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Granger Remarks on Homeland Security FY22 Subcommittee Markup

I would like to Chair Roybal-Allard and Ranking Member Fleischmann for your work on this Homeland Security appropriations bill for fiscal year 2022.  

I know that you both try to work together when it is possible, but unfortunately, there are just too many differences of opinion in this year’s bill, and I oppose it in its current form.

To put it simply, the bill proposes funding levels and policies that fail to address the illegal immigration crisis we are currently experiencing in this country. 

If we are going to get serious about stopping migrants from making the journey to the United States, then we should not be doing some of the things we see in this bill, such as:  

  • Limiting ice detention to no more than 20 days;
  • Allowing non-profit organizations, not ICE, to be responsible for migrants;
  • Stopping funds for a border wall; and
  • Making minimal investments in technology to detect those who continue to cross the border illegally.

These types of policies give the cartels free rein to continue smuggling and trafficking. 

I want to describe a recent, troubling situation.  Just a week ago in Laredo, Texas, we saw yet another incident where the recklessness of the cartels resulted in deaths. 

Right in the heart of the city of Laredo – not the middle of the desert – Border Patrol agents saw several people jumping into the open bed of a pickup truck.  When the driver saw the agents, the driver sped off causing several people to fall from the vehicle. 

Sixteen blocks later, at an intersection in a residential area, the pickup truck collided with an SUV. 

Three occupants from the pickup died, and eight were severely injured.  To be clear, the collision was not the result of a chase. 

This committee, as a result of bipartisan, bicameral negotiations, provided more than a billion dollars in fiscal year 2020 to build border wall near Laredo.  But this Administration has now stopped all construction, and they now must notify families that their loved ones have died. 

We truly have a crisis on our hands.  In May, more than 180,000 people were processed after coming into the U.S. illegally in that one month alone.

While many were returned to Mexico, others were simply released into our country. 

What may be most troubling is that DHS has admitted they are not effectively tracking people once they move beyond the border.

This is difficult to believe, but ICE officers have actually been directed to stop enforcing immigration laws against those who are living inside the country illegally.

We need to address this crisis, and we need to move a Homeland Security appropriations bill that provides resources to enforce the law, rather than undermine it. 

If we don’t, the cartels will continue getting richer, and border communities and migrants will all pay the price. 

I urge my colleagues to work together to amend this bill in full committee to address these harmful provisions so that we can keep our border safe. 

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