EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A New Mexico congresswoman is urging Vice President Kamala Harris to include members of Congress in discussions with the governments of Mexico and Central America aimed at solving the migrant surge.
U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell said border communities have a direct stake in the issue and should have a voice in the matter. In a letter sent Monday, she also urged Harris to visit border communities to gauge residents’ concerns with unauthorized migration.
“I invite you to join me at the southern border of New Mexico to see the crisis firsthand and how it is affecting Americans in my district who fear violence and property damage along the border,” Herrell wrote. “Further, I believe it is imperative that your discussions with (Mexico and Northern Triangle) countries include members of Congress, especially those members from border communities and those from both sides of the aisle. This crisis can only be solved with bipartisan input …”
Herrell wants the vice president to include her in Harris’ planned June 7-8 trip to Mexico and Guatemala and warns that giving economic aid to these countries probably won’t make a dent on unauthorized migration to the United States.
“Use of foreign aid to address ‘root causes’ of illegal immigration has shown little effectiveness […] foreign aid to stop illegal immigration has never shown to work to decrease and in some cases actually increases, illegal immigration,” the letter states.
Herrell said the most effective way to stop unauthorized migration is to apply existing laws which include consequences for illegal entry into the United States. She urged Harris to reinstate Trump-era programs such as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) to “regain control of the border” and to keep in place the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s public health Title 42 order, which allows the U.S. Border Patrol to expel unauthorized migrants within hours of their arrival.
The latter request mirror’s a January bill filed by Herrell known as the PAUSE Act to keep Title 42 in place until all state and federal COVID-19 emergency mandates end and the CDC lowers the health risk for travel to Mexico and Canada to Level 1.
Herrell’s missive coincided with a visit to El Paso by members of the House Border Security Caucus who criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the surge, which is on pace to surpass 1 million in fiscal year 2021 not including the estimated 200,000 “got aways” – migrants who eluded apprehension upon crossing.
The all-Republican delegation expressed fears that Biden plans to rescind Title 42 shortly.
“I believe it is imperative that your discussions with the governments of Mexico and Central American countries (acknowledge that) this is one of the biggest arrows in the quiver to be able to turn people back during this period of time,” said U.S. Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, co-chair of the caucus.
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said doing away with Title 42 would force immigration authorities to release many more migrants into the U.S.
“If Title 42 goes away, once the bed space in ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) gets taken up, then we have no choice but to release people with a (Notice to Appear) or a Notice to Return. If that happens, we’re going to be releasing everybody that comes into this country illegally,” Judd said.