First on Fox: The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is telling DHS Secretary Alejandro Meyerkas to “be ready” with data for a key House hearing Wednesday, in which the Homeland Security chief is expected to get another grilling from the Republican majority over the crisis at the southern border.
Meyerkas will appear before the GOP-led committee on Wednesday at a hearing called: “Oversight of the US Department of Homeland Security.”
The secretary has repeatedly clashed with Republicans in congressional hearings, taking aim at the border crisis in his third year in office and seeing record numbers of immigrants in both fiscal year 2021 and fiscal year 2022 — with some calling for his impeachment over what he described as the administration’s “open borders” policies.
In a ___ Letter to Meyerkas On Tuesday, obtained by Fox News Digital, Chairman Jim Jordan says that during his last appearance before the committee last year, “you were unable to provide specific data or information and, as of this date, you have not provided concrete answers to some members’ questions from this hearing.”
“We hope you will be prepared with specific data and information when you appear before the committee this year,” he says.
House Homeland GOP report accuses Meyerkas of ‘deliberate’ dereliction of duty over border crisis
The majority said it requested data by Monday on Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activities in July, but DHS said it would not be able to meet the deadline, but would try to provide the data “as soon as we are able.”
“Accordingly, if the Department is unable or unwilling to provide this data prior to the hearing, as we requested, we request that you come to the hearing prepared with this data,” Jordan said in the letter to Meyerkas.
The data the committee requests includes the number of immigrants who have been released to the U.S. and are in DHS custody. This includes those who have claimed fear of persecution, who have been removed, placed in removal proceedings and who have received credible allegations of fear. It’s a sign that the committee will focus in part on parole and other policies that have allowed immigrants to be released into the U.S. as part of the administration’s expansion of legal pathways.
“We look forward to your upcoming testimony and the opportunity for the committee to effectively advance its oversight of the Department’s immigration authorities,” Jordan writes.
A DHS spokesperson told Fox News Digital that the agency “responds to Congressional correspondence directly through official channels, and the Department will continue to respond appropriately to Congressional oversight.”
The number of immigrants dropped sharply in June as the Biden administration’s post-Title 42 strategy took shape.
A DHS official, meanwhile, noted that it has made available to Congress an “enormous” number of personnel, documents and briefings — including 50 witnesses in more than 30 hearings in both chambers, as well as 8,000 pages of documents in response to more than 1,400 congressional letters.
It comes amid a storm of scrutiny by House Republicans on the administration. Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee recently accused Meyerkas of “dereliction of duty” while investigating his handling of the border crisis.
Republicans have blamed the administration for the crisis, saying it has rescinded “effective” Trump-era policies, including building the border wall, Title 42 and the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP). Separately, they objected to harassment. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidance, which coincided with a decrease in deportations and increased use of catch-and-release. Recently, he has also investigated the widespread use of parole to release immigrants into the United States through legal asylum pathways.
The Biden administration has pushed back against criticism, pointing to a Sharp decline in competition At the border since the end of the Title 42 public health order in May. Figures for June released last week show 144,000 immigrant arrivals for the month, the lowest number since February 2001, though still higher than the number before 2021.
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The administration has linked the drop in encounters to measures taken since Title 42 expired in May, including a significant expansion of the use of parole to expand legal immigration pathways — along with an asylum rule that limits immigrants from claiming asylum if they enter the country illegally and fail to claim asylum. However, the rule suffered a legal setback on Tuesday when a federal judge blocked it in response to a lawsuit by left-wing groups.
DHS has said it is working to create a “safe, orderly and humane immigration system” and has called on Republicans in Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation introduced on the administration’s first day — but rejected by Republicans for including a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.
“Instead of pointing fingers and pursuing baseless impeachment, Congress should work with the department and enact comprehensive legislation to fix our broken immigration system, which hasn’t been updated in decades,” a spokesman said last week.