GOP House Delegation On Border Tour Denied Entry Into DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center

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Posted: May 28, 2021 3:00 PM

EL PASO, Texas — A GOP House delegation led by Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) that visited the El Paso Sector was denied entry into the Drug Enforcement Administration's El Paso Intelligence Center at the last minute, upsetting the lawmakers since they have oversight authority to such a facility.

At the press conference near the Rio Grande, Babin said members of his staff had been in contact with the DEA and Department of Justice about the visit for weeks before they were officially denied.

"Two days ago, we were told that we would not be getting into the El Paso Intelligence Center. Now I want to make sure that people understand the Drug Enforcement Agency, DEA, is doing a fantastic of interdicting drugs. The agency that is denying us admission to the intelligence center is the Department of Justice," Babin said.

"For whatever reason, we can't seem to get exactly why that it is just not a great logistical time for it. They told us, 'Maybe you could come in months from now.'"

Babin said the DOJ denying them entry to the intelligence center violates Congress' role of conducting oversight to agencies and programs they appropriate and authorize funding for.

"For us to be denied, especially when we have three appropriators, two of which sit on that particular subcommittee that is going to be funding this outfit...I can tell you we're not happy. We want to get some answers and find out why we were not allowed to be in," he continued, adding the delegation took the issue all the way to the White House and still not getting any clear answer.

When reached for comment, a DEA spokesperson insisted to Townhall not enough time was given to accommodate the trip.

"The DEA was not given sufficient notice to accommodate the delegation, which would require processing time for appropriate clearances for entry into the secure facility.  DEA looks forward to hosting a visit in the future."

The delegation was able to visit and tour other parts of the border with U.S. Customs and Protection nearby to highlight the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.