A group of Republican lawmakers called on the White House to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s national emergency at the U.S.–Mexico border.
The lawmakers said in a letter to President Joe Biden, according to a release from Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas): “There is a crisis at our southern border. It is critical that our leaders recognize the severity of the circumstances and respond accordingly.
“Your administration’s refusal to enforce immigration laws has encouraged countless migrants to make the treacherous journey across our border. We urge you to recognize that an immigration crisis is underway and reinstate a national emergency concerning our southern border.”
It came weeks after Biden terminated the two-year-long national emergency declaration by Trump. But the lawmakers cited a surge in migrants—including unaccompanied minors—at the border that prompted warnings from Democratic officials whose districts lie along the southern border.
“Following a surge of migrants crossing our border in January of this year, U.S. Customs & Border Patrol (CBP) announced that they ‘faced a growing number of individuals attempting to cross the southwest border, averaging about 3,000 arrests per day in January 2021,’” the letter stated, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
“Their latest estimates approximate that 117,000 unaccompanied children will cross our border this year. They will travel amongst human traffickers and drug smugglers to get here.”
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), whose district lies along the border, issued a series of warnings this week that if the federal government doesn’t take action soon, there will be a humanitarian crisis in a matter of “weeks” or “even days.”
Cuellar sounded the alarm over the past weekend, telling Fox News on March 6 that the White House has been “purposely withholding” data on migrants who are being released from custody.
“I can tell you this, those numbers of people that are being released, they’re purposely withholding that information,” Cuellar said. “They’ve been told not to withhold that information. I now know that they’re bringing people from McAllen over to Laredo, processing them in Laredo, and they’re going to release them in my community.
“I’ve seen this before; don’t let the local communities know what you’re doing where they’re starting to bring people in from the valley, process them in Laredo, release them at a bus station. And, again, I’ve seen this before in the past.”
The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.
The lawmakers’ letter to Biden was signed by about two dozen Republicans.
According to Gooden’s office: “Until January 20th of this year, there was a standing national emergency concerning our southern border. President Trump declared that emergency on February 15, 2019. Reversing that proclamation was one of President Joe Biden’s first actions in office. It is clear now that was a grave mistake.”