EL PASO, TX – This week, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) traveled to El Paso, Texas where he met with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents, toured a processing facility, and assessed the growing crisis at our southern border.
“The situation here at our southern border is completely untenable – it’s spiraling out of control,” said Joyce. “What I saw today broke my heart. We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. Those two don’t have to contradict each other. We’ve got to stop making immigration decisions based on political calculations. All that’s done is create a humanitarian, security and public health crisis. Congress and the Biden Administration need to work together to create bipartisan solutions that will increase border security, stop the record-breaking influx of illegal immigration, and end all this needless suffering.”
Illegal border crossings have skyrocketed this year with more than 200,000 illegal border crossings since January. In February alone, there were 100,441 southwest border encounters, a 173% increase compared to the 36,687 encounters during the same month last year. This is the highest number of migrants recorded in the month of February in over seven years. Additionally, last week, CBP agents and Army National Guard members encountered 5,204 individuals illegally crossing the border in a single day, while recent data shows an average of 321 kids being referred to migrant shelters each day. CBP projects a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border per month by May. In order to deal with this crisis, hundreds of border patrol agents are being diverted from interior drug checkpoints and the northern and coastal borders to the Rio Grande Valley.
As the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, Joyce also raised concerns about damage this crisis is causing on natural and cultural resources on federal lands along the border. The Department of the Interior (DOI) manages lands that cover 40% (approximately 800 miles) of the southern border. You can read a letter he recently sent along with his fellow Republican appropriators to Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rosa DeLauro, about the crisis at the southern border here.