(FreedomWire.org) – Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are looking for answers from DHS over allegations that President Biden’s recent visit to El Paso, Texas, was “sanitized,” with migrants cleared away before the president’s first visit to the besieged southern border this month.
“For weeks, large encampments of homeless illegal border crossers—released by the Biden Administration—have encamped on the streets of El Paso,” the letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas from House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said. “These encampments were cleared immediately prior to President Biden’s visit to the city on January 8, 2023. We write to understand the circumstances surrounding the role DHS played in clearing homeless illegal border crossers for President Biden’s visit to El Paso.”
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources told Fox News that the Central Processing Center, which was previously overwhelmed with immigrants, was no longer at capacity and the camps of migrants vanished.
Sources had told Fox that the clearing was primarily to address large groups of mostly Venezuelan migrants who crossed into the U.S. without turning themselves into the Border Patrol out of fear that Title 42 rules would get them expelled.
Since the migrants could not get into shelters, they set up camps and the crime rate increased, with many Venezuelans getting arrested for breaking into cars. Community members complained, according to CBP sources, and Border Patrol agents started making arrests.
Biden’s visit also combined with a sharp drop in migrant encounters. The El Paso sector saw an average of
But Comer is not yet convinced and are asking for documents and communications between DHS and other agencies, as well as the city of El Paso.
“Before the President’s visit, El Paso’s migrant camps were so overwhelmed and unsanitary that local officials were concerned that the camps would become hotbeds for infectious disease,” Comer writes. “The President apparently did not see a single released illegal alien in a border town overwhelmed with illegal border crossers released by his Administration.”
Comer on Thursday announced that the committee will hold a hearing on the border in early February, and has called on a handful of Biden administration career officials to testify, including Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agents Jason Owens, Gregory Bovino and Gloria Chavez and Acting Chief Border Patrol Agent Patricia McGurk-Daniel.