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As Another Caravan Heads to US Border, Cruz, Stefanik Demand to Know How Mayorkas Plans to Respond

Al Drago/Pool via AP

Weeks after Del Rio, Texas, was overwhelmed by thousands of illegal immigrants, Sen. Ted Cruz and House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik are pressing the Biden administration to respond to a new caravan of migrants in southern Mexico heading toward the U.S.

In a letter sent to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday, the lawmakers urged the administration to enforce federal immigration laws—something that didn’t happen in the Del Rio crisis.

“While the strategy DHS released on September 18, 2021, stated that migrants ‘who cannot be expelled under Title 42 and do not have a legal basis to remain will be placed in expedited removal proceedings,’ this did not occur in Del Rio,” they wrote. “In fact, Senior Executive Branch officials stated that migrants were released into the United States on a ‘very, very large scale.’ We believe this incentivized the recent caravan to journey to the United States.”

Hundreds of Mexican law enforcement officials in Tapachula were unable to stop the 3,000 migrants, and the lawmakers want to know how the administration will prevent this from happening at the U.S.-Mexico border.  

"If the Administration does not begin to appropriately respond to these caravans and the ongoing border crisis, these surges will surely continue,” Cruz and Stefanik wrote.

A plan is increasingly necessary, they said, as border agents “are already overworked, undermanned and under-supplied as a result of the influx of migrants this year.”

They asked Mayorkas to respond to the following questions

  1. What has DHS done to prepare for this caravan, including diplomatic efforts with Central American countries to stop it as it gains momentum?
  2. How is DHS collecting, receiving, and sharing intelligence on this caravan through the interagency process to ensure malign actors are not making their way to—and into—the United States?
  3. How are these actions different from the actions taken in Del Rio?
  4. Will DHS expel migrants encountered at the border using Title 42?
  5. What are DHS’ plans to process and deport migrants who cannot be expelled under Title 42 and do not have a legal basis to remain in the U.S.? 

The letter sent by Cruz and Stefanik was co-signed by 15 Senate Republicans and more than 80 House Republicans.

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