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Tipsheet

Border Patrol Agents Slam House Democrats for Not Showing Up to Field Hearing

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

YUMA, Ariz. — Thursday marks the first official congressional hearing at the U.S.-Mexico border regarding the ongoing immigration crisis. GOP members on the House Judiciary Committee traveled to Yuma for the hearing, but Democratic members announced last week they would be boycotting the trip, calling it a political stunt.

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Democrats accused the GOP of not consulting them about the trip, but Republicans on the Judiciary Committee said they had consulted the Democrats three weeks before the hearing. Border Patrol agents based in Yuma expressed their disappointment and frustration to Townhall about the Committee's Democrats not bothering to show up to an official hearing.

"It was expected that Democrats would not show up to the border. I don’t think they want to see what’s going on and the damage they have done. The Democratic Party has not offered real solutions, just unrealistic promises," one agent said.

"Democrats have been a no show at the border for two years. What else is new?" another agent quipped.

Local 2595 President Rafael Rivera, which represents Border Patrol agents in Yuma, said it was "sad" Democrats did not want to come down and listen to the agents about what they have been facing during the past two years. He noted that while Senators Mark Kelly (D) and Kyrsten Sinema (I) have toured the border in Arizona, no other Democrats have bothered to reach out to him to find out what is going on in Yuma.

Chris Clem was the Yuma Sector's chief patrol agent from 2020 to 2022 before retiring. He was in charge of the Yuma Sector when it experienced its historic highs of illegal immigrants crossing into Arizona, when it has been one of the less busier sectors along the U.S.-Mexico border pre-Biden administration. Sources told Townhall at the time the border was not being patrolled because most agents were pulled from the field in order to process the thousands of illegal immigrants who surrendered themselves to them on a daily basis.

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"I think that it should've been a bipartisan hearing down here because in order to solve a border security and immigration crisis, we need to involve the community, the experts, the business community. That takes everybody and so that means everybody that is represented and their representatives need to be here," Clem stated.

"Border security should be a nonpartisan issue, but immigration is a socioeconomic issue and that's why it requires all sides of the aisle to address," he continued, adding he believes more hearings about the crisis should take place at the border.

GOP members on the Committee toured the border in Yuma with the Border Patrol union on Wednesday night.

Witnesses who will be testifying at the hearing include Yuma County Supervisor District 2 Jonathan Lines, Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot, and Dr. Robert Trenschel, president and CEO of Yuma Regional Medical Center.

House Judiciary Democrats promised they would conduct their own trip to the border in March, but have yet to give a specific date and location. The House Homeland Security Committee will be hosting a field hearing in McAllen, Texas on March 15.

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