HOUSTON, Texas–The border crisis exploding in South Texas should not be a surprise to the Obama Administration, according to Pennsylvania Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA). The Congressman raised the issue of an advertisement on a federal website at the end of January offering employment opportunities for transportation related to the massive influx of illegal unaccompanied minors that is now underway.
During a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, Barletta referred to an advertisement for “Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children” dated January 29, 2014. Barletta was attempting to challenge the Obama Administration’s assertions that they were as surprised as everyone else about the sudden influx of unaccompanied minors on the Texas border with Mexico. The Representative asked Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to explain this ad that was looking for chaperones for the invasion they allegedly didn’t know was coming.
The January ad on FedBizOpps.gov said there would be “approximately 65,000 unaccompanied children to be cared for.” The advertisement also linked to a document with more details about the opportunity. That document is attached at the bottom of this story.
“I don’t blame just the President,” Barletta said in his opening remarks, “for not enforcing our immigration laws. It’s even members of Congress. Congress has to share in the blame as well. Any Member of Congress that starts talking about a pathway to amnesty, and that’s what it is, lays out the welcome mat for people around the world that want to come into the United States illegally while our borders are not secure.”
“The Department of Homeland of Homeland Security was created to stop bad things from happening before they happen,” Barletta said. “Who knew there was going to be 65,000? Why was the administration surprised? Why didn’t anyone do anything to stop this in advance?”
Following is the full video of Congressman Barletta’s questioning of Secretary Johnson:
Secretary Johnson had little explanation about the advertisement, nor did he explain the projected numbers of children. “I don’t know where that estimate comes from,” Johnson said. “I don’t know who created that 65,000 estimate. In all likelihood we’ll probably exceed that, in the rate we’re going. We’ve known this has been a problem since I took office six months ago.”
Barletta pushed Johnson for an explanation that would not be forthcoming. “But we shouldn’t be surprised, because we saw it coming as far back as January,” Barletta said. “Somebody did, in DHS. I’d like to know who it is if you can find out.”
Johnson again dodged the question with a generic answer. “I’m not disagreeing with you,” Johnson replied. “We’ve known this was an issue since I took office.”
Barletta kept pressing on why the Administration failed to act to stop this before it became a crisis when it was so obviously predicted by the government that they were bidding out support contracts to deal with the predicted numbers of children. “Why are we acting surprised now,” Barletta asked again, “when in January we expected this to happen? Why weren’t we prepared?”
Barletta recounted Johnson’s prior testimony that the President talked to the President of Mexico a few weeks ago about this and Vice President Biden also visited recently. “Why then, if back on January 29th, we anticipated this happening?”
Congressman Barletta concluded his time by expressing in a frustrated tone, “There’s nothing wrong with our immigration laws. We just don’t enforce them.”
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.