525 miles long and with more than 120 ports of entry, the Northern Border constitutes the longest land boundary between two countries in the world,” the Representatives said. The pair of Representatives noted the length of the Canadian border is twice the length of the southern border. The Border Patrol is left with a “dangerously low” amount of staff to patrol the north’s different sectors. They added it is dangerous in the sectors of the border with water, like the waters of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
The Republicans explained the administration’s policies reassigned “Border Patrol Agents from the North County[sic] to the Southern Border,” in addition to “proposed flying illegal immigrants from Southern to Northern Border states for processing.” The Border Patrol Agents were tasked to work overtime to “virtually ‘process’ illegal immigrants crossing the Southern Border.”
The Representatives from New York explained this is all due to the Biden administration’s policies, saying the issues were “created by refusing to secure and invest in our Southern Border security.”
I have heard from many whistleblowers from the US Border Patrol expressing grave concerns over the lack of manpower… pic.twitter.com/IQl0Dt4iaa
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) April 15, 2021
They explained this is “unacceptable” for the “safety and well-being of our Border Patrol Agents and communities in the North Country and Upstate New York.” The Congressional members request the Biden administration to answer a series of questions regarding their policies and decisions for Border Patrol Agents:
1. How many Border Patrol Agents are patrolling the Buffalo and Swanton Sectors compared to the numbers in 2020?
2. How many Border Patrol Agents are patrolling in New York’s 21st and 24th Congressional Districts (including both Buffalo and Swanton Sectors)?
3. What is the status of patrol boats on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River (which we know to be an effective tool in stopping the flow of illegal immigrants and illegal drugs into the Northern States)?
4. For the Border Patrol Agents being reassigned from the Northern to Southern Border, what is your administration doing to protect these individuals from COVID-19 exposure before returning to their families and communities?
5. When is your administration expecting to begin flying illegal immigrants from Southern to Northern Border states and what are you doing to prepare communities to handle this influx?
6. What is your administration currently doing to address the staffing shortages along the Northern Border that continue to worsen under your leadership?
“The lack of effective response to the crisis on our Southern Border is threatening the operational readiness along our Northern Border. A threat that puts our communities and nation at risk,” the pair wrote. “Our Northern Border Patrol Agents continue to remain understaffed and overworked and for the safety of our communities, we ask that you provide answers to these questions.” They implore the administration to reevaluate their lack of investment into the security of America’s borders and safety across the country. They would like the administration to revise their immigration policies, which they say have been “failing thus far.”
Stefanik released a separate statement in addition to the letter, mentioning she has heard from multiple whistleblowers who are protecting the border and have expressed concerns. The congresswoman emphasized the “lack of manpower along our Northern Border, as agents are being transferred to clean up President Biden’s crisis in the south,” including having agents “forced to virtually process illegal immigrants in Texas.” In contrast, there has been “a 1000% increase in drug seizures along the Northern Border and a 30% increase in illegal firearm seizures.”
Stefanik explained there needs to be an end to the “madness.”