YUMA, Ariz. — The city council chamber was packed with local residents and sheriffs across the state on Thursday to listen to the House Judiciary Committee hearing about the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, marking the first of such a hearing to take place with the new GOP majority.
Yuma County Supervisor District 2 Jonathan Lines, Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot, and Dr. Robert Trenschel, president and CEO of Yuma Regional Medical Center, each testified how the influx of illegal immigrants and drugs coming into their area has strained the resources for this remote town.
Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants have entered into the Yuma Sector, with many of them requiring some level of medical care. This has caused the Yuma Regional Medical Center to have $26 million in unpaid bills for services rendered to illegal immigrants. It has also caused care for U.S. citizens to be delayed or be sent all the way to Phoenix because their local hospital was full. Audience members nodded in agreement when Trenschel sorrowfully acknowledged the delay in care to U.S. citizens since they treat people based on who needs it the most.
AZ: Dr. Trenschel w/Yuma Regional Medical Center explains to @JudiciaryGOP members the struggles the hospital faces—$26M in uncompensated migrant care saying it’s $ that would have benefitted the community.— Ali Bradley (@AliBradleyTV) February 23, 2023
Our @NewsNation story on the hospital’s status: https://t.co/iJrcQmga41 pic.twitter.com/llRAOhbOwd
Sheriff Wilmot testified the cartels that operate across the border in Mexico and within his jurisdiction have become much stronger due to the increase in cashflow from the thousands of people that are paying them to illegally enter the United States.
“There is a cartel influence in Yuma County…” Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot tells @JudiciaryGOP members that the cartel are present on the U.S. side and are orchestrating the human and drug smuggling into the county. pic.twitter.com/3E62oLAxsO— Ali Bradley (@AliBradleyTV) February 23, 2023
Lines testified he was given new numbers from sources with U.S. Customs and Border Protection revealing Border Patrol was now seizing 48 percent of fentanyl being smuggled into the country, meaning between the ports of entry, because the recent decrease in illegal crossings allowed them to go back to patrolling the border. That number is significant since most of the fentanyl being seized was at a port of entry.
Perhaps the biggest round of applause from the audience was when Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said he supported the articles of impeachment against DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that have already been introduced in this session of the House. The purpose of the border hearings is to strengthen the GOP's case for impeachment against the Secretary.
WATCH: Residents of Yuma, Arizona ERUPT IN CHEERS at @JudiciaryGOP hearing for the impeachment of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) February 24, 2023
"The day will come soon when @SecMayorkas has to answer our questions. If he'll lie to Supervisor Lines and the community here, then he will lie to… https://t.co/kiZPTAK911 pic.twitter.com/7EhvwllzcK
None of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee decided to attend the official hearing. Their absence was brought up multiple times during hearing and it did not go unnoticed by the audience, even the liberal ones.
Yuma resident Manuel told Townhall he thought the Republicans were being hypocrites for saying they support law enforcement but have not shown their support for the Capitol police officers on January 6, but he still thought Democrats should have come to the city.
"I think there should've been a few, yeah, but unfortunately that's the state of politics right now. And I do fault them for it," said Manuel.
"I would hope [Democrats] would come here...We need them to come here, we need them to see it firsthand. More than just being angry, I think they really missed an opportunity to come and see firsthand what's going on here at the border," Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb told Townhall, noting he believes the GOP members were very sincere in their mission to hear what has been happening at the border and their resolve to fix the problem.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) promised more hearings will take place to further investigate how poorly the Biden administration has handled the issues of the border and immigration so legislative action can take place. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has stated impeachment for Mayorkas is not out of the question.