WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The House Homeland Security Committee held its first hearing of the 118th Congress Tuesday morning, focusing on what they call a “border crisis” and the impact it’s having on communities across the United States.
Republicans on the committee stressed that every state has become a border state as the crisis flows into the country.
“My children were taken away from me,” said Rebecca Kiessling, a Michigan mother who testified that her sons Caleb and Tyler died after taking fentanyl that came from Mexico. “You’re welcoming drug dealers across our border, you’re giving them protection, you’re not protecting our children.
House Republicans say the fentanyl crisis is a direct result of the border crisis.
“Our border is wide open and out of control and Americans are dying because of it, said U.S. Clay Higgins, R-Louisiana.
Committee Chair Mark Green, of Tennessee, says Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is to blame.
“Mayorkas was lying when he said he had operational control of the border and the fentanyl is killing Americans,” he said. “Let me be clear, Mayorkas lied and Americans are dying.”
Democrats fired back, telling Republicans to stop pointing fingers and start delivering solutions that have a shot at passing Congress.
“If you really want to help with border, security, help us increase the number of people working at the border as part of the ultimate solution,” said U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi.
Added U.S. Rep. Lou Correa, D-California: “We’ve known what they need. We just haven’t done our job of getting them the resources.”
Democrats also criticized Texas Republican Chip Roy’s border bill as “anti-immigrant” and in its place are pushing for a bipartisan border security package.