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Testimony by Tara Lee Rodas for The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement

Editor's note: We are non-partisan. Children are being hurt. Please, watch, read, learn, and act accordingly.

Hearing Date: Wednesday 04/26/2023 – 3:00 PM Hearing Location: 2141 Rayburn House Office Building

The hearing, “The Biden Border Crisis: Exploitation of Unaccompanied Alien Children,” will examine the unprecedented surge of unaccompanied alien children at the southwest border and how open-border policies enable the exploitation of those children.

WITNESSES:

  1. Tara Lee Rodas, Health and Human Services Whistleblower, Federal Inspector General Employee
  2. Sheena Rodriguez, Founder and President, Alliance for a Safe Texas
  3. Jessica Vaughn, Director of Policy , Center for Immigration Studies
Tara Lee Rodas HHS Whistleblower Claims US Government Is Middleman In Child Trafficking Operation
Tara Lee Rodas HHS Whistleblower Claims US Government Is "Middleman" In Operation

Good afternoon, Chairman McClintock, ranking member Jayapal, and distinguished members of the committee. It's an honor to be here. I thank you for the invitation to share my testimony.

My goal is to inspire action to safeguard the lives of migrant children, including the staggering 85,000 that are missing.

Today, children will work overnight shifts at slaughterhouses, factories, and restaurants to pay their debts to smugglers and traffickers. Today, children will be sold for sex. Today, children will call a hotline to report that they are being abused, neglected, and trafficked. For nearly a decade, unaccompanied children have been suffering in the shadows.

I must confess; I knew nothing about their suffering until 2021 when I volunteered to help the Biden Administration with the crisis at the Southern Border. As part of Operation Artemis, I was deployed to the Pomona Fairplex Emergency Intake Site in California to help the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement reunite children with sponsors in the US.

I thought I was going to help place children in loving homes. Instead, I discovered that children are being trafficked through a sophisticated network that begins with being recruited in their home country, smuggled to the US border, and ends when ORR delivers a child to sponsors – some of whom are criminals, traffickers, and members of Transnational Criminal Organizations.

Some sponsors view children as commodities and assets to be used for earning income – this is why we are witnessing an explosion of labor trafficking.

Whether intentional or not, it can be argued that the US Government has become the middleman in a large-scale, multi-billion-dollar child trafficking operation run by bad actors seeking to profit off the lives of children.

As for me, my interest is in the safety of the children. I don't view this as a political issue. I view this as a humanitarian issue. My motives are the highest and best. I want to see the children protected, so I want to tell you what I witnessed at the Pomona Fairplex:

      • I saw vulnerable indigenous children from Guatemala who speak Mayan dialects and can't speak Spanish. That means they can't ask for help in English, and they can't ask for help in Spanish. These children become captive to their sponsors.

      • I've sat with Case Managers as they cried retelling horrific things that were done to children on the journey.

      • I saw apartment buildings where 20, 30, and 40 unaccompanied children have been released.

      • I saw sponsors trying to simultaneously sponsor children from multiple ORR sites.

      • I saw sponsors using multiple addresses to obtain sponsorships of children.

      • I saw numerous cases of children in , and the child knew they had to stay with the sponsor until the debt was paid.

    Realizing that we were not offering children the American dream, but instead putting them into modern-day slavery with wicked overlords, was a terrible revelation. These children are a captive victim population, with no access to law enforcement or knowledge of their rights. They are extorted, exploited, abused, neglected, and trafficked. This is why I blew the whistle.

    I've witnessed firsthand the horrors of child trafficking and exploitation. My life will never be the same. But I have hope. I'm counting on you. It's my hope you'll take action to end this crisis and safeguard the lives of these vulnerable children.

    People have asked me, “What would you do to turn the ship around?” I usually say some of the following:

    1. Commit to oversight, transparency, and accountability. The number one priority for HHS should be oversight. Data from the UC program needs to be examined by expert data analysts. This can be quickly done by experts in the IG Community at the Pandemic Analytics Center of Excellence (PACE). Children could be rescued, and criminals could be prosecuted if the PACE had access to the data in the UC portal.
    2. Stop retaliating against whistleblowers. Stop retaliating against the truth tellers who are trying to help. As it is written, “A wise man listens to advice, while a fool continues in his folly.” HHS needs to be wise.
    3. Change HHS' culture of speed over safety. Speed is the wrong performance measure.
    4. Revamp the vetting process of sponsors and have Case Managers who are investigators, data analysts, certified fraud examiners, etc.
    5. Reimagine a system where the sponsor is the accountable party. Sponsors should be required to report to ORR.

    Again, I have hope. I'm counting on you. It's my hope you'll take action to end this crisis and safeguard the lives of these vulnerable children. Thank you for your time and attention to this urgent matter. I'd be happy to answer any questions from the committee.

    Witnesses

    • Ms. Tara RodasHHS Whistleblower, Federal Inspector General EmployeeRodas Biography [PDF 272KB]Rodas Testimony [PDF 163KB]Rodas Truth and Testimony [PDF 344KB]
    • Ms. Sheena RodriguezFounder and President, Alliance for a Safe TexasRodriguez Biography [PDF 167KB]Rodriguez Testimony [PDF 98KB]Rodriguez Truth in Testimony [PDF 365KB]
    • Ms. Jessica VaughanDirector of Policy Studies, Center for Immigration Studies (CIS)Vaughan Biography [PDF 181KB]Vaughan Testimony [PDF 406KB]Vaughan Truth in Testimony [PDF 1MB]
    • Mr. Robert CareyPrinciple, Migration Works LLCCarey Biography [PDF 84KB]Carey Testimony [PDF 86KB]Carey Truth in Testimony [PDF 406KB]

    Supporting Documentation

    • A letter to Assistant Secretary of the Administration for Children and Families, January Contreras, dated October 24th, 2022 submitted to the Record by Mr. Biggs of AZ [PDF 145KB]
    • Testimony of Robin Dunn Marcos, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement submitted to the Record by Mr. Nadler of NY [PDF 203KB]
    • An article titled “Meet Latin America's First Millennial Dictator” by the Slate Group submitted to the Record by Ms. Jayapal of WA [PDF 2MB]
    • A statement submitted to the Record by Ms. Jayapal of WA [PDF 112KB]
    • A letter from the Administration for Children and Families dated January 10th, 2023 submitted for the Record by Mr. Biggs of AZ [PDF 582KB]
    • A statement for the Record by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) submitted to the Record by Ms. Jayapal of WA [PDF 196KB]
    • A statement from the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights submitted to the Record by Ms. Jayapal of WA [PDF 158KB]
    • A statement submitted to the Record by Ms. Jackson Lee of TX [PDF 235KB]

    Editor's note: we felt it would be important to include the entire transcript, so it could be referenced by our Knowledge Vault's search features.

    Transcript: THE BIDEN BORDER CRISIS: PART I

    =======================================================================
    
                                    HEARING
    
                                   BEFORE THE
    
                           COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
    
                         U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    
                        ONE HUNDRED EIGHTEENTH CONGRESS
    
                                 FIRST SESSION
                                   __________
    
                          WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2023
                                   __________
    
                                Serial No. 118-2
                                   __________
    
             Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
             
             
                      [GRAPHIC NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]         
    
    
                   Available via: http://judiciary.house.gov
                                  
                                   __________
    
                        U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE
                        
    50-918                    WASHINGTON : 2023                 
                   
                   
    
                           COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
    
                            JIM JORDAN, Ohio, Chair
    
    DARRELL ISSA, California             JERROLD NADLER, New York, Ranking 
    KEN BUCK, Colorado                       Member
    MATT GAETZ, Florida                  ZOE LOFGREN, California
    MIKE JOHNSON, Louisiana              SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
    ANDY BIGGS, Arizona                  STEVE COHEN, Tennessee
    TOM McCLINTOCK, California           HENRY C. ``HANK'' JOHNSON, Jr., 
    TOM TIFFANY, Wisconsin                   Georgia
    THOMAS MASSIE, Kentucky              ADAM SCHIFF, California
    CHIP ROY, Texas                      DAVID N. CICILLINE, Rhode Island
    DAN BISHOP, North Carolina           ERIC SWALWELL, California
    VICTORIA SPARTZ, Indiana             TED LIEU, California
    SCOTT FITZGERALD, Wisconsin          PRAMILA JAYAPAL, Washington
    CLIFF BENTZ, Oregon                  J. LUIS CORREA, California
    BEN CLINE, Virginia                  MARY GAY SCANLON, Pennsylvania
    LANCE GOODEN, Texas                  JOE NEGUSE, Colorado
    JEFF VAN DREW, New Jersey            LUCY McBATH, Georgia
    TROY NEHLS, Texas                    MADELEINE DEAN, Pennsylvania
    BARRY MOORE, Alabama                 VERONICA ESCOBAR, Texas
    KEVIN KILEY, California              DEBORAH ROSS, North Carolina
    HARRIETT HAGEMAN, Wyoming            CORI BUSH, Missouri
    NATHANIEL MORAN, Texas               GLENN IVEY, Maryland
    LAUREL LEE, Florida
    WESLEY HUNT, Texas
    RUSSELL FRY, South Carolina
    
                   CHRISTOPHER HIXON, Majority Staff Director
              AMY RUTKIN, Minority Staff Director & Chief of Staff
                                     ------                                
    
    
                                C O N T E N T S
    
                                  ----------                              
    
                          Wednesday, February 1, 2023
    
                                                                       Page
    
                               OPENING STATEMENTS
    
    The Honorable Jim Jordan, Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary 
      from the State of Ohio.........................................     1
    The Honorable Jerrold Nadler, Ranking Member of the Committee on 
      the Judiciary from the State of New York.......................     3
    
                           INTRODUCTIONS OF WITNESSES
    
    The Honorable Chip Roy, a Member of the Committee on the 
      Judiciary from the State of Texas, introduced Brandon Dunn, Co-
      founder, Forever15Project......................................     4
    The Honorable Andy Biggs, a Member of the Committee on the 
      Judiciary from the State of Arizona, introduced Mark Dannnels, 
      Sheriff, Cochise County........................................     5
    The Honorable Veronica Escobar, a Member of the Committee on the 
      Judiciary from the State of Texas, introduced Ricardo 
      Samaniego, County Judge, El Paso, Texas........................     5
    The Honorable Jim Jordan, Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary 
      from the State of Ohio, introduced Judge Dale Lynn Carruthers, 
      County Judge which was unable to attend........................     6
    
                                   WITNESSES
    
    Brandon Dunn, Co-founder, Forever15Project
      Oral Testimony.................................................     7
      Prepared Testimony.............................................     9
    Mark Dannnels, Sheriff, Cochise County
      Oral Testimony.................................................    11
      Prepared Testimony.............................................    13
    Hon. Judge Ricardo Samaniego, County Judge, El Paso, Texas
      Oral Testimony.................................................    81
      Prepared Testimony.............................................    83
    Hon. Judge Dale Lynn Carruthers, Terrell County Judge and Rancher
      Prepared Testimony.............................................    86
    
              LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC. SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
    
    All items submitted for the record by Members of the Committee on 
      the Judiciary are listed below:................................   157
    Materials submitted by the Honorable Ken Buck, a Member of the 
      Committee on the Judiciary from the State of Colorado, for the 
      record
        An article entitled, ``Rhode Island high school staff 
            solicits ``donations'' to paycartel ``coyote'' who 
            brought student to U.S.,'' January 28, 2023, Fox News
        An article entitled, ``Over 73,000 `gotaways' at southern 
            borderin November, highest ever recorded,'' December 1, 
            2022, Fox News
    Materials submitted by the Honorable Ted Lieu, a Member of the 
      Committee on the Judiciary from the State of California, for 
      the record
        An article entitled, ``Fentanyl is Smuggled for U.S. Citizens 
            by U.S. Citizens Not by Asylum Seekers,'' September 14, 
            2022, Cato Blog
    Materials submitted by the Honorable Andy Biggs, a Member of the 
      Committee on the Judiciary from the State of Arizona, for the 
      record
        An article entitled, ``El Paso forced to bus immigrants out 
            of town amid mass migration,'' August 31, 2022, New York 
            Post
        An article entitled, ``El Paso joins Gov. Greg Abbott in 
            busing migrantsto New York City,'' August 26, 2022, The 
            Texas Tribune
        An article entitled, ``El Paso looks like a `third-world 
            country' after Texas border city is overrun by 
            migrants,'' September 13, 2022, New York Post
    Materials submitted by the Honorable Pramila Jayapal, a Member of 
      the Committee on the Judiciary from the State of Washington, 
      for the record
        Statement from the American Immigration Lawyers Association 
            (AILA)
        Statement from the Church World Service (CWS)
        Statement from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights 
            (CHIRLA)
        Statement from the First Focus Campaign for Children
        Statement from the Human Rights First
        Statement from the Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
        Statement from the National Immigration Law Center (NILC)
        Statement from the National Immigration Project (NIPNLG)
        Statement from the Project on Government Oversight (POGO)
        Statement from the Southern Border Communities Coalition 
            (SBCC)
    A letter from U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB), on 
      behalf of Rep. Ivey, submitted by the Honorable Veronica 
      Escobar, a Member of the Committee on the Judiciary from the 
      State of Texas, for the record
    
                                    APPENDIX
    
    Statement from the Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, a Member of the 
      Committee on the Judiciary from the State of Texas, for the 
      record
    
     
                        THE BIDEN BORDER CRISIS: PART I
    
                                  ----------                              
    
    
                          Wednesday, February 1, 2023
    
                            House of Representatives
    
                           Committee on the Judiciary
    
                                 Washington, DC
    
        The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:28 a.m., in 
    Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, the Hon. Jim Jordan 
    [Chair of the Committee] presiding.
        Members present: Representatives Jordan, Issa, Buck, Gaetz, 
    Johnson of Louisiana, Biggs, McClintock, Tiffany, Massie, Roy, 
    Bishop, Spartz, Fitzgerald, Bentz, Cline, Gooden, Van Drew, 
    Nehls, Moore, Kiley, Hageman, Moran, Lee of Florida, Hunt, Fry, 
    Nadler, Lofgren, Johnson of Georgia, Schiff, Cicilline, 
    Swalwell, Lieu, Jayapal, Correa, Scanlon, Neguse, Dean, 
    Escobar, Ross, Bush, and Ivey.
        Chair Jordan. The Committee on Judiciary will come to 
    order.
        Without objection, the Chair is authorized to declare a 
    recess at any time.
        The Chair welcomes our guests, and we will introduce those 
    in just a few minutes.
        We will start our proceeding this morning with an opening 
    statement.
        Four point five million--
        Mr. Cicilline. Mr. Chair, point of order. We are not going 
    to begin the hearing with the Pledge of Allegiance?
        Chair Jordan. We already had it.
        Mr. Cicilline. No, no, that was the organizing meeting. I 
    am happy to lead it.
        Chair Jordan. We had today's.
        Mr. Cicilline. It doesn't say that. It says, ``each 
    hearing.'' This is our first hearing. I am happy to lead it if 
    you will designate me.
        Chair Jordan. The amendment that was adopted said that we 
    may start a hearing with the Pledge of Allegiance.
        If the gentleman is insisting on doing that, I would 
    welcome Mr. Cicilline to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
        Mr. Cicilline. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am happy to.
        [Pledge of Allegiance.]
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman for leading us in the 
    Pledge.
        I would now start with our opening statements.
        Four point five million, that is the number of illegal 
    aliens encountered by CBP officials just in the time since 
    President Biden took office; 1.7 million, the number of illegal 
    migrants that Joe Biden released into American communities; 
    2,378,944, the number of illegal migrants encountered by CBP on 
    the Southwest border in 2022--the highest number ever recorded 
    in a single year in our Nation's history; 251,487, the number 
    of illegal migrants encountered by CBP on the Southwest border 
    in the month of December of last year--the highest monthly 
    number ever recorded; 8,100, the average number of illegal 
    migrants encountered per day on the Southwest border in the 
    month of December, 2022; 717,660, the number of illegal migrant 
    encounters on the Southwest border in just the first three 
    months of this fiscal year; 1.1 million, the number of known 
    got-aways who have successfully crossed the Southwest border 
    since President Biden took office; 856, the number of migrants 
    who died attempting to cross the Southwest border during the 
    past fiscal year--again, the highest number on record; 98, the 
    number of aliens on the Terrorist Watch List encountered on our 
    Southwest border during Fiscal Year 2022--yet another record 
    set by the Biden Administration.
        Remember when Mr. Mayorkas testified in front of this 
    Committee last Congress, and we asked him about the number on 
    that Terrorist Watch List? I remember asking Mr. Mayorkas--at 
    the time it was only 40-something--we asked him about that 
    number, and we said, ``What's the status of those 
    individuals?'' His response was astonishing to every Member of 
    the Committee, both Republican and Democrat, when he said he 
    didn't know. He didn't know if they were detained. He didn't 
    know. This year, 38, the number of aliens on that Terrorist 
    Screening Data base already this year.
        A hundred and ninety-three, the number of fentanyl-related 
    deaths in the United States every single day. We are going to 
    hear from Mr. Dunn on the heartache this causes families and 
    communities, this fentanyl problem.
        These numbers make clear that the Biden Administration does 
    not have operational control of the border. Month after month 
    after month, we have set records for migrants coming into the 
    country, and frankly, I think it is intentional. I don't know 
    how anyone with common sense or logic can reach any other 
    conclusion. It seems deliberate; it seems premeditated; it 
    seems intentional.
        As if that is not bad enough, we now learn that the crisis 
    is no longer just confined to the Southwest border. Last week, 
    the Chief Border Patrol Agent in Vermont tweeted this, quote, 
    ``In less than four months, Swanton Sector's apprehensions have 
    surpassed the COMBINED two prior years.'' Just in the past four 
    months, more than the two-years combined beforehand.
        Make no mistake, the Biden Administration is carrying out 
    its plan. We all heard Secretary Mayorkas who sat in front of 
    this Committee and said, ``We are executing our plan on the 
    border.'' We all heard President Biden say, ``We're trying to 
    make it easier for people to get here.'' Well, they're 
    certainly succeeding in that.
        Imagine the frustration that our border communities feel 
    when they hear the damage done to their land and to their 
    businesses, the crimes committed by illegal alien trespassers, 
    and the overwhelmed local  are all part of their own 
    Federal Government's plan.
        Today, we will hear about some of the effects of Biden's 
    open-border policies on everyday Americans and the communities 
    in which they live. We will hear about dangerous encounters 
    with illegal migrants on private property. We will hear about 
    the devastating effects, as I said earlier, of fentanyl on 
    American families, and we will hear about Mexican smuggling 
    cartels exploiting the open border to terrorize U.S. 
    communities.
        The worst part is that none of this had to happen. Under 
    President Trump, the border was secure. Under President Biden, 
    there is no border. Americans are paying the price.
        I now recognize the Ranking Member, the gentleman from New 
    York, Mr. Nadler, once he completes his phone call, for his 
    opening statement.
        Mr. Nadler. I thank the Chair for yielding.
        I wish this Committee was starting off on a different note. 
    Unfortunately, this hearing is more of the same haphazard, 
    chaotic style we have come to expect of this new Republican 
    majority.
        We saw them take 15 tries to pick a Speaker. We saw them 
    fumble in the opening play by needing to reschedule their first 
    meeting, and now this.
        Their first hearing will showcase the racist tendencies of 
    the extreme MAGA Republican wing of the Party that seeks to 
    close the border to refugees from places like Cuba and 
    Venezuela. It almost makes me miss their usual obsession with 
    conspiracy theories and the FBI.
        Furthermore, this hearing appears to be the latest spate in 
    an ongoing turf war between Chairs Jordan and Comer. As we all 
    know, Chair Jordan's plans for his select Subcommittee cut 
    deeply into Chair Comer's jurisdiction. Not to be outdone, 
    Chair Comer announced that the Oversight Committee will hold 
    its first hearing on the subject of immigration, a topic that 
    is squarely in this Committee's jurisdiction, during the week 
    of February 6th. Turning the tables on Chair Comer once again, 
    our majority hastily threw together today's hearing to ensure 
    that we beat the Oversight Committee by a few days--without the 
    government witnesses that the Oversight Committee had time to 
    secure, of course.
        I suspect this hearing is also intended to distract from 
    the fact that Republicans have failed to pass any meaningful 
    legislation in their first month in the majority. As we all 
    know, as part of the rules package for the House, Majority 
    Leader Scalise included 11 ``ready-to-go''--in quotes--pieces 
    of legislation that were set to completely bypass regular 
    order. Many of those fell under the purview of the Judiciary 
    Committee. It appears, however, that these bills are anything 
    but ready to go. Republicans are unable to pass four of the 
    bills that were exclusively or partially under this Committee's 
    jurisdiction.
        Most relevant to today's hearing is H.R. 29, the Border 
    Safety and Security Act of 2023. This legislation has been 
    described as, quote, ``not Christian, anti-American, and trying 
    to ban legitimate asylum claims.'' Those are not my words. 
    Those are the words of Republican Congressman Tony Gonzalez of 
    Texas. He is not the only one. According to The Washington 
    Post, dozens of Republican lawmakers have raised concerns about 
    the scope of this legislation.
        Now, let's turn to today's hearing. There is no doubt that 
    the majority and their witnesses will use the same extreme 
    rhetoric we have come to expect from them. They will tell us 
    that the southern border is open; that President Biden and 
    Secretary Mayorkas opened it deliberately, and that it is 
    mostly migrants who are smuggling drugs across our southern 
    border. Of course, none of those statements are true.
        Yes, significant numbers of individuals are arriving at our 
    southern border, but the Biden Administration actually expelled 
    over 1.1 million people last year and recently expanded the use 
    of Title 42--much to the concern of many of us here on the 
    Committee.
        Additionally, the vast majority of drugs we seize are 
    encountered at ports of entry. In Fiscal Year 2022, only 17 
    percent of illicit drugs, including 15 percent of all fentanyl, 
    were seized between points of entry by the Border Patrol. The 
    rest were seized by the Office of Field Operations who are 
    stationed at ports of entry. The evidence does not show that 
    asylum seekers are bringing drugs to our shores. In fact, 
    increasingly, drug cartels are recruiting American citizens to 
    bring drugs across the border through ports of entry.
        We all agree that our immigration system is broken, but 
    let's fix the problems where they are, not where Fox News 
    talking heads imagine them to be.
        Sadly, at every turn, this extreme Republican majority 
    fails to offer genuine solutions and resorts to political 
    theater. Our colleagues across the aisle cannot even negotiate 
    in good faith with each other, let alone with us.
        If that changes, if House Republicans can get their act 
    together and work with us on meaningful solutions to serious 
    problems, as Senate Republicans appear to be willing to work 
    with Senate Democrats, then Judiciary Committee Democrats stand 
    ready to help.
        Given their behavior these past few months, I have my 
    doubts. Republicans have proposed building a wall, shutting 
    down the asylum system, and defunding the Department of 
    Homeland Security. Those are not serious proposals. They may 
    well play with the extreme's base, but they are a waste of this 
    Committee's time, and the American people deserve better.
        I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today, but I 
    would also like to take a moment and express my condolences to 
    Mr. Dunn and his family. I cannot imagine how difficult the 
    loss of your son has been for you and your wife. Thank you for 
    being here today.
        I yield back.
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman.
        I will now recognize our witnesses for today's hearing. We 
    want to thank them for being here.
        First, I want to yield to the gentleman from Texas, Mr. 
    Roy, to introduce one of our witnesses today.
        Mr. Roy. I thank the Chair.
        I wish that it were under different circumstances, but I am 
    certainly proud to have a fellow Texan here willing to share 
    the story that he is going to share with us here today. I have 
    visited at length with Brandon Dunn and his lovely wife, Janel 
    Rodriguez. They live in Hays County, Texas, where I live. They 
    live a few miles down the road.
        They have four children today. Mr. Dunn will recount the 
    loss of their son Noah last summer. They are a testament to 
    wanting to get positive change out of a loss and working hard 
    to do that.
        I am delighted to have them here to express what they are 
    going to share about the impact of open borders--hardly a lie, 
    hardly a figment of our imagination--a real impact on real 
    human beings every single day. They are going to share that 
    here today, and I thank them for coming here.
        I yield back.
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman.
        We now recognize the gentleman from Arizona to introduce 
    the sheriff with us today. Mr. Biggs is recognized.
        Mr. Biggs. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        I am pleased to introduce to the Committee one of the 
    finest lawmen in America, certainly one of the finest lawmen in 
    Arizona, Sheriff Mark Dannels from Cochise County, Arizona.
        Cochise County is a large county with a fairly sparse 
    population, but sits right on the border. It is in southeast 
    Arizona. It borders New Mexico and Mexico.
        Sheriff Dannels encounters the reality of what is happening 
    on the border, unlike those who reside in New York who say 
    there is no problem on the border and that the border is open 
    is untrue. We will hear contrary testimony today. It is open. 
    The border is dangerous. Drugs pour across. International 
    terrorists, criminal gang members, people from all over the 
    world--indeed, over 150 Nations--have come through. We can't 
    even vet most of those individuals.
        Sheriff Dannels has served his county for a long time. He 
    does a great job. He works well with the Border Patrol Agents 
    and has devised a program to protect the communities that he 
    serves in that wonderful southeastern Arizona county, which is 
    a big county.
        So, we are going to hear more from him, and I am excited to 
    have him here. He is not only a great advocate, a great 
    sheriff, a great family man, but he is a good friend of mine, 
    Sheriff Dannels.
        Thank you, Mr. Chair. I yield back.
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman.
        The Chair now recognizes the gentlelady from Texas, Ms. 
    Escobar, for an introduction.
        Ms. Escobar. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        It is my privilege to introduce to the Judiciary Committee 
    and to the American public a dear friend of mine and a great 
    leader with whom I share much in common, County Judge Ricardo 
    Samaniego. He is the El Paso County judge.
        We have a couple of things in common. I served as El Paso's 
    County Judge for many years in my time preceding my service in 
    Congress. For those unfamiliar with Texas elected politics, a 
    county judge is, essentially, the Chief elected official, the 
    County Administrator, in Texas. They are referred to as judge, 
    even though in many ways they act as the mayor of the entire 
    county.
        So, Judge Samaniego and I both have been county judge of 
    one of the safest communities in the United States of America, 
    and it is on the U.S.-Mexico border. It is a long-time 
    recipient of migrant populations at our Nation's front door. We 
    are incredibly proud of the role that we play in upholding 
    American values in a way that provides for dignity.
        Judge Samaniego and I also share another thing in common. 
    We were born and raised and are proud residents of the U.S.-
    Mexico border in El Paso, Texas.
        Judge Samaniego has done a number of things prior to 
    serving in county government. He has been in small business. He 
    has been in human resources. He has been, I think, in the 
    juvenile justice world as well.
        Judge Samaniego is here to talk to us about how communities 
    on the border like El Paso have actually been of tremendous 
    service to the Federal Government. When given the resources and 
    support, they can be a great ally in ensuring that we preserve 
    the humanity in our system that all of us should want.
        One last thing that I will say. Judge Samaniego and I both 
    were in public service, I as a Congresswoman and Judge 
    Samaniego as the County Judge, on a horrific day, August 3, 
    2019, when a domestic terrorist drove over 10 hours to our 
    community to slaughter Mexicans and immigrants. He used much of 
    the hateful, racist, bigoted, and xenophobic language; this 
    domestic terrorist did, as many politicians in Washington, DC, 
    use, as many politicians in Texas use, and unfortunately, as 
    the President of the United States at the time used. He was 
    inspired by that hateful rhetoric, and he used it to fuel his 
    hatred and massacre 23 people in a Walmart in our community.
        So, our words have power. I want to remind our Committee of 
    that. Our words have consequences.
        Judge, thank you for being here. It is a privilege to have 
    you here.
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentlelady from Texas.
        Our fourth witness could not be with us today because of 
    the ice storm in Texas. Judge Dale Lynn Carruthers is a County 
    Judge and fourth generation rancher in Terrell County, Texas. 
    She was a lifelong Democrat but switched parties because of the 
    devastating effects of the Biden border crisis on her land and 
    her community.
        Her testimony was circulated to Committee Members, but I 
    will briefly summarize her testimony because what she was going 
    to say I think is too important for the American people not to 
    hear.
        Judge Carruthers would have testified their once safe 
    community now lives in fear. Neighbors' homes have been 
    burglarized; ranchers have been stalked on their own lands, and 
    high-speed car crashes and chases are a daily hazard. One of 
    Judge Carruthers' neighbors even had his home set on fire by 
    illegal migrants, who did so to get law enforcement to come and 
    pick them up.
        Her county's limited resources have been overwhelmed 
    because of the flow of illegal aliens across the border. The 
    local high school has had to be locked due to the criminal 
    activity in their community. Illegal aliens routinely trespass 
    through Ms. Carruthers' land, cutting her fences, and causing 
    other damage to her property. Groups of illegal migrants 
    regularly dress in camouflage to cross the judge's and her 
    neighbors' land. These are not asylum seekers--not asylum 
    seekers looking to turn themselves in to Border Patrol Agents, 
    but foreign nationals trying to evade law enforcement.
        We wish she would have been able to be here today to share 
    her story in person.
        We do welcome our witnesses who were able to travel and are 
    here, and we thank you for appearing.
        We will begin by swearing you in. Would you please rise and 
    raise your right hand?
        Do you swear or affirm, under penalty of perjury, that the 
    testimony you're about to give is true and correct to the best 
    of your knowledge, information, and belief, so help you God?
        Let the record show that the witnesses answered in the 
    affirmative.
        Thank you.
        Please know that your written testimony will be entered 
    into the record in its entirety. Accordingly, we ask that you 
    summarize the testimony in five minutes. I know you were told 
    this earlier.
        The microphones in front of you have a clock and a series 
    of lights. When the light changes from green to yellow, you 
    should begin to conclude your remarks. It is pretty basic. 
    Green means go. Yellow means get ready to stop. Red means stop.
        Mr. Dunn, you may begin. We again thank you for being here 
    and the work you and your wife are doing in your foundation. 
    Like everyone on the Committee, we are sorry for the loss of 
    your son.
        Mr. Dunn, you have got your five minutes.
    
                       STATEMENT OF BRANDON DUNN
    
        Mr. Dunn. Thank you. Thank you, Committee, for having me 
    here today.
        I'm a co-founder of the Forever15Project, a nonprofit that 
    my wife Janel and I started after the passing of our son Noah.
        On August 21st, Noah died as a result of fentanyl 
    poisoning--more specifically, illicit fentanyl poisoning. He 
    was 15 years old. He was a sophomore at Johnson High School in 
    Hays County. He was murdered by a drug dealer selling 
    counterfeit Percocet pills. The pill he took contained eight 
    milligrams of fentanyl, which is four times the lethal dose. 
    There was no Percocet in the pill. There were no other drugs in 
    the pill besides illicit fentanyl.
        Noah was the third victim in less than two months in Hays 
    County from illicit fentanyl. Kevin McConville, another Hays 
    student, passed away from a counterfeit Xanax that contained 
    illicit fentanyl, and Ryan Garcia, also of Hays CISD, passed 
    from a counterfeit Percocet pill.
        Since then, we have attended many seminars and summits, one 
    by the DEA in Houston, Texas. So, now, we're very familiar with 
    all the information regarding illicit fentanyl.
        Illicit fentanyl is primarily manufactured in Mexico by the 
    drug cartels and smuggled through our southern border. It is 
    true that most seizures happen at border checkpoints. I believe 
    60 percent of all fentanyl seized last year was in San Diego 
    and Imperial Valley. However, due to the lethality of this 
    drug, any amount smuggled in a backpack or a fanny pack, or 
    even in somebody's pocket, can be enough to kill thousands of 
    people.
        So, as you can see, it's not just a border checkpoint 
    issue. Any amount over, I would--probably under one milligram 
    could be lethal in some instances, but two milligrams is the 
    most common number put out there. Without immediate medical 
    intervention, a person is not likely to survive. That's how 
    fast it kills.
        In our activism work, we've come across several families 
    that have also lost their children to this illegal drug or this 
    illicit drug. It's both sides of the political aisle. For us, 
    this isn't a political issue. This is an issue about the safety 
    of our children and the citizens of this country.
        We're working with several State legislatures who are 
    primarily Democrats in our area on legislation to stop this 
    from happening as well.
        So, it's a definite problem that's impacting our 
    communities. I don't have time to read the names, but in the 
    five-months since Noah's passing, we've met 28 other families 
    who've lost primarily teenagers to this drug. The current 
    statistic is it's the No. 1 killer from 18-45 years old. 
    Honestly, we believe that next year that number will probably 
    drop to 15-45 years old, and we've had some children as young 
    as 13 years old die from this drug.
        Thank you.
        [The prepared statement of Mr. Dunn follows:]
    
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        Chair Jordan. Thank you, Mr. Dunn. We appreciate you and 
    your wife being here today.
        Sheriff, you are recognized for five minutes.
    
                       STATEMENT OF MARK DANNELS
    
        Mr. Dannels. Good morning, Hon. Chair Jordan, Ranking 
    Member Nadler, and distinguished Members of this Committee.
        I appreciate the opportunity to address this Committee 
    regarding the status of our southern border from the optics of 
    a community and local law enforcement perspective.
        I have served our border communities for 38-plus years, and 
    prior to that, as a member of the United States Army. I 
    currently serve on national, western, and southwest border 
    sheriff associations, and we have three objectives: Public 
    safety, national security, and humanitarian.
        In my submitted brief, I have shared with you all the 
    overview of Cochise County and the history of our border. I 
    have personally experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly of 
    being a border county. Currently, this is the ugliest I've 
    experienced. I am proud of our relationships with our local law 
    enforcement partners--local, State, and Federal--that serve our 
    communities.
        To best understand my presentation is to understand where 
    we were over two years ago. My county was one of the safest 
    border counties, based on our collective government efforts, 
    messaging, and, yes, enforcement operations supported by the 
    rule of law.
        What's the direct impact to my county? My citizens and law 
    enforcement address mostly got-aways, the fight-and-flight 
    syndrome, in my county versus those giving up--100 percent 
    camouflaged migrants being illegally smuggled by the cartels 
    with a price tag of, per undocumented alien, begins at $7,000 
    and up. These smugglers include juveniles being recruited via 
     by the cartels. Border-related bookings, retention 
    costs within my jail in calendar year 2022 was $4.3 million, 
    absorbed by my local and State taxpayers.
        Border-related crimes are at an all-time high--death, 
    murder investigations, aggravated acts against my citizens, 
    failure to yield, search and rescue, plus recoveries, and, yes, 
    assaults against law enforcement officials. My deputies have 
    been placed in life-threatening scenarios, as the cartels show 
    no regard for my citizens and those that wear a badge.
        Agents, troopers, deputies, and officers are addressing 
    dangerous scenarios and criminals as a direct result of an open 
    border being exploited by the criminal cartels for violence, 
    fear, and greed. In calendar year 2022, 1,578 suspects were 
    booked in my jail for border-related crimes. Only 78 were 
    foreign-born.
        In 2021, over five million dosages of fentanyl were seized 
    on the Arizona border. In 2022, over 20 million dosages were 
    seized. In 2022, over 12,000 pounds of fentanyl were seized on 
    the Southwest border.
        I want to share a personal tragedy with you of a good 
    citizen named Wanda in my county. She was heading to her 65th 
    birthday party to meet her family and her son, when a 16-year-
    old USC who fled from law enforcement, the deputies, was 
    carrying three undocumented aliens; ran his vehicle through a 
    red light at deadly speeds, cutting her vehicle in half and 
    killing her.
        In closing, my fellow sheriffs and I have tried to partner 
    with this administration, to include the President of the 
    United States--with high hopes to share a collective message, a 
    collective action plan, support the rule of law, prioritize our 
    southern border, and provide updates, reference community 
    impacts and concerns--with little to no success.
        By allowing our border security mission and immigration 
    laws to be discretionary, these criminal cartels continue to be 
    the true winners. Their exploitation of mankind is simply 
    modern-day slavery, allowing thousands of pounds of illicit 
    drugs into our country that continue to erode core values of 
    families, schools, and subsequently, killing an average of 300 
    Americans every day. It's unacceptable at any level.
        Experiencing migrant deaths without a reasonable process, 
    while Members of the U.S. Congress and this administration 
    intentional avoid reality, is gross negligence. Our voice of 
    reason has been buried during what I call intellectual 
    avoidance by this administration, and, yes, Members of the U.S. 
    Congress.
        Communities have been neglected and abandoned, to rely on 
    our local and State resources to address a border that is in a 
    crisis mode. Our southern border, against all public comfort 
    statements out of Washington, DC, is the worst shape I've ever 
    seen it. When I look at public safety, national security, and 
    humanitarian on our southern border, this is the largest crime 
    scene in this country.
        The morale of agents is extremely low, and the collective 
    frustration is very high among law enforcement at all levels, 
    and most important, the citizens of my county. With the 
    efforts, recent efforts to cancel Title 42, this only serves to 
    complex a border that needs immediate immigration reform by the 
    U.S. Congress, but, most important, needs to be secured.
        I'm a true believer that Customs and Border Patrol are the 
    experts on border security, while sheriffs and police chiefs 
    are the experts of community. Together, this is a recipe of 
    success for all communities.
        I will leave you with this final statement: We all serve 
    the priorities of Americans based on our shared oath of office 
    to keep them safe, enhance their quality of life, and support 
    the rule of law, absent political affiliation or the concern of 
    reelection. I ask each one of you to reflect on this statement 
    as you make your next decision to vote.
        Once again, I thank this Committee for the invitation and 
    opportunity, and now stand ready to answer any questions here 
    in a few minutes. Thank you, everybody.
        [The prepared statement of Mr. Dannels follows:]
    
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        Chair Jordan. Thank you, Sheriff.
        I now recognize Judge Samaniego. I think I got that right.
        Judge, thank you for being here.
        You have got five minutes. Just hit your microphone.
    
             STATEMENT OF THE HON. JUDGE RICARDO SAMANIEGO
    
        Judge Samaniego. Members of the Judiciary Committee, thank 
    you for inviting me to testify.
        My name is Ricardo Samaniego. I'm an elected County Judge 
    of El Paso, Texas.
        Chair Jordan. Judge, can you pull that a little closer?
        Judge Samaniego. Pardon me?
        Chair Jordan. Pull that a little closer. There you go. 
    Thank you.
        Judge Samaniego. El Paso, Texas, one of the safest, largest 
    communities in America and the veterans' capital of the USA, 
    where I serve a population of almost 900,000 residents in a 
    metroplex consisting of El Paso, Texas to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico 
    and Las Cruces, New Mexico. These three cities form a combined 
    International Metropolitan Area of 2.7 million individuals and 
    constitutes the largest bilingual and binational workforce in 
    the Western Hemisphere.
        I would like to start by emphasizing that over four years 
    ago Customs and Border Patrol requested the assistance of 
    myself and other local officials. I believe we truly stepped up 
    to the request and facilitated their internal processes.
        El Paso, Texas has been the epicenter of the migrant surge, 
    both recently and nearly four years ago, when border 
    communities such as mine were faced with unprecedented numbers 
    of migrants who were seeking to enter our country through El 
    Paso. We have learned how to safely, humanely, and 
    expeditiously treat asylum seekers who pass through our 
    community on their way to unite with sponsors. I'm here today 
    to share the El Paso story, a success story which strikes a 
    delicate balance between security and compassion.
        However, before I tell you the story, I must disabuse you 
    of information which I personally know to be false. There is no 
    open border in El Paso. Immigrants seeking asylum largely 
    present themselves to Border Patrol for processing. El Paso is 
    required to abide by the same immigration laws that other 
    border communities must follow. There's no invasion of migrants 
    in our community, nor are there hordes of undocumented 
    immigrants committing crimes against citizens or causing havoc 
    in our community.
        Claiming this continues a false racist narrative against 
    these individuals who perpetuate violence that the El Paso 
    community is all too familiar with. When our citizens were the 
    target of a racially motivated mass shooting August 3, 2019, 
    they killed 23 El Pasoans and Mexican citizens and wounded 26 
    other innocent bystanders. Our community was deeply devastated 
    by this tragedy.
        Third, humanitarianism and security are not a binary 
    choice. It is the Federal Government's responsibility to do 
    both. Provided with the sufficient financial support, we can 
    assist the Federal Government in fulfilling its mandate. Our 
    initiatives, efforts, and processes are directed to avoid any 
    type of chaos.
        When El Paso County was faced with the increasing number of 
    asylum seekers, we established a Migrant Support Service Center 
    to assist migrants to connect with their relatives and sponsors 
    and guide them with a same-day, self-paid travel arrangement 
    process. Approximately 35-45 percent of these migrants fall in 
    this category. The benefit of this process is that migrants are 
    moved quickly and safely out of our community at their own 
    expense.
        The center opened on October 10, 2022, and has the capacity 
    to assist up to 1,000 per day. To date, the center has assisted 
    26,829 asylum seekers. No immigrant is placed on a bus and 
    shipped to another city without coordination and a sponsor 
    waiting at the receiving city.
        El Paso's partnership with Catholic Charities of Houston is 
    a great example of interjurisdictional cooperation. With 
    Federal funds, Catholic Charities has chartered a bus daily 
    traveling from El Paso to Houston with 52 passengers manifested 
    with confirmed self-paid travel for flights out of Houston the 
    following day. This model initiated discussions with 
    collaboration with other interstate and intrastate partners 
    such as Dallas, Austin, and Denver.
        When the city of El Paso declared a disaster, we did not 
    get the resources we needed, but, instead, saw the State of 
    Texas National Guard, the placement of barbed wire lined 
    haphazardly in certain areas, and pseudo-barriers of tanks and 
    cargo containers were put up. Right to the city's declaration, 
    I had sent correspondence and communicated with various State 
    officials that what my community needed was assistance with 
    transportation, staffing, food, and sheltering. The State never 
    addressed these that we requested.
        To be sure, we cannot locally resolve the immigration 
    issues facing our country. So, finally, I want to take the 
    opportunity to thank our Congresswoman, Veronica Escobar, for 
    her leadership and for consistently ensuring that the Federal 
    Government is aware of the realities on the ground.
        So, I thank you for being here. I welcome you to our 
    beautiful community. I would love to host and I'll be happy to 
    answer any questions at this time.
        [The prepared statement of the Hon. Judge Samaniego 
    follows:]
    
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        Chair Jordan. Thank you.
        We are now proceeding under the five-minute rule with 
    questions.
        The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California, Mr. 
    Issa.
        Mr. Issa. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        Mr. Dunn, yes, I know the list of names of people who in 
    many cases thought they were taking one drug and died of 
    fentanyl is long. One of the names that you probably have on 
    your list is Matt Capelouto in Riverside County and his 
    daughter, who thought she was taking a Xanax and died. She 
    actually only took half of it as part of her study routine and 
    died of fentanyl overdose. That has led to a murder charge in 
    Riverside County, and our District Attorney is prosecuting 
    that. How it will end, we'll see, but it certainly is an 
    example of the kind of response that I hope both the Federal 
    Government and the State and local will start looking, that 
    these people who traffic in that leading to these tragic deaths 
    are more than just drug dealers; they're murderers.
        I want to thank you for being here today.
        Sheriff, I am going to primarily talk to you because the 
    judge, I think rightfully so, gave us a good example of 
    facilitating undocumented workers who have been released into 
    this country getting around the country, and all the 
    humanitarians work they do.
        First, are those the people you run into?
        Mr. Dannels. Congressman, it's not. We don't get the give-
    ups--I can't remember speaking with our Border Patrol, CBP 
    Agents--we don't get give-ups in Cochise County. What we get is 
    the got-aways, the ones that are camouflaged 100 percent from 
    bootie to headgear, that fight and flight, do whatever it takes 
    to get away from us.
        Mr. Issa. So, out of five million people that have come 
    here, we could be talking, the judge could be talking about a 
    million who just want opportunity, maybe jobs, but that is not 
    who you are dealing with? You are dealing with the other at 
    least a million who are often repeat criminals and are evading 
    to perpetrate crimes?
        Mr. Dannels. That is correct.
        Mr. Issa. I want to go through a couple of quick quotes 
    because you're at the border. I, too, am at the border. I have 
    a little over 50 miles of the Mexican border in California. So, 
    these quotes are particularly important to me.
        The Secretary of Homeland Security said, ``The border is 
    closed. The border is secure,'' in March 2021. Was that true 
    then?
        Mr. Dannels. No.
        Mr. Issa. Is it true now?
        Mr. Dannels. No.
        Mr. Issa. He, additionally, said, ``We are working day-in 
    and day-out to enhance its security.'' He said that November 
    16, 2022. Had you seen that kind of improvement?
        Mr. Dannels. No, I have not.
        Mr. Issa. You haven't, as of today?
        Just a few days ago, he said, ``The border is not open.'' 
    Would you agree with that?
        Mr. Dannels. No. If I could support that statement, also, 
    the majority of people--just to give an example, we have an 
    interdiction team that goes out almost daily. Yesterday, they 
    were out for their shift; had 15 smuggling events. We had a 
    media crew riding with them yesterday. The majority of people 
    we talk to, the migrants that have been smuggled, which I call 
    modern-day slavery, what they're doing to these people, they 
    tell us the reason they're here is because of President Biden 
    and the welcoming sign.
        Mr. Issa. Now, the Vice President said, just a few months 
    ago, ``The border is secure. We have secured the border.'' 
    Would that also be inaccurate?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes, it would.
        Mr. Issa. Now, a lot of people talk about the Trump era 
    versus now. Is it fair to say that it got better, but it was 
    still a difficult time for you, even then, with some of what 
    you were dealing with at the border?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes. After 38, almost 48, years of working 
    this border, I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was 
    better under President Trump. This is, like I said, this is the 
    worst I've seen, mainly because of the aggression by the 
    cartels and the aggravated acts toward law enforcement and the 
    community.
        Mr. Issa. want you to take the remaining time and just tell 
    us, that difference between the Trump era and now with the 
    border wide open, what does it do for your ability to provide 
    law enforcement for other purposes to your county?
        Mr. Dannels. Well, with the amount of arrests we had in 
    2022, our border population, or it's been border crimes that's 
    been arrested and booked in my jail equates to about 40-44 
    percent of all the population in my jail. If you equate that 
    back into the patrol side of it for the troopers, the local law 
    enforcement, and sheriff's office, we're spending a lot of time 
    keeping our community safe, diverted from the normal stuff that 
    we do, the proactive stuff, into addressing border crimes.
        Mr. Issa. Thank you.
        Mr. Chair, I yield back.
        Chair Jordan. The gentleman yields back.
        The gentleman from New York, the Ranking Member, Mr. 
    Nadler, is recognized.
        Mr. Nadler. I thank the Chair for yielding.
        Mr. Dunn, again, I want to express my sincerest condolences 
    to you and your family, and I want to thank you for being here 
    today.
        Judge Samaniego, I want to turn to you. Thank you so much 
    for coming today. Having a witness who has grown up and lived 
    on the border is so imperative. Your knowledge and lived 
    experience are invaluable for policymakers here in Washington.
        Unfortunately, the Republican majority seems interested 
    only in showboating. They continuously talk about a so-called 
    Biden border crisis, even though this administration has kept 
    in place numerous policies from the Trump Administration that 
    many of my colleagues and I have expressed concerns about.
        Judge Samaniego, in your testimony you note safety and 
    compassion are not mutually exclusive. I think this is a very 
    important point. As Republican Representative Tony Gonzalez 
    stated over the weekend,
    
            Border security and immigration are two separate topics. One 
            can be for a strong border security presence that prevents 
            terrorists, fentanyl, and bad actors from entering our country, 
            and one can be for welcoming future Americans in through the 
            front door.
    
    Judge Samaniego, can you discuss how El Paso has balanced these 
    two competing dynamics, ensuring the safety of its citizens 
    while also being compassionate toward migrants?
        Judge Samaniego. Thank you.
        One of the things that we've recognized is our 
    collaboration. We're not reacting at this point. We've been 
    working four years. Almost every Friday we meet with law 
    enforcement; we meet with Border Patrol, the diocese, the 
    NGO's. We know that, by doing what we do right, the whole 
    Nation benefits from that. If we do not process the migrants 
    properly, then it falls on other cities.
        I think El Paso is extremely, focused on the fact that 
    we're not a community, but a part of a Nation. If we do not do 
    the right things, then New York gets hit, and other communities 
    get hit, simply by the fact that there's an unorganized 
    process.
        Our strategy is really very organized, very compassionate, 
    and making sure that we get individuals in the right place at 
    the right time. So, when we have someone like from New York 
    that comes to El Paso, the mayor, to tell us to help them 
    through this process, obviously, that's why we're there. Our 
    impact is not just on our community. Our impact, I believe it's 
    on the values of our Constitution, of the values, in my case, 
    as a Democrat. We make sure that we're helping the rest of the 
    country. If we don't do things right, then I can guarantee you 
    that the impact is going to fall on the other cities around the 
    country.
        Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
        We keep hearing from our Republican colleagues that the 
    border is open, and that Biden caused this crisis. Could you 
    comment on this?
        Judge Samaniego. Well, we don't see that. We process every 
    individual that comes through. We make sure we coordinate. We 
    get a lot of information.
        I must emphasize, it was the Border Patrol and the Federal 
    Government that asked us to step up as a community. When we 
    don't do the right things, it backs up their system. They start 
    getting more and more people. The detention centers are 
    extremely limited compared to what a community can do. So, 
    either you put the pressure on the Federal Government or you 
    put the pressure on a community that has almost 14 sites where 
    we get, we could get people sheltered. We can process people. 
    Like I said, 35-40 percent are individuals that already have a 
    sponsor; they have money, and they can move into, to the 
    communities, into other communities.
        We get a lot of calls of a lot of States and cities 
    throughout the country that want migrants. If we do the right 
    thing and we process them, then we can get the migrants to 
    them, as well as to help our community.
        We talk about three things. It's safety, which is extremely 
    important for our community, humanitarianism, and the economy. 
    If we do not do things right, then I can guarantee it impacts 
    the entire economy.
        We've seen it when things be getting strained, and the 
    movement of product doesn't come into the country. We get hit 
    extremely hard. We get a lot of calls about moving, not moving 
    the traffic properly. We're one of the largest movers of 
    products in the whole country. So, we do things right, and I 
    feel that everybody gainsfrom our efforts.
        Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
        One of the topics you touched on in your testimony is the 
    need for all levels of government and nonprofits to work 
    together to effectively process the migrants who are crossing 
    the border. Do you have a good relationship with Immigration 
    and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection? Can 
    you discuss how often you coordinate with them?
        Judge Samaniego. Every--once a month, we have--one of the 
    missing elements is that we don't get support from the State. 
    If we had the three--you need the local government. You need 
    the Federal Government. The missing component, and because of 
    political reasons, we don't get that third part of the stool.
        That is extremely, extremely important to us. We need their 
    support. We don't need militia. We don't need policing. Our 
    strategy has been extremely effective without using law 
    enforcement. We suffer tremendously by not having the proper 
    support from the State government.
        Mr. Nadler. Thank you. My time has expired. I yield back.
        Chair Jordan. The gentleman yields back.
        The gentleman from Colorado is recognized.
        Mr. Buck. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        Since President Biden took office, we have seen a 
    tremendous surge in the Terrorist Watch List arrests at the 
    southern border. There were two Terrorist Watch List arrests in 
    Fiscal Year 2017, six in 2018, zero in 2019, three in 2020. In 
    2021, President Biden's first year in office, Terrorist Watch 
    List arrests surged to 15. In 2022, there were 98 terrorists 
    arrested at the southern border. In this Fiscal Year so far, 
    there have been 38 arrests.
        According to Border Patrol, there have been approximately 
    1.2 million known got-aways since President Biden took office. 
    In November alone, 73,000 border crossers evaded/overwhelmed 
    Border Patrol Agents, but were detected by other forms of 
    surveillance. These crossers are known as got-aways. Often, 
    these border crossers are evading being caught by Border Patrol 
    because they have a criminal record or contraband to hide, 
    unlike most migrants who cross with the explicit intention to 
    meet Border Patrol.
        Today, I want to ask about other sinister news in the 
    immigration space. I have a copy here of an email circulated 
    last Thursday, January 26th, at Mount Pleasant High School in 
    Rhode Island. Its Assistant Principal Stefani Harvey, someone 
    with a doctorate in education, is fundraising among its faculty 
    and staff to pay a debt to a cartel that trafficked a student.
        The email, calling it an urgent matter, reads,
    
            We have a student who came to America with ``Coyote,'' which is 
            a group that helps people. This group gives you a timeframe to 
            make a payment of $5,000 to those who bring them into the 
            States. Our student needs our urgent support to raise another 
            $2,000 to meet his goal of $5,000 by February 1st, 2023.
    
    Sheriff, is this helpful?
        Mr. Dannels. Is it--I'm sorry, sir?
        Mr. Buck. Is this helpful to have a faculty raising money 
    to pay a Mexican cartel to bring someone into the country?
        Mr. Dannels. Congressman, no.
        Mr. Buck. OK. The Ranking Member said that many of 
    President Trump's policies have been continued. Is the fence 
    continuing to be built on the southern border?
        Mr. Dannels. No.
        Mr. Buck. Is the remain in Mexico policy being continued?
        Mr. Dannels. No.
        Mr. Buck. Is the agreement with the Northern Triangle 
    countries to immediately deport illegal immigrants who come 
    into this country, has that policy been continued?
        Mr. Dannels. No.
        Mr. Buck. Sheriff, let me ask you something. We now have in 
    this country two million individuals who have gone through the 
    entire process and have been adjudicated for removal. In other 
    words, they came to this country. They applied for asylum. They 
    weren't entitled to asylum. They came here for economic 
    reasons. So, they went through. They had due process. They have 
    been adjudicated. They have been ordered removed, and the 
    President of the United States has instructed ICE not to seek 
    those individuals and remove them from the country--two 
    million. What is the impact of an order like that in terms of 
    welcoming people who are coming to this country for all the 
    wrong reasons?
        Mr. Dannels. Well, Congressman, that's one of the things 
    that has changed with the two administrations that I've seen, 
    is the former President had a very strong message that--
        Mr. Buck. When you say, ``former President,'' President 
    Trump?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes, sir. That if you come to the country, you 
    break our laws, there's consequences. Under the current one, 
    that's not being--the rule of law is not being fulfilled.
        Mr. Buck. OK. I guess just to further that a little bit, 
    the impact on individuals that are considering coming to this 
    country, when they know, if they come to this country there is 
    going to be a consequence, a negative consequence for them, 
    or--and I am not even talking about a welcome mat. We welcome 
    immigrants to this country. We welcome people who want to go 
    through the process the right way, who want legal immigration. 
    When they know that they are coming to this country and there 
    is no consequence to come to this country illegally, and even 
    when they lose in court and they are ordered removed, the 
    United States won't remove them under this administration, and 
    there is this hope for an amnesty program to go through 
    Congress or, informally, as President Obama did--and this 
    President will probably do the same thing--issue an Executive 
    Order with the stroke of a pen to give people amnesty, what is 
    the impact on people being attracted to this country for all 
    the wrong reasons?
        Mr. Dannels. Well, Congressman, there's a couple.
    
        (1)  Is they keep coming, and we're seeing that on the 
    border.
    
        (2)  It's a fracture of our rule of law--the oath that I 
    take, you all take, and share it.
    
        (3)  Last, but not least, is it's an insult to all law 
    enforcement--State, local, and Federal--trying to do our best 
    to secure this border.
    
        Mr. Buck. Thank you. I yield back.
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
        Mr. Buck. Mr. Chair, I have two articles that I would like 
    to offer for the record. One from Fox News, published January 
    28th, and another one published December 1st.
        Chair Jordan. Without objection, they will be entered into 
    the record.
        The Chair now recognizes the gentlelady from California.
        Ms. Lofgren. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        First, let me just thank you, Mr. Dunn, for your compelling 
    testimony and offer my deepest sympathy and prayers for your 
    family and your lost son. All of us feel that way on this dais.
        It is important to note that I think every Member of this 
    Committee wants to have order at the border. We want laws that 
    can be enforced. We also need to take a good look at really 
    what is happening. If you take a look at who is coming into the 
    United States without benefit of a visa, it is a mix.
        Some individuals are coming from communist countries, like 
    Venezuela, Nicaragua, or Cuba, and they are coming to seek 
    asylum because they have been persecuted. That is permitted 
    under immigration law, and yet, the numbers have made it 
    difficult to process that in an orderly way.
        Some are coming, just like my grandparents, for economic 
    reasons. They want to have a better life for them and their 
    family. There is really in most cases no way for that to happen 
    in a lawful manner.
        Some are bad guys, and especially they are coming through 
    more rural areas. I think that is why the sheriff is seeing 
    what he is seeing.
        I think it is important, as we think about what to do, and 
    what strategies will be effective, we need to think about those 
    different categories of individuals.
        We spend more money today on the Border Patrol than ever 
    before in the history of the country. We spend more money on 
    immigration enforcement than all other Federal law enforcement 
    combined. So, it is not as if we are unwilling to pay for 
    enforcement.
        I note that the wall that some feel will be the answer, on 
    average, was breached last year once every 11 minutes. It was 
    breached over 4,000 times. So, I don't know that this is really 
    the answer that people think it is.
        Now, just taking a look at the Cubans, and the Nicaraguans, 
    and the Venezuelans, for example, the administration created a 
    parole program just recently for a safe and organized process 
    for migrants seeking protection as asylum seekers. When they 
    did, the number of people coming irregularly dropped. My 
    understanding is that, between the ports of entry, individuals 
    seeking asylum from those countries dropped 97 percent.
        If you put yourself in the place of that individual, if 
    there is a way to get safe haven, you are going to take that 
    rather than risk your life walking through the jungle. What we 
    don't have is reform of the immigration laws that would give 
    some opportunity for people seeking economic advancement to 
    have a hope that this could happen.
        I think that is really on us, on the Congress. In this last 
    Congress and the Congress before that, we had a Farm Workforce 
    Modernization Act. It got broad support, a big, bipartisan vote 
    in the Congress. It died in the Senate. We know that more than 
    half the farm workers in the United States are undocumented. 
    Yet, we need farm workers in the country.
        If there is a way to have an orderly system, I think that 
    would help us a lot as a country. So, we all want order at the 
    border. A humanitarian crisis is not best solved at the border. 
    We need to take a look, and I have urged that, not just the 
    United States, but other Western Hemisphere countries work 
    together to try and bring stability to the three countries in 
    Central America that are really the origin of many of those 
    fleeing. We have not succeeded at that.
        So, let me just close with this, Judge. You have seen the 
    people coming into your city. Why are they coming to the United 
    States, the people that you have met in your city?
        Judge Samaniego. Well, they're extremely passionate. I wish 
    most of our citizens had the passion and the desire to be in 
    our country like they do. I have heard a lot of different 
    stories. One of them is the fact that they stand up for their 
    rights in their country, and then, they're persecuted because 
    of that. They're asked not to do those kinds of things.
        Ms. Lofgren. Right.
        Judge Samaniego. Like, you know, they get targeted. I get a 
    lot of them telling me that they're still--their parents will 
    call and say, you know, ``They go to my house every single day 
    and find out where I'm at.'' So, they're very passionate about 
    coming here, extremely passionate about working. They all say 
    the same thing, that they're very willing and able to work here 
    in the United States.
        Ms. Lofgren. Thank you.
        Mr. Chair, I see my time has expired.
        Chair Jordan. The gentlelady yields back.
        The gentleman from Louisiana is recognized, Mr. 
    Johnson.I21Mr. Johnson of Louisiana. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        Mr. Dunn, we mourn the loss of your son Noah and the 
    hundreds of thousands of other victims and families who have 
    been irreparably damaged by this catastrophe.
        I would note that, of course, China and the Mexican drug 
    cartels are taking full advance of this wide-open Southwest 
    border. We all know that. That is what the testimony reflects.
        We have recorded amounts, record amounts, of deadly 
    fentanyl that are coming into American neighborhoods all over 
    the country. Last year alone, over 100,000 Americans died of a 
    drug overdose. The fentanyl poisoning is a key component of 
    that, and we know it.
        My questions are going to be for the sheriff, but I just 
    want to recount a couple of facts here, so that everybody back 
    home can take account.
        Since President Biden took office, U.S. Customs and Border 
    Protection officials have encountered over 4.5 million illegal 
    aliens across the Southwest border. It has been said a few 
    times; we are going to say it repeatedly today: The number is 
    disastrous. If we do not have a border, we do not have a 
    Nation. We cannot maintain our sovereignty and security if we 
    don't have a border.
        Nearly 1.7 million of those illegal aliens encountered 
    across the Southwest border have been released into America's 
    communities. They are coming into my community, my State, and 
    all of ours. It is all over the country now.
        During Fiscal Year 2022, CBP encountered 2,378,000-plus 
    illegal aliens--the most in any single year. That broke the 
    record from 2021, which is the second-largest number. Just 
    during December 2022, CBP encountered 251,487 illegal aliens 
    crossing the border. It is the highest number ever encountered 
    in a single month.
        The point is: This gets worse and worse and worse. Why is 
    that? Well, because the Biden Administration has been reversing 
    the vast majority of the Trump Administration's successful 
    border enforcement policies. They are systematically, they are 
    intentionally, Secretary Mayorkas and his administration, they 
    are dismantling immigration enforcement. They are encouraging 
    illegal immigration--encouraging it, inviting people to come 
    here. That has been happening for the last two years. That is 
    beyond refute. That is what the evidence shows. That is what 
    everybody can see who cares to pay attention to this.
        They have terminated the construction of the border wall. 
    The Biden Administration issued orders restricting the 
    immigration officers' ability to arrest, detain, and remove 
    aliens who violate U.S. law. I can go on and on and on.
        Sheriff Dannels, you have been in law enforcement for 
    nearly four decades. You testified; you gave some very 
    compelling testimony this morning about all the problems that 
    you have encountered.
        The question is, have you tried to share those concerns 
    with the Biden Administration? If so, how did the 
    administration respond?
        Mr. Dannels. That's--yes. Thank you, Congressman.
        We actually have, on behalf of the National Sheriffs' 
    Association. I chair border security for National Sheriffs. Our 
    National Sheriffs, senior leadership has attempted through 
    letters to reach out to President Biden. He has been invited to 
    our events with Major County Sheriffs, Western Sheriffs, 
    Southwest Border, and National. We have never got a response 
    back from this President. In fact, I was told just a couple of 
    months ago he's the first President not to meet with sheriffs 
    in this country. He still has not to date that I--to my 
    knowledge.
        Second to that is we did meet with Secretary Mayorkas. We 
    reached out. I assembled about a dozen sheriffs. We met in El 
    Paso. We sat down with the Secretary. We gave him a 16-point 
    action plan to share, to look at, with our common-sense 
    humanitarian and public safety, national security objectives 
    built within that. Never heard back.
        I asked the Secretary where that plan was, what they were 
    going to do with it. He asked me, ``What plan?'' So, long story 
    short is we've never got a response back from the Secretary.
        Mr. Johnson of Louisiana. It is an absolute dereliction of 
    duty. It is inexcusable. Because of Secretary Mayorkas and the 
    Biden Administration's abandonment of any semblance of security 
    on the border, what policies or procedures have you had to 
    implement to cover for that?
        Mr. Dannels. Well, again, it goes back to where the 
    honorable judge is talking about the absence of the State, we 
    have the absence of the Federal Government.
        One thing I'll say I think is important to your question 
    is, I work with many Border Patrol Agents, Federal agents. To 
    date, I have not heard one say that it's working. The morale, 
    the frustration they feel, the frustration we feel, and let's 
    not forget we all serve communities in this country. We have 
    had to step up our game.
        Again, when you look at 40-45 percent of all your crime is 
    coming through the border, in my rural county I don't have the 
    pleasure of the resources like El Paso, which is urban in 
    nature; that we've had to step up, and thanks to Governor Ducey 
    and our State, and our State legislative folks, the $4.3 
    million, they're helping me pay those bills. In a rural county, 
    that's a huge impact. When it comes to our interdiction teams, 
    our camera system, you name it, the State is helping us.
        Mr. Johnson of Louisiana. I am out of time. I yield back.
        I thank you for your service and all those brave men and 
    women who are serving in that impossible situation.
        Mr. Dannels. Thank you, Congressman.
        Mr. Johnson of Louisiana. I yield back.
        Mr. McClintock. [Presiding.] The gentleman yields back. The 
    gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Johnson.
        Mr. Johnson of Georgia. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Mr. Dunn, my 
    condolences to you on the loss of your dear son. Sheriff 
    Dannels, thank you for your service, sir.
        Mr. Dannels. Thank you.
        Mr. Johnson of Georgia. For years we have listened to MAGA 
    Republicans decry a so-called invasion at our southern border. 
    Now that they have a House majority, MAGA Republicans are in 
    charge. MAGA Republicans are responsible for coming up with 
    solutions. Unfortunately, this hearing is nothing more than a 
    distraction from the fact that my MAGA friends cannot agree on 
    the problem or the solution.
        The House Republican border security plan is so extreme 
    that it is opposed by dozens of their own Members. Their plan 
    has been called extreme, anti-American, and not Christian. That 
    is how Republicans describe it.
        What we do know is that the MAGA Republican plan will shut 
    down asylum to everyone, including those fleeing Communist 
    totalitarian regimes and young children who are crossing the 
    border alone to flee gang violence. This draconian and cruel 
    policy will only diminish America's standing in the world.
        Meanwhile, President Biden has shown that we can lower the 
    number of unauthorized border crossings while still treating 
    migrants with dignity and humanity. Immigration is much more 
    than a scary B-roll on Fox News or inflammatory Twitter posts. 
    It is about our fellow human beings.
        Migrants who arrive with nothing but the clothes on their 
    backs work hard to build new lives here. Indeed, immigrants are 
    important for our communities and our economy because of the 
    skills they bring to the contributions that they make to our 
    society.
        New Americans in my district are small business owners who 
    pay their taxes, enrich our neighborhoods, and help newer 
    members of the community. For example, they have set up 
    numerous businesses and vibrant and economically successful 
    locations where they can even employ other immigrants and 
    Americans. At Refugee Coffee in Clarkston, Georgia, they even 
    have a food pantry where they leave groceries for anyone that 
    might be in need. Immigrants are vital to my district. We 
    appreciate them.
        Now, while Republicans resort to political stunts at the 
    border and theatrical hearings like this one, Democrats stand 
    ready to fix a broken immigration system. We have a 
    responsibility to act. We stand ready to work with serious 
    Republicans to pass meaningful solutions.
        Judge Samaniego, thank you for being here. I am fortunate 
    to be traveling with my colleague, Veronica Escobar, to El Paso 
    tomorrow. What can you tell me that we should be looking for on 
    our visit tomorrow?
        Mr. Samaniego. I believe the unity of what happens when a 
    community decides to work together. We are called the Pass of 
    the North. That was our first name. So, we have been doing this 
    for centuries. People pass through our community. We know how 
    to do this in a humanitarian way. We are very, very organized. 
    We have a strategy that I think that people should look at that 
    especially this idea of getting communities to send buses to us 
    so that we can have sponsors and migrants that go to their 
    community. So, our strategy works.
        It only doesn't work when we are not funded properly. At 
    any point, we are able to handle large numbers, but then we 
    don't get the proper funding. When we talk about, like 
    Secretary Mayorkas, so when he came down, he immediately was 
    able to help us with FEMA funding, allowed us to move the 
    processes.
        When you push them back into what is, all you are doing is 
    creating more anxiety. You are creating more desperation. You 
    are creating more issues, not only for us but for a community 
    that works. On an economic level, there is no border that works 
    in such an economic level. To push them back I think is 
    extremely reckless of our neighbors.
        Mr. Johnson of Georgia. Well, let me stop you there and ask 
    you this last question.
        Mr. Samaniego. Yes.
        Mr. Johnson of Georgia. According to CBP, from January 
    2021-January 2023, only eight undocumented immigrants were 
    arrested for fentanyl smuggling at the southern border--
        Mr. Samaniego. That is correct.
        Mr. Johnson of Georgia. --compared to 119 U.S. citizens. Is 
    it your experience that an increase in migrants is tied to an 
    increase in fentanyl?
        Mr. Samaniego. We haven't seen that, because first, they 
    come with very little things. I mean, they get a backpack. They 
    get things. They are carrying things that are very easy. They 
    are vetted very properly. Not only are they vetted with Border 
    Patrol, but we also vet them as well. We vet them at the 
    shelters. So, we are constantly looking for that. We are taking 
    care of the Nation. We are not going to allow someone to bring 
    drugs in unwittingly. We are going to do everything possible to 
    be part of that process.
        Mr. McClintock. The gentleman's time has expired. The 
    gentleman from Arizona, Mr. Biggs.
        Mr. Biggs. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        Mr. Dunn, you and your wife, thank you for being here 
    today. We appreciate your testimony and your willingness to 
    share your experience. I express my sympathy and condolences to 
    you and appreciate the work that you are doing now.
        I want to just clear two things up briefly, though. The 
    figures just cited by my colleague from Georgia are ports of 
    entry only and do not reflect between ports of entry arrests 
    for fentanyl transportation. So, please, don't ever let the 
    facts get in the way of a good narrative from the other side.
        Not only that, when the gentlelady from California said she 
    supports an orderly system for legal migration, we have an 
    orderly system for legal migration. That is why a million 
    people are brought in legally every year. The numbers that you 
    hear are between the ports of entry, because that is where CBP 
    operates. So, when CBP talks about the number of encounters 
    being 4.5 million, that is between the ports of entry.
        Sheriff Dannels, how big is your county?
        Mr. Dannels. It is just under 6,300 square miles, with 83 
    miles of international border.
        Mr. Biggs. What is the population?
        Mr. Dannels. About 125,000.
        Mr. Biggs. How many NGO's do you have that deal with the 
    flow of international or illegal migrants coming across?
        Mr. Dannels. Maybe one or two, three. Most of them come 
    from outside and not within the county.
        Mr. Biggs. I know Yuma County has one.
        Mr. Dannels. Yes.
        Mr. Biggs. So that is interesting. So, when we look at 
    this, are your deputies ever dispatched to deal with 
    criminality or situations involving illegal aliens?
        Mr. Dannels. On a daily basis, yes.
        Mr. Biggs. How often? How many times per day?
        Mr. Dannels. Throughout the day. Usually when I check on 
    them, they are in some kind of issue with border security or 
    immigration. When I go home, I hear it also. It is throughout 
    the whole day.
        Mr. Biggs. What sorts of dangers does your department and 
    your deputies specifically encounter because of these 
    interactions?
        Mr. Dannels. Well, the biggest thing we are addressing 
    right now is the, out of the 1,570 people that came to my 
    county, 1,500 were U.S. citizens coming down to commit 
    international crime, based on greed. They are getting paid 
    $3,000 per person to drive them three hours north up to 
    Phoenix, Arizona and your neck of the woods, Congressman. It is 
    a game of greed.
        When they get in those, when they pick them up along the 
    highways and they take off at 100-and-some miles an hour that 
    is resulting in death, it has put my citizens in risk. We see 
    it almost every day in my county. That has been deadly for us.
        Mr. Biggs. So, if I understand what you are saying, cartels 
    are recruiting American citizens from as far away as the Valley 
    of the Sun, the Phoenix area, to come on down and transport 
    people who have illegally entered the country up to Phoenix for 
    further distribution throughout the country.
        Mr. Dannels. Congressman, that is correct, but to take it 
    one step further, from throughout the United States. We get 
    them from the Midwest. We get them from all over. We have a map 
    where we get them from in our office.
        Mr. Biggs. What is the, and you said, what was the going 
    rate that they get paid per person?
        Mr. Dannels. We started an operation back in March called 
    Safe Streets, a collective effort of State, local, and Federal 
    law enforcement trying to do some interdiction to protect our 
    citizens. It was like 1,000-1,500. Right now, it sits at $3,000 
    per person.
        Mr. Biggs. Have you ever had juveniles come down to drive 
    as well?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes. I believe last year we apprehended and 
    charged I think it was around 100 juveniles that were remanded 
    as adults for driving, and all the way up to underage where 
    they don't even have a license. We had, a couple weeks ago, we 
    had a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old driving a car picking up I 
    think five undocumented.
        Mr. Biggs. This is human smuggling.
        Mr. Dannels. This is human smuggling, yes.
        Mr. Biggs. You have given some pictures that are up here on 
    display. What do those pictures depict?
        Mr. Dannels. The picture on the right side of the white 
    truck and the red car, the red car had a 16-year-old, 17-year-
    old, and I believe a 14-year-old. They were down from the Pinal 
    County area, which is up by Casa Grande, down here to pick up 
    migrants working with the criminal cartels and a scout. The car 
    saw one of my deputy sheriffs, took off at a high rate of 
    speed, hit the white car, and then crashed. All three were in 
    critical condition and then were ejected from that vehicle.
        Mr. Biggs. This other one?
        Mr. Dannels. The other one was a vehicle out of Phoenix. It 
    was a stolen vehicle that was in one of our business areas in a 
    business parking lot. The Border Patrol saw them. They took off 
    at a high rate of speed, got into a pursuit. They rammed the 
    Border Patrol agent, the unmarked car. They were apprehended 
    with the illegals.
        Mr. Biggs. There is so much more to talk about. I am sorry 
    I am out of time. Thank you for being here, Sheriff Dannels.
        Mr. McClintock. The gentleman's time has expired. The 
    gentleman from California, Mr. Schiff.
        Mr. Schiff. Thank you, Mr. Chair and thank you to Ranking 
    Member Nadler for welcoming me back to the Committee. Mr. Dunn, 
    thank you for your testimony today. I want to join my 
    colleagues in expressing my condolence over your terrible loss.
        Since I last held a seat on this Committee over 10 years 
    ago, our country has undergone some of its most turbulent 
    years, from attacks on our democracy to increasing gun 
    violence, including four mass shootings in my home State of 
    California in just the last week, to continuing acts of racial 
    injustice. Many of the issues that Americans are most concerned 
    about fall within this Committee's jurisdiction.
        Instead of tackling those concerns or joining Democrats in 
    a comprehensive immigration reform, many Republicans in 
    Congress seem intent on demonizing migrant families and asylum 
    seekers, portraying them as fentanyl traffickers and violent 
    criminals.
        In the real world, asylum seekers are vulnerable 
    individuals and families fleeing political persecution and 
    torture. These terrible stereotypes that my Republican 
    colleagues are peddling have real-world consequences and bring 
    real-world harm as they increase the level of hate and violence 
    directed at immigrants here at home.
        More than that, let me just take this opportunity to 
    recognize the many immigrants who risked their lives during the 
    pandemic to take care of us when we were sick in the hospital 
    with COVID, who brought food to our grocery stores, and 
    delivered goods to our doors, who worked in our fields, so we 
    would not go hungry, and who died disproportionately because 
    they could not work from home. I want to say thank you for your 
    courage. Our country is better off for having you here.
        I want to start my questions by debunking a couple 
    pernicious stereotypes. First, when it comes to drug 
    trafficking, CBP reports that over 83 percent of smuggled 
    fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine is discovered during 
    vehicle inspections at ports of entry where people enter the 
    country legally, not smuggled by migrants but driven across the 
    border by U.S. citizens engaged in criminal activity at ports 
    of entry.
        Judge Samaniego, the fentanyl crisis is real. How is it 
    really entering the country in your experience, and who is 
    doing the smuggling?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, as you said, Congressman, they are 
    coming in through the port of entries. We do not get a lot of 
    information of migrants doing that. As I said earlier, the fact 
    that they are not carrying much with them and the fact that 
    they have been vetted as they come in when we process them, and 
    that is why I keep insisting that an organized way of 
    processing and our ability to be able to process properly is 
    really helping tremendously.
        When we do not do that and it pushes the migrants to have 
    to go further out, that is when you start having these illegal 
    entries, because there is not a way for them to come in 
    properly and meet the Border Patrol there at the border. So, we 
    know that going further creates risk for them. They get preyed 
    on.
        So many things happen by not following the process. When we 
    are allowed to do it and we are supported and funded properly, 
    I think we do a lot for our country.
        Mr. Schiff. Thank you, Judge. Second, relative to 
    undocumented immigrants, and using Texas as an example, U.S. 
    born citizens in Texas are more than twice as likely to be 
    arrested for violent crimes and two and a half times more 
    likely to be arrested for drug crimes.
        Judge Samaniego, can you speak to the experiences and 
    interactions you have had with migrant families and asylum 
    seekers at the border? What is the real-life impact that such 
    anti-migrant rhetoric and misinformation have on these 
    communities?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, it is just, it is heartbreaking, 
    obviously that, why they are coming in. They want to work. I 
    will give you an example. We have had individuals that were 
    held back because they got caught up in not being able to go 
    back because of Title 42. They were asking for, give us brooms, 
    give us bags. We want to, help us. We do not want to be 
    perceived as lingering or burdening your community or any part 
    of the country. They talk a lot about the fact that they are 
    wanting to work. They are passionate about working. They are 
    ready to do something for our country.
        We do not get--I interact with them completely. I work with 
    the unaccompanied children. I have a lot of exposure. I feel 
    extremely confident that the majority of them have no interest 
    in drugs or doing anything like that, other than to work and to 
    participate and be part of the dream that they are looking for. 
    A lot of them, like I said, they are coming out of desperation 
    of how they are treated in their countries, how they are 
    persecuted. They are looking for a better life.
        I do not I stand here saying with all honesty that I do not 
    see or understand some of the things that are said here today 
    about them wanting to be part of drug cartels or putting them 
    in that situation. It is just completely opposed to what I have 
    experienced there in El Paso.
        Mr. McClintock. The gentleman's time has expired.
        Mr. Schiff. Thank you, Judge.
        Mr. McClintock. The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Gaetz.
        Mr. Gaetz. I yield to Mr. Roy.
        Mr. Roy. I thank the gentleman from Florida. I thank the 
    witnesses for being here.
        I just want to clarify the record here for a second. The 
    idea that the fact that fentanyl is caught at Ports of Entry 
    and that this is the only place that is coming through is 
    belied by the facts. It is belied by the facts that the Border 
    Patrol is now distracted in processing human beings, just as 
    the judge from El Paso just described, but just ignores the 
    impact on what that does to the actual border. The Border 
    Patrol can't possibly catch all the fentanyl at the ports of 
    entry nor catch the fentanyl between the ports of entry.
        Mr. Dannels, do you agree with that assessment?
        Mr. Dannels. I do. We have had a depletion in Border Patrol 
    because they have been taken to other areas where processing is 
    more important.
        Mr. Roy. Is it your experience that fentanyl pours in 
    between the ports of entry and that fentanyl does, in fact, get 
    into our communities in mass quantities today due to our open 
    border?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes.
        Mr. Roy. I appreciate that.
        Now, Mr. Dunn, obviously in the introduction I talked about 
    you being from the county in which I live, in Hays County. You 
    testified, Mr. Dunn, earlier that it was not just Noah who 
    passed away in Hays County last year due to fentanyl poisoning 
    in our community. Is it not true that three other Hays 
    Independent School District students died from fentanyl 
    overdoses in our community, in Hays County, last summer? Is 
    that accurate?
        Mr. Dunn. That is correct. A fourth 14-year-old died in 
    January of this year.
        Mr. Roy. Just a couple of weeks ago--
        Mr. Dunn. Yes.
        Mr. Roy. Another--
        Mr. Dunn. During the Christmas break, six other students 
    were poisoned by fentanyl, but they were successfully saved.
        Mr. Roy. Last summer there were another eight who were 
    brought back through the use of Narcan. Is that correct?
        Mr. Dunn. Correct.
        Mr. Roy. Mr. Dunn, your lovely bride, Janel, is Hispanic, 
    yes?
        Mr. Dunn. Yes.
        Mr. Roy. Do you believe that believing in a secure border 
    makes one racist or anti-Hispanic?
        Mr. Dunn. Not in the slightest. Her family actually holds 
    that same position.
        Mr. Roy. I thank you for that. You guys have been active 
    now in a number of organizations trying to get out and 
    understand the lost voices of fentanyl. Is that right?
        Mr. Dunn. Yes.
        Mr. Roy. Works with Ms. Virginia Krieger.
        Mr. Dunn. Yes.
        Mr. Roy. She has lost her daughter due to Percocet that was 
    laced in fentanyl. Is that correct?
        Mr. Dunn. Yes.
        Mr. Roy. The people that have been the lost faces of 
    fentanyl, and I have done this before, Noah is one of these 
    lost voices due to fentanyl now.
        Mr. Dunn. He is now. I am not sure if he is included in 
    that picture.
        Mr. Roy. These pictures are the faces of Americans who are 
    no longer with us due to fentanyl flowing throughout our 
    communities. Now, these are young individuals who are not here 
    today. Now, Noah is not here today.
        Do you care precisely whether or not fentanyl is coming 
    through ports of entry or between ports of entry, or was your 
    family directly impacted because fentanyl is flooding into our 
    communities one way or the other?
        Mr. Dunn. However, it gets here is it is here.
        Mr. Roy. In your experience talking to other family members 
    and talking to law enforcement personnel, is it your 
    observation and belief that the overwhelming flood at our 
    borders distracting Border Patrol from being able to carry out 
    their duty to stop the flow between the ports of entry or do 
    inspections at the ports of entry is resulting in more fentanyl 
    pouring into our communities that is then resulting in the 
    death of Americans and, in fact, the death of migrants in the 
    process?
        Mr. Dunn. Yes. Most of the fathers that I speak with that 
    are not as vocal as the mothers, the common thing they have 
    expressed to me is to come up here and let people know that it 
    is a border issue. It is not an immigration issue. It is 
    flooding across the borders because there is a problem at the 
    borders.
        Mr. Roy. In your communication with families who have lost 
    loved ones due to fentanyl poisonings, do you believe that it 
    is an imperative, an imperative that this country's Federal 
    Government, who has the constitutional obligation to secure the 
    border of the United States, do so to ensure that we stop the 
    flow of fentanyl and dangerous and illicit narcotics into the 
    United States resulting in the death of Americans?
        Mr. Dunn. Yes.
        Mr. Roy. Do you believe that if this country adopted 
    policies that enabled us to restrict and stop the flow of 
    fentanyl, and that includes ensuring that we have no longer a 
    flood of human beings at our border, while still maintaining 
    asylum laws and protecting people who are being persecuted 
    under actual threat of persecution for their religious and 
    political beliefs, do you believe that stopping the flow of 
    individuals enabling Border Patrol to stop fentanyl, that is a 
    critical imperative and if that were adopted would help save 
    lives like Noah's?
        Mr. Dunn. I do. Most others that I talk with feel the same 
    way.
        Mr. Roy. Thank you, Mr. Dunn. Thank you, Janel. I yield 
    back.
        Mr. McClintock. The gentleman's time has expired. The 
    gentleman from Rhode Island, Mr. Cicilline.
        Mr. Cicilline. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Thank you to our 
    witnesses, and particularly thank you, Mr. Dunn, for being 
    here. I, too, join my colleagues and expresses our condolences 
    for your unspeakable loss.
        Mr. Chair, the House Republican border security plan is one 
    of the most extreme stances this body has seen on immigration 
    in recent history, and that is saying something. It is so 
    extreme that dozens of Republican members oppose it. Some have 
    even called it un-American.
        The Republican plan would effectively shut down asylum, 
    including families fleeing Communism, totalitarian regimes, and 
    unaccompanied children desperately seeking refuge. This is not 
    only a moral failing to asylum seekers fleeing persecution. It 
    also defies existing laws. We have obligations under 
    international agreements and U.S. domestic law to accept and 
    protect asylum seekers. We can't just ignore these obligations 
    because some want to prey on anti-immigration and xenophobic 
    sentiments to gin up political support.
        This is sadly an ongoing and blatant attempt by our 
    Republican colleagues to use fear tactics to scare us into 
    turning immigrants away and to demonizing people coming here in 
    search of a better life. We cannot and should not do that.
        Democrats have put forth proposals that will actually help 
    fix our broken immigration system and secure our borders in a 
    safe and humane way. We have proposed legislation that 
    addresses the root causes of migration, improves border 
    security, and creates additional legal pathways for people to 
    enter the United States.
        In fact, the 2023 Omnibus bill which we passed in December, 
    even included funding to help Customs and Border Patrol stop 
    dangerous cartels, the actual cause of drugs being smuggled 
    into the country, not asylum seekers by the way. Our House 
    Judiciary Republicans unanimously opposed the bill. So, yes, 
    there is a crisis at the border. It is not the one that the 
    Republican leadership is shouting about.
        So, Judge Samaniego, I want to ask you, in your capacity as 
    El Paso County Judge, you meet with many migrants who enter the 
    United States via the El Paso Port of Entry, and you work very 
    hard to ensure that they are treated with dignity here in the 
    United States. Can you describe what your sense is of why these 
    migrants are entering the U.S., and are they, in fact, seeking 
    asylum?
        Mr. Samaniego. I would like to comment about Border Patrol. 
    That is, we have been talking about what they have to do, and 
    you are pushing them to do other things. I can tell you that if 
    we weren't doing our jobs, and I said earlier, we are pushing 
    that back to them, very limited. Space is limited. Personnel is 
    limited. We are pushing them back to them.
        Like I said, we deal a lot, El Paso deals a lot with 
    migrants, and we interact tremendously. We get to see them at 
    shelters. We get to see them at the point of entry. They are 
    wanting to come here to work. They are wanting to do something 
    for our country.
        I have to stress that, that we are very, very lucky. The 
    things that they want to do and the things they want to 
    maintain, and the values that they have for the United States, 
    it is just remarkable that under all the circumstances that 
    they go through they come to our country with a tremendous 
    amount of passion to be part of our value system.
        Mr. Cicilline. Judge, what kinds of resources do border 
    counties like yours need to ensure that local officials are 
    able to adequately protect public health and safety while also 
    ensuring that migrants are treated with dignity and processed 
    quickly and efficiently and consistent with our values as the 
    great democracy we are? What more can we do as a Federal 
    Government to help you do the excellent work that you are doing 
    in El Paso?
        Mr. Samaniego. The most important thing that we have seen 
    is decompression that we need the Border Patrol to be able to 
    decompress and allow us to process. So, sometimes, like I said, 
    we are not funded properly. We cannot process properly. Then 
    that is when you have people or buses going into communities 
    that are not ready for them.
        Obviously, we need shelter. Most of the migrants will move 
    out within 72 hours. I can tell you that not even 1 percent of 
    the migrants ever stay in our community. They are moving to 
    other directions. They have got sponsorships. So, we really 
    need that support of being able to have shelter for them so 
    that we can accommodate them. Like I said, 40 percent already 
    have sponsors, and they can move quickly. The others it takes 
    us about a day or maybe 72 hours to be able to process them or 
    redirect them.
        I can tell you that most of them are going to be U.S. 
    citizens. If you treat them wrongly, they will remember that. 
    If you treat them properly and you treat them with respect and 
    humanity and humanitarianism, these are going to be part of our 
    residents, part of our citizens. This is the first face that 
    they have with our country. I want to be able for them to keep 
    that excitement, have that respect for America. You do that by 
    treating them properly.
        So, we need shelter. We need food. We need to be able to 
    use our strategy. Our strategy works. I wish that someone would 
    take the time to look at what we do. For four years now we have 
    been working on this strategy.
        Mr. McClintock. The gentleman's time has expired. I will 
    now recognize myself for five minutes.
        I think this discussion has brought out something that 
    Border Patrol officers told me when I toured the border in the 
    Yuma sector recently. Don't send us more money they said. They 
    will only use it to process illegals faster into this country. 
    I think that the testimony has been bringing that out very 
    clearly today.
        Since Joe Biden canceled the Remain in Mexico policy and 
    ordered ICE not to enforce court-ordered deportations and 
    abandoned the border wall and signaled to the world that 
    America's borders no longer mattered, we have seen 1.7 million 
    illegal aliens deliberately admitted into this country, and 
    another 1.2 million known got-aways have entered while the 
    Border Patrol has been overwhelmed changing diapers and taking 
    names. Now, that is an illegal alien population of 2.9 million. 
    That is the entire population of the State of Mississippi just 
    since this administration changed these policies and 
    precipitated this crisis. As the Democrat's witness testified, 
    illegal aliens are now being rapidly and efficiently trafficked 
    by our government to every community in our Nation.
        What the Democrats have never explained is how our schools 
    are made better by packing classrooms with non-English speaking 
    students, how our hospitals are made more accessible by 
    flooding emergency rooms with illegals demanding care, how our 
    social safety net is strengthened by adding millions of 
    impoverished and dependent individuals to systems that are 
    already strained to the breaking point, how our neighborhoods 
    are made safer by introducing violent cartels into our 
    communities and making it impossible to deport criminal illegal 
    aliens, how our Nation is made safer as known terrorists are 
    encountered entering our country in record numbers, how our 
    children are made more secure with fentanyl pouring across our 
    border, or how working families are helped by flooding the 
    labor market with cheap, illegal labor. This is the nightmare 
    that the Democrats have unleashed upon our country.
        I asked the same group of Border Patrol agents in Yuma what 
    laws could we write that would help them. They said unanimously 
    the first thing we need to do is enforce our existing laws. 
    This administration clearly doesn't intend to do so. The laws 
    that we will write in the House I am afraid are not going to 
    survive the Democratic Senate or get Joe Biden's signature. So, 
    this situation is going to continue to escalate and continue to 
    worsen.
        It is already being felt intensely in our major cities and 
    rural communities. New York City taxpayers are paying for 
    luxury accommodations to house this flood of illegal aliens 
    there. Fentanyl trafficked across the southwest border killed 
    71,000 people in America last year alone. In Tulare County, 
    California a cartel just viciously executed six innocent 
    victims. I believe this country is going to soon awaken to a 
    coordinated terrorist attack by elements that have entered 
    through our porous border or with violent cartel wars erupting 
    on our own streets.
        Our witnesses today tell the story of what their lives are 
    now like in the border communities. Of course, these illegal 
    aliens don't stay in the border communities. They are being 
    trafficked to every community in America.
        So, I would like to ask Sheriff Dannels what he believes 
    our communities should expect as this mass illegal migration 
    makes its way from his community to ours.
        Mr. Dannels. Thank you, Congressman. Let me start off by 
    saying this. I know we are hitting on immigration, and I am 
    here on border security. I will say this. You made a comment 
    that they don't stay in our border communities. There is one 
    instance they do stay in our border communities. That is when 
    they die.
        Over the last two years, we have over 1,000 migrants touch 
    U.S. soil coming across our border illegally that have died, 
    that sheriffs, the 31 sheriffs on the border have had to 
    process as homicides until proven otherwise. That is 1,000 
    migrants under inhumane conditions smuggled by the criminal 
    cartels that we have left in our border communities and left 
    families in Mexico mourning. So, there is a consequence to this 
    open border.
        Second, these sheriffs, these police chiefs, and these 
    communities are doing the impact. I have heard it from 
    Democrats. I have heard from Republicans. I will say this to 
    you. I didn't drive out here, come out here 2,000 miles with a 
    political agenda. I came out here with a public safety agenda. 
    That is to protect all people. Well, you got to do that by 
    starting with border security. That is where it starts.
        Then we got to look at our immigration laws. I agree with 
    you, Congressman. We have the laws to address it, legal, legal, 
    legal. I will say that. They can come to any port. I can 
    promise you my two international ports in my county they don't 
    come there.
        The only time we saw asylum claims on our two port of 
    entries was when the cartels were having an internal rift and 
    shot over 40 people within--we watched it happen from our 
    international line in my county. We had cartel members claiming 
    credible fear that were allowed in our country, that were 
    allowed in our country that just executed somebody and then 
    come in and claim credible fear because the other side was 
    trying to kill them.
        So, we have a problem on our border. We truly do. We need 
    your help, your help to fix it. Thank you.
        Mr. McClintock. My time has expired. The gentleman from 
    California, Mr. Swalwell.
        Mr. Swalwell. Mr. Dunn, thank you for coming today. We all 
    share your love and passion for Noah and the determination to 
    get something done. I have a family member by the grace of God 
    is alive today after addiction and, also, sadly know somebody 
    who has died because of fentanyl. I also believe there is 
    bipartisan support to take on China for its role in exporting 
    fentanyl.
        Sheriff Dannels, also thank you for doing a very hard job.
        Mr. Dannels. Thank you, Congressman.
        Mr. Swalwell. I have a few brothers who are deputy 
    sheriffs. You have got a very, very tough job, especially just 
    where you are in the world. Would it help your job or hurt your 
    job if you had 20,000 more Border Patrol agents assisting you 
    on the Texas U.S. border?
        Mr. Dannels. Speaking on behalf of, Congressman, on behalf 
    of my brothers and sisters from CBP, I would say that would 
    help.
        Mr. Swalwell. Yes, I agree. We passed legislation in the 
    Senate that would have done that. I wish we could get a vote on 
    that in the House.
        I also just want to talk to you. My brothers sometimes are 
    a part of raids. It is a car stop. You take guns and drugs out 
    of the car. You put them on a table. You have a press 
    conference. It is a deterrent to future criminals. You show and 
    hold up the law enforcement who did that. Sometimes they raid 
    houses on search warrants. Again, they find illegal drugs and 
    guns and paraphernalia.
        Do you consider those types of raids that your department 
    have done, are those successes or failures when that happens?
        Mr. Dannels. They are a little bit of both, I will say, 
    Congressman.
        Mr. Swalwell. A failure because the drugs are in the 
    community but a success because you all caught them.
        Mr. Dannels. Yes.
        Mr. Swalwell. The reason I bring that up is because I think 
    too often many of my colleagues on the other side have rooted 
    on some of the chaos around this issue and don't want to be a 
    part of the solutions or the change.
        So, recently there have been a number of tweets that my 
    colleagues have posted, one of them from Mr. Gooden. It says,
    
             . . . enough fentanyl to kill 140 million Americans was seized 
            at the southern border in June. In honor of Overdose  
            Week, I am calling on Joe Biden to close his open border.
    
    Then Mr. Buck said,
    
             . . . since November enough fentanyl to kill 2.1 billion 
            people has been seized at the southern border. We must secure 
            the border and protect our children and families.
    
    The Chair of the Republican caucus, Ms. Stefanik, said,
    
             . . . over 800 pounds of fentanyl were seized at our southern 
            border in October. This is Biden's border crisis.
    
    This is just cheering on chaos instead of honoring the police 
    who did the tough job, the hard work, and seized the drugs and 
    took them off the streets.
        If we want to talk about some of the fentanyl facts, 96 
    percent of the fentanyl seized in the last Fiscal Year was 
    seized at ports of entry. Eighty-six percent of the convictions 
    around fentanyl coming across our border were convictions of 
    U.S. persons, 86 percent. So, we should talk about fentanyl. We 
    should go after China.
        This is chaos, what I am seeing from my Republican 
    colleagues. When George Bush had successes, rightful successes, 
    stopping the war on terror, I never heard my Republican 
    colleagues say, well, someone was stopped from carrying out a 
    terrorist attack. This is George Bush's terrorism crisis.
        We should celebrate law enforcement. We should not deride 
    them and use them to make points that actually don't even land, 
    because the fentanyl crisis is not happening where you all are 
    claiming it is happening. So, I will take this opportunity, and 
    I will thank Sheriff Dannels, and the men and women he works 
    with, and I will thank CBP for the hard work they do. I invite 
    my colleagues to join us, not in chaos, but in change.
        Finally, Mr. Roy's bill that is a part of this hearing 
    would seek to end asylum, an asylum process that has brought to 
    the United States some of the best minds in science, some of 
    the best athletes in the world, some of the best diplomats like 
    Secretary Madeleine Albright.
        One person recently said with respect to Mr. Roy's bill and 
    proposal, are we stupid, come on. This country was based on 
    good minds. Look at Albert Einstein. We gave him a piece of 
    paper to come in. We are letting the Albert Einstein of this 
    modern time slip away. It wasn't a Democrat who said that. It 
    was Mr. Roy's Republican colleague, Representative Maria Elvira 
    Salazar.
        So, I invite my colleagues, listen to your own colleagues 
    who know better on this issue, because it could use a lot more 
    change and solutions and a lot less chaos. I yield back.
        Chair Jordan. [Presiding.] The gentleman yields back. The 
    gentleman from North Carolina is recognized, Mr. Bishop.
        Mr. Bishop. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Mr., Judge Samaniego?
        Mr. Samaniego. Yes, sir?
        Mr. Bishop. Did you hear about the conflict between the 
    Mexican army and the Sinaloa cartel in the city of Culiacan 
    in--earlier this month?
        Mr. Samaniego. I did.
        Mr. Bishop. As described in The Guardian it said that they 
    captured Ovidio Guzman, son of El Chapo, prompting a wave of 
    retaliatory attacks from cartel gunmen. After a night of 
    violence gunmen exchanged fire with security forces blocking 
    roads with burning vehicles and shooting at army helicopters 
    and police airplanes bringing reinforcements to the city. 
    According to one resident heavy fighting raged for hours after 
    Guzman, a key figure in the Sinaloa cartel since the arrest of 
    his father, was arrested in the city early on Thursday.
        It goes on to say that residents were locked into their 
    homes. All major roads into the city were blocked with burning 
    vehicles and gunmen attacked a military air base. It goes on.
        You would agree that the cartels are dangerous 
    organizations, aren't they?
        Mr. Samaniego. They are.
        Mr. Bishop. They have come to have extraordinary capacity 
    to operate in Mexico to the point that they can take on the 
    Mexican army. Isn't that true?
        Mr. Samaniego. I'm not sure that's a true statement, but--
        Mr. Bishop. Well, in this case they actually had a running 
    battle with the Mexican army where helicopter gunships were 
    deployed to fire, and they were firing at them. There was an 
    open warfare in the city. You do understand that, right, sir?
        Mr. Samaniego. I do understand that.
        Mr. Bishop. You don't see it as possible that in a future 
    with an uncontrolled border, a border we can't control, that 
    those same conditions could exist on the streets of American 
    cities?
        Mr. Samaniego. I believe that's not the case because I 
    think we're mixing two things. We're mixing one, and that's 
    unrest. We have unrest ourselves here in the United States just 
    like in Mexico. We're mixing two things.
        Mr. Bishop. Are the cartels strengthened by the fees they 
    receive for trafficking humans across the border?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, I think there's a lot of assumptions 
    in that--
        [Simultaneous speaking.]
        Mr. Bishop. Is that a hard question to answer yes or no?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, give me the question straight so I can 
    understand what you--
        [Simultaneous speaking.]
        Mr. Bishop. My understanding is that billions in income 
    come to the cartels and by--according to the Border Patrol 
    officers I have met they say nobody comes across the Rio 
    Grande, nobody comes across the border without paying a fee of 
    thousands. Many of these people don't have thousands. So, they 
    enter a life of indentured servitude until they pay it off. 
    Their family might be tortured to pay for it. The cartels earn 
    billions from it. Is that not trueto your knowledge?
        Mr. Samaniego. It's true. It's true, but it's true on the 
    Trump era as well.
        Mr. Bishop. OK.
        Mr. Samaniego. It's not--it has nothing to do with--
        Mr. Bishop. I don't even think it is--necessarily should be 
    a battle between Republicans and Democrats about who is--who 
    gets kudos for stopping the flood across the border, but isn't 
    it true that the policy is strengthening the cartels, these 
    dangerous cartels that can operate in the open and conduct open 
    warfare with the Mexican army?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, I think you're talking about the root 
    cause, and that's a broken system. We have to shoulder a broken 
    system there in our community.
        Mr. Bishop. So, we just deplore it as a broken system, but 
    we don't need to respond as if this is an emergency and a 
    threat to the United States, that the same conditions could 
    occur here?
        Mr. Samaniego. I'm not understanding how you're mixing the 
    two things of trying to help asylum seekers that's part of our 
    policy.
        Mr. Bishop. Well, if this transnational criminal cartel 
    organizations that exist and they are capable of doing what 
    they are doing in Mexico, and they are being strengthened day 
    in and day out and their drug trade is producing profits and 
    expanding their forces in the United States, isn't it just a 
    matter of time and amount before they can do the same thing 
    here that they do there?
        Mr. Samaniego. We've seen this for 50-60 years, cartels 
    doing that and the fights that happen between them. We live 
    that. We happen to be one of the safest--when Mexico was the 
    worst in the world in violence, we were still the safest 
    community in the country.
        Mr. Bishop. So, you are copacetic about it? You think there 
    is not a threat to the United States?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, there's a threat, but I cannot 
    understand what we're here for immigration. We're here to 
    discuss what's the right thing to do for immigration. I've 
    always said that when you mix two, it gets very complicated. 
    It's complicated enough to look at them separately, much less 
    when you combine the two. When you try to talk about the drugs 
    and try to talk about immigration, it gets so mixed up that you 
    can resolve it. So, I'd like to really focus on the fact that 
    we need to do the best thing that we can.
        Mr. Bishop. I am out of time. I would let you go on. I 
    question your conclusion about what is humane and what is not, 
    and with that I yield back.
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, thank you, sir.
        Mr. Biggs. [Presiding.] The Chair recognizes the gentleman 
    from California, Mr. Lieu.
        Mr. Lieu. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Let me start off by noting 
    that the Chair of this Full Judiciary Committee lawfully defied 
    a bipartisan congressional subpoena.
        Now, Mr. Dunn, thank you for coming here today. Sorry for 
    your loss and thank you for sharing your story and your efforts 
    working on the fentanyl issue.
        Judge Samaniego, I have some questions for you about 
    fentanyl.
        Mr. Samaniego. Thank you.
        Mr. Lieu. I agree with my Republican and Democratic 
    colleagues that we need to tackle this issue. It is your 
    experience, isn't it, that the overwhelming majority of 
    fentanyl seizures occur at ports of entry and not from migrants 
    bringing them across the border? Is that right?
        Mr. Samaniego. That's correct. That's what we understand, 
    that's what we know. We work so close with law enforcement, 
    Border Patrol, ICE, and we do not get that suggestion that it's 
    the migrants. We talk directly to them. It's not the migrants 
    that have that issue. It's at the Port of Entry by Americans, 
    by the way, that are crossing into the United States more so 
    than any other form that comes through our borders.
        Mr. Lieu. In fact, your experience is actually what the 
    data shows. So, I have an article here from the Cato Institute, 
    which is a libertarian think tank. The title of it is, 
    ``Fentanyl is Smuggled for U.S. Citizens by U.S. Citizens.'' 
    What the facts from this article show are that in 2021 U.S. 
    citizens were 86.3 percent of the convicted fentanyl 
    traffickers. In addition, over 90 percent of fentanyl seizures 
    occur at legal crossing points or interior vehicle checkpoints.
        So, if we really want to tackle the bulk of this issue, 
    what we want to do is strengthen technology at legal point of 
    entry, at the ports of entry. We want to give Border Patrol 
    more resources at these ports of entry to address the fentanyl 
    seizures.
        Thank you to all the Border Patrol agents that the 
    Republicans have highlighted repeatedly for how much they have 
    been seizing in fentanyl, because they are doing their job.
        I would like to ask unanimous consent to enter this article 
    from the Cato Institute titled, ``Fentanyl is Smuggled for U.S. 
    Citizens by U.S. Citizens Not by Asylum Seekers.''
        Mr. Biggs. Without objection.
        Mr. Lieu. So, Sheriff Dannels, thank you for your public 
    service.
        Mr. Dannels. Thank you, Congressman.
        Mr. Lieu. Do you know which American president said, ``for 
    decades the United States has not been in complete control of 
    its borders?''
        Mr. Dannels. No.
        Mr. Lieu. That president was George W. Bush in 2006. Are 
    you familiar with Operation Intercept at all?
        Mr. Dannels. I'm not.
        Mr. Lieu. OK. That was an operation put in by an American 
    President that basically shut down the southern border for 
    about three weeks. Then it was lifted because it was not 
    sustainable. That American president was Richard Nixon.
        This hearing is titled Biden's Border Crisis. That is 
    completely wrong. It is not Biden's border crisis. This has 
    been a crisis for over half a century from Nixon and every 
    American president after him. They have not addressed this 
    issue. I am going to read you some comments from various 
    American presidents.
    
            Eighty to ninety percent of the heroin that comes into U.S. 
            today comes across our southern border.
    
    You know who said that? President Ford said that.
    
            Millions of undocumented aliens have illegally immigrated to 
            the U.S. They have breached our Nation's immigration laws, 
            displaced many American citizens from jobs, and placed 
            increased financial burden on many states and local 
            governments.
    
    President Carter said that.
    
            The ongoing migration of persons to the United States in 
            violation of our laws is a serious national problem.
    
    President Reagan said that.
    
            I was especially concerned about the growing problem of alien 
            smuggling, international terrorists hiding behind immigrant 
            status.
    
    President Clinton said that.
        I could go on and on. The only folks that can actually fix 
    this problem is U.S. Congress by passing laws. We had a chance 
    to do that with a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform 
    bill that passed the U.S. Senate on a bipartisan basis. Guess 
    who stopped it? House Republicans.
        So, it is simply false narrative that this is Biden's 
    border crisis. It is a crisis of over half a century and the 
    people that can stop it are we in Congress. I urge Republicans 
    instead of doing hearings and doing talking points actually 
    work with Democrats on a comprehensive immigration bill that 
    will, in fact, solve this problem.
        With that, I yield back.
        Mr. Biggs. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas, 
    Mr. Roy.
        Mr. Roy. I thank the Chair.
        Mr. Dannels, with respect to that previous point, there has 
    been about 4.7 million apprehensions under the current 
    administration. Is that unprecedented in your eyes?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes.
        Mr. Roy. The 2.7 million people have been released into the 
    United States. Is that unprecedented and, in fact, way off the 
    charts compared to past numbers?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes.
        Mr. Roy. The extent to which fentanyl is pouring in our 
    communities, is that precedent?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes.
        Mr. Roy. Is it precedented? It is unprecedented, correct?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes, yes.
        Mr. Roy. I would ask the Judge Samaniego. You testified 
    that there is no invasion. There were 162,000 encounters in the 
    El Paso sector alone in the first quarter of this fiscal year. 
    Does that sound correct according to Border Patrol numbers?
        Mr. Samaniego. That's correct.
        Mr. Roy. Fifty-five thousand in December alone. Is that 
    correct?
        Mr. Samaniego. Yes.
        Mr. Roy. We had the Democrat mayor El Paso who has been 
    bussing people to New York City. Truth?
        Mr. Samaniego. No.
        Mr. Roy. The Democrat mayor of El Paso has not been putting 
    people on buses sending them to New York City?
        Mr. Samaniego. Not without notification at the other end.
        Mr. Roy. OK. They are putting them on buses and sending 
    them to New York City. New York City today is asking the 
    Federal Government for money to process individuals that they 
    are dealing with overflowing in New York City.
        Now, you testified earlier that you weren't getting help 
    from the State of Texas. Now, the city of El Paso declared 
    emergency, but has the county declared emergency?
        Mr. Samaniego. No.
        Mr. Roy. No. The county has not declared emergency.
        Mr. Samaniego. No, we did not.
        Mr. Roy. The earlier testimony that you had, before you 
    testified that this effort to wanting to secure the border is 
    racist. So, here is a question for you: Fifty percent of Border 
    Patrol are Hispanic. Border Patrol overwhelmingly wants us to 
    change policies to secure the border, not just as some are 
    testifying that we need more resources. I know that Mr. 
    Dannels, Sheriff Dannels testified that having 20,000 
    additional agents would be helpful. The answer to that is of 
    course. Of course, having more personnel would be helpful.
        The question is what do they most want? Sheriff Dannels, 
    what does Border Patrol most want to secure the border? Do they 
    want policy changes to actually enforce the law or do they want 
    more resources? Which would they rank higher?
        Mr. Dannels. Policy changes.
        Mr. Roy. What kind of policy changes? Enforcing the laws of 
    the United States at the border?
        Mr. Dannels. Enforce the rule of law. I'll share this add-
    on, too. Support from--they feel like they're not being 
    supported by this administration.
        Mr. Roy. If we had a law that said that we should follow 
    current law to detain individuals claiming asylum for the 
    pendency of the adjudication of that claim, to require that 
    they be detained according to current law, would that be 
    banning asylum?
        Mr. Dannels. No.
        Mr. Roy. If people are claiming in this Committee that it 
    is banning asylum, would that be untrue?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes.
        Mr. Roy. Hector Garza works in Laredo, Texas for Border 
    Patrol. He is a friend. He is Hispanic. He said,
        ``The mother of all caravans isn't just materializing out 
    of the ether. It is just the most recent wave of an invasion 
    that is being aided and abetted by liberal activists who 
    believe that subverting United States law is the best way to 
    achieve the radical policy objectives.''
        Mr. Dannels, do you believe that Hispanic Border Patrol 
    Agent Hector Garza is racist by describing what we are 
    experiencing at the border as an invasion and suggesting that 
    it is, in fact, the policies of liberal activists represented 
    by my Democratic colleagues in this Committee and in this 
    House, that this is what is subverting United States law? Do 
    you believe that is racist?
        Mr. Dannels. No.
        Mr. Roy. Judge Samaniego, do you believe that there--in 
    light of your statement saying that these policies are being 
    promoted to secure the border, do you think that Border Patrol 
    Agent Hector Garza, a lifelong public servant working for the 
    Border Patrol in Laredo, Texas and Hispanic, a Texan, is racist 
    for that Hispanic American to say that it is an invasion, that 
    his Border Patrol personnel are overwhelmed, that he believes 
    that it is the liberal policies that are making a mockery of 
    our current laws to say that we should enforce the laws, that 
    we should enforce the laws on the books, that this is, in fact, 
    a racist statement by Hispanic Border Patrol Agent Hector 
    Garza?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, it's a freedom of speech and he can 
    say whatever he needs to say. I can tell you that if you asked 
    a Border Patrol in El Paso, they're looking for assistance, 
    that we do not detain them because they don't have the space, 
    they don't have the personnel.
        Mr. Roy. I appreciate that, but I would just suggest to you 
    is that this is not a racist statement to say that we should 
    secure the border.
        This chart, Mr. Dannels, can you see it from there? Can you 
    see the uptick in the numbers here, way up here?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes.
        Mr. Roy. That chart reflects the uptick in migrant deaths. 
    That is 2020-2022. Almost 1,000 migrant deaths at the southwest 
    border of the United States. We had 53 migrants die in a 
    tractor-trailer in San Antonio, cooked in the Texas heat. 
    Fifty-seven were killed when a tractor-trailer crammed with 
    migrants rolled over the highway crashing in Mexico's southern 
    State of Chiapas.
        Answer me this: Is it Christian for migrants to be treated 
    like that and to die in tractor-trailers? Would anybody on this 
    panel think it is Christian?
        Mr. Biggs. Time.
        Mr. Roy Mr. Dunn, you go to church in Hays County. Is it 
    Christian to allow migrants to die like that?
        Mr. Dunn. No.
        Mr. Biggs. The gentleman's time is expired.
        Mr. Dunn. Is not.
        Mr. Roy. Thank you, Mr. Dunn.
        Mr. Biggs. Thank you. Before I call any--I have a few 
    articles that I want to read into the record. ``El Paso Forced 
    to Bus Immigrants Out of Town Amid Mid-Mass Migration,'' from 
    the New York Post; ``El Paso Joins Governor Greg Abbott in 
    Bussing Migrants to New York City,'' from Texas Tribune; and 
    ``El Paso Looks Like a Third-World Country After Texas Border 
    City . . .'' from the New York Post. Without objection.
        I recognize the gentlelady from Washington, Ms. Jayapal.
        Ms. Jayapal. Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
        I want to thank the witnesses, all of you, for being here. 
    Mr. Dunn, I want to express--join my colleagues in expressing 
    my condolences to you and your wife Janel and your family for 
    your profound loss of Noah.
        For four years Donald Trump pursued some of the most 
    inhumane immigration policies as president. He cruelly tore 
    thousands of children from their parents and did everything in 
    his power to dismantle any parts of the U.S. legal immigration 
    system and refugee resettlement system, a system that has been 
    called the crown jewel of American humanitarianism, not by 
    liberal radicals, but actually by the Association of 
    Evangelicals.
        Today my colleagues across the aisle want to go even 
    further than Donald Trump with policies that would effectively 
    end asylum and place unaccompanied children in remain-in-
    Mexico-type proceedings. Not even Donald Trump went that far. 
    Don't take my word for how extreme this is. Even other 
    Republicans have said that these proposals go too far, calling 
    them extreme, and again not liberal radicals calling them 
    extreme or calling them anti-American. That was from another 
    Republican, other Republicans in this Congress.
        In fact, one Texas Republican said, and I quote,
    
            Border security and immigration are two separate topics. One 
            can be for a strong border security presence that prevents 
            terrorists, fentanyls, and bad actors from entering our country 
            and one can be for welcoming future Americans in through the 
            front door.
    
        So, here are some facts: Since Congress created the 
     in 2003 we have spent over $350 
    billion on the agencies that enforce immigration law. Federal 
    immigration spending has surpassed what was promised in 
    multiple immigration bills that would have reformed the actual 
    system so that there are legal pathways for people to come to 
    this country. We know that throwing money at the border without 
    also fixing the legal immigration system is not going to be 
    successful.
        We have passed in December 2022, Democrats passed the 
    Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus which included $60 million to hire 
    additional CBP officers and support personnel at ports of 
    entry, another 70 million to strengthen nonintrusive inspection 
    systems that scan vehicles and cargo to disrupt the flow of 
    drugs including fentanyl at ports of entry. Not one of my 
    Republican colleagues voted for that legislation.
        In June 2020, Congress passed the Infrastructure Bill which 
    included $430 million to modernize our ports of entry and 
    improve CBP's ability to detect illicit drugs. Two hundred 
    House Republicans voted against it. We put that money in 
    because we know that over 90 percent of fentanyl is seized at 
    ports of entry.
        Now, I understand that the issues that we are talking about 
    today require my Republican colleagues to tell a lot of 
    statements that aren't true, to use Nativist rhetoric, words 
    like invasion and flooding that have actually been used 
    throughout the history of this country to demonize immigrants 
    to this country, different waves of immigrants that have come 
    into this country, but that is not the way that we are going to 
    solve this problem.
        Judge Samaniego, I want to thank you for your service and 
    also for sending us the wonderful Congresswoman Escobar, who is 
    such an important voice here on this Committee and in this 
    Congress.
        I want to call your attention to this chart that shows that 
    when the Biden Administration rolled out a clear process for 
    Haitians to seek admission into the United States in June-
    August 2021 and then again beginning in April 2022 the number 
    of Haitians presenting themselves at ports of entry increased. 
    In fact, as we maintained that clear legal process for 
    Haitians, people coming outside of the process basically ended.
        In your experience meeting with people seeking safety do 
    you hear a persistent desire to follow a legal process to enter 
    the United States?
        Mr. Samaniego. Absolutely. I've seen some incredible 
    situations where they're waiting in Juarez under very difficult 
    circumstances. Sometimes the only reason they cross is because 
    it gets so difficult for them. So, they really, really are 
    interested in doing the right thing.
        I'm glad you mentioned the separation of children. There's 
    nothing more heartbreaking. I want to give credit to our 
    Congresswoman who's really stepped up. So, sometimes it doesn't 
    take a law. It just takes a person. In El Paso and everywhere 
    else no longer is there separation of children because she 
    found it to be offensive. She stood up for it. She's championed 
    for that, and we would no longer do that. I think that's quite 
    an accomplishment.
        Ms. Jayapal. Thank you. My time is yielded.
        I do ask unanimous consent, Mr. Chair, to enter the 
    following statements into the record. The American Immigration 
    Lawyers Association, Church World Services, Coalition for 
    Humane Immigrant Rights, First Focus Campaign for Children, 
    Human Rights First, Kids in Need of Defense, National 
    Immigration Law Center, National Immigration Project, Project 
    on Government Oversight, and the Southern Border Communities 
    Coalition.
        Mr. Biggs. Without objection.
        I recognize the gentlelady from Indiana, Ms. Spartz.
        Ms. Spartz. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Judge Samaniego, do you 
    believe in the rule of law?
        Mr. Samaniego. Pardon me?
        Ms. Spartz. Do you believe in the rule of law?
        Mr. Samaniego. Absolutely.
        Ms. Spartz. So, let me ask you a question.
        You were talking about asylum seekers. How many of them are 
    actually legitimate asylum seekers, cases percentagewise, based 
    on the current law?
        Mr. Samaniego. I think that's an impossible question 
    because they have the right to say that they have credible 
    fear. It is not my position or my role to, to determine whether 
    that is true or not, but that is the court's.
        Ms. Spartz. The cases when you go and look at these cases, 
    what is the percentage of that actually legitimate? What do you 
    assess that it actually was not abused?
        Mr. Samaniego. From the stories I have heard, and what they 
    go through, and how they are persecuted in their countries and 
    how they are treated, and it is not economically driven as much 
    as it is fear-driven.
        Ms. Spartz. So, what is the percentage that is, that could 
    be legitimate?
        Now, when I was in Texas a few years ago and I talked to 
    some people there, I have actually been in El Paso, too, it was 
    under 10 percent. I am not sure if this number changed now. 
    Would you say that majority of them are not?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, you are asking for a nonobjective. I 
    can't say that.
        Ms. Spartz. OK. Then let me question. If there are a lot of 
    illegitimate cases do you think it hurts legitimate asylum 
    seekers that actually can be killed by their government?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, absolutely. I mean, they are seeking 
    to get away from their difficult situation. I cannot tell you. 
    That is up to the court.
        Ms. Spartz. Do you believe that, you know, and I agree with 
    you that it shouldn't be where the court really should be doing 
    it because we are delaying the process. Do you believe that 
    have such a large number of people at the border doesn't allow 
    now actually to help legitimate people that could be dead, 
    because we have some people that--very desperate people?
        Don't get me wrong. Life is tough in a lot of countries. 
    There are a lot of things, you know, that is really bad. We 
    have people really in a life and death situation do believe to 
    have such scale of people coming to the border and maybe 
    abusing the system, and take advantage of some of these people, 
    actually hurts legitimate people?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, that, that is the broken system. I 
    mean, we are asking--the system says you have the right to 
    express credible fear.
        Ms. Spartz. The system should be checked at the border and 
    should be go in the first Port of Entry. So, there is a lot of 
    abuses in the system.
        Do you believe that they need to tighten a little bit 
    asylum procedures from our standpoint that Border Patrol can do 
    a better job, that we don't have to wait for a lot of cases 
    when they get through the court system? Do you think it is 
    legitimate?
        Mr. Samaniego. I can tell you that the number of times that 
    a migrant is vetted is unbelievable.
        Ms. Spartz. They are not vetting for credible fear right 
    now because they go around that they just say, I have a 
    credible fear. Cartel gives you a piece of paper say what you 
    say the right thing to do. They just let you go. Hopefully, 
    they give notice to appear. Some of them don't even give them 
    anymore because they cannot process it.
        It is becoming a situation where it is becoming no one can 
    handle this demand. So, do you believe we need to improve that 
    from your perspective? That is, it not enforcement issue, that 
    enforcement law needs to be tighter? Is that?
        Mr. Samaniego. Absolutely, it needs to be improved. I think 
    you are not giving us a solution. It is not an easy solution 
    for us to determine whether it is or it isn't credible fear 
    because the law says that if you express it, then we have to 
    accept it.
        Ms. Spartz. Well, I think we agree something, the law maybe 
    need to be tightened. Because we are really hurting the people.
        Do you believe that cartels making so much money on 
    desperate poor people that the message spread they all come to 
    the country is really hurt legal immigration, but also it 
    really creates a modern-day slavery, because these are 
    desperate people. Do you believe that would be characterized 
    like that?
        Mr. Samaniego. What I have said over and over again is 
    that, if you stop the process, you help the the cartels. When 
    the process is moving, it is very difficult for them to do the 
    things that they do. When you push them back to Juarez--
        Ms. Spartz. You don't think all this money actually are 
    helping them, to empower them and control now all the whole 
    border with a lot of money? Have better resources than our 
    Border Patrol has. You don't believe it is helping them because 
    all these people paid them a lot of money, and from desperate 
    countries? They don't make enough money to pay unless they 
    became enslaved by these people.
        Mr. Samaniego. I agree. Every time that the process stops, 
    that is when they get abused, they get raped, they get--and so 
    there are people that can legitimately come into our country, 
    if we can help them process and get them quickly moving, less 
    likely with the cartels.
        Ms. Spartz. Yes, I think we need to work on that.
        Maybe we can at least find common ground on that.
        What would you say, Sheriff, from just feeling, what really 
    needs to be done--and we have two seconds left to really find 
    common ground to stop this insanity?
        Mr. Dannels. I will talk fast.
        I actually spoke to Secretary Mayorkas about putting 
    judicial oversight at the southern border so they can address 
    these asylum claims, these credible fear claims. As we know, 
    the high percentage don't qualify under the law to do that.
        Secretary Mayorkas said, ``I 100 percent agree with you, 
    Sheriff.'' We have seen no action over the last year to get 
    that done. Because we can address it at the border, not within 
    our communities.
        Ms. Spartz. Thank you. My time has expired. Thank you.
        Mr. Biggs. I now recognize the gentleman from California, 
    Mr. Correa.
        Mr. Correa. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        First, Mr. Dunn, I want to convey my condolences at the 
    loss of your son Noah. I am a father a four. Every day I pray 
    for my children.
        I am, also, a Little League dad. I have seen young children 
    go from promising athletes to drug rehab. A terrible situation, 
    drug abuse. This scourge on our society does not discriminate. 
    Working hard to make sure nobody falls victim to the scourge.
        Sheriff Dannels, I also want to thank you for your good 
    work.
        Mr. Dannels. Thank you, sir.
        Mr. Correa. I have a brother that served with LAPD for 30 
    years.
        Mr. Dannels. Thank you for your service.
        Mr. Correa. He has some interesting stories.
        Mr. Dannels. Yes, I bet you do.
        Mr. Correa. You mentioned human trafficking. You mentioned 
    $3,000. Is that the price to smuggle a human being into this 
    country?
        Mr. Dannels. No. It is 7,000 and up to be smuggled by the 
    criminal cartels.
        So, the drivers that are coming to my county, going to 
    three hours north to Phoenix, Maricopa County, it is $3,000 per 
    person.
        Mr. Correa. I just got back from Central America. The going 
    price now is about $22,000. Most of the women, 80 percent of 
    the women by the time they get to El Paso, to our southern 
    border, are either raped or sexually abused. I would say that 
    there is a lot of desperation, putting yourself at risk, a 
    woman preparing herself for that eventuality and paying 
    $22,000.
        Mr. Dannels. I would agree.
        Mr. Correa. Like many of us here, I have had the 
    opportunity to go to the southern border, El Paso, San Ysidro, 
    the Canadian border as well. My job in Homeland Security.
        I only have three minutes left, so I want to talk about the 
    San Ysidro border crossing.
        When I usually cross that border, come back to the U.S., I 
    identify myself to the border agents. Tell them who I am and 
    ask them how is the day's work going? Usually get average 
    answers.
        One day agent told me, ``Look behind you. See all those 
    cars.''
        I said, yes.
        He says, ``They are essentially filled with Russian and 
    Ukrainian undocumented immigrants.''
        I said, ``It is new?''
        He said, ``No. It has been happening for a few months 
    now.''
        Well, the Russian-Ukrainian war started, those undocumented 
    Ukrainians are now Ukrainian refugees.
        April 2022, less than a year ago, I went back to San 
    Ysidro, actually to Tijuana, Mexico, to visit a refugee camp of 
    Ukrainians. This is what I found behind me: The Mexican 
    Government took a baseball field, turned it into a refugee 
    camp. The Mexican police were guarding that camp to make sure 
    those refugees were safe. American private and public donations 
    poured in. Doctors, nurses,  professionals came in 
    from across the country to make sure healthcare needs were 
    taken care of.
        This became a processing center for Ukrainian refugee 
    camps. Refugees would come in. In 24-48 hours they would board 
    a bus, be driven to the pedestrian crossing, pedestrian west 
    crossing. Title 42 would be waived. They would get a parole 
    status and walk across the border.
        This is an example of how you deal with the refugee crisis, 
    right here, ladies and gentlemen. This doesn't look like El 
    Paso. This is the way you address the refugee challenge.
        The Biden Administration, thankfully, is now working on 
    implementing a similar program, parole program for Cubans, 
    Haitians, and Nicaraguans. We still have the Afghanis that 
    fought alongside our troops that are still hanging out there 
    somewhere. Same thing for Syrians.
        Sheriff Dannels, I ask you this question because it is an 
    issue of incentives, folks. Very, very desperate individuals. 
    You have got to give them a reason to go through the legal 
    process because they are desperate.
        The refugee challenge is not just the United States. It is 
    a worldwide issue. The solution isn't just here. Our neighbors, 
    Canada and Mexico, have to be part of the solution as well.
        Under existing laws this is the way you do it.
        I am out of time, Mr. Chair. I yield. Thank you very much.
        Mr. Biggs. Thank you.
        I recognize the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Cline.
        Mr. Cline. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        I want to thank the witnesses for being here. Mr. Dunn, our 
    prayers are with you and your family for the loss of your son.
        This hearing is designed to bring to Washington the 
    concerns of the people at the border about this border crisis, 
    and seek out its origins, which are clearly down at the other 
    end of Pennsylvania Avenue and the White House.
        From day one, this administration has blatantly ignored 
    U.S. immigration laws and policies designed to keep America 
    safe. After several visits to the border myself, it is clear, 
    we need border enforcement now. The open border and amnesty 
    policies have made this crisis worse every single day and 
    encourages more vulnerable populations to make what is a very 
    dangerous journey.
        Americans should be outraged by the Biden Administration's 
    failed leadership.
        On January 30th, KFOX 14 in El Paso reported on Border 
    Patrol reports in the article entitled, ``Unprecedented number 
    of migrants reported in El Paso in the first quarter of 2023.''
        More than 64 percent of the migrants encountered during 
    this timeframe were single adults, some attempting to evade 
    arrest and not seeking asylum. Unaccompanied children 
    encounters increased by 59 percent in the last Fiscal Year of 
    2022, the same timeframe, as opposed to 8,000 unaccompanied 
    children encounters. El Paso sector reported only 5,000. So, 
    that is up.
        The sector led the Nation in the first quarter of the 
    Fiscal Year with total migrant encounters across all 20 U.S. 
    Border Patrol sectors. Agents apprehended 37 individuals with 
    criminal records, rescued 61 migrants, including tender-age 
    children, some abandoned in the remote desert, and intercepted 
    22 narcotics loads.
        A defense attorney in El Paso, juvenile defense attorney, 
    stated, ''Youth are getting more involved with crime.'' Huge 
    increases in weapons. He thinks it is just because they are 
    getting money to pay for these weapons. How they are earning 
    that money is from drugs. I see a lot of kids are helping with 
    human smuggling, and that is a big problem.
        Although, Judge, you stated in your testimony there is no 
    invasion of migrants in our community, nor are there hordes of 
    undocumented immigrants committing crimes against citizens or 
    causing havoc in our community, when you see an increase in 
    children helping human smuggling, how is that not the case? How 
    is it not the case that you, that these policies are 
    contributing to the delinquency of minors in your area?
        Mr. Samaniego. Once again, I don't see the correlation of 
    things that are going on with our country and sort of saying 
    that it is influenced by our immigration or people coming 
    through. Like I said, we don't see that. We try our best to 
    deal with the circumstances at hand. Then we try our best to 
    move people along.
        I have said over and over you guys have the luxury of being 
    Democrats and Republicans. We have to be public servants. That 
    is all we can do. When they come across, we do not manage who 
    comes across, we manage how to process them in the best 
    possible way.
        I have said over and over, El Paso really thinks as a 
    Nation. I think people think that we are just focused on our 
    situation there as a community, but we don't. We are really 
    concerned about having New York to deal with that, having 
    Chicago deal with that. We have talked to each one of the 
    mayors and we are working.
        If we were to put in more of a national system of allowing 
    communities to say who needs the migrants, and then helping us 
    to process them there. I use the Houston model. It is just 
    exceptional. Every single day 52 come in. They go back to 
    Houston. They go to the bigger hubs, and we move them through.
        So, that is where we need your help. We need your help to--
    not whether what we are doing is right or inaccurate, but the 
    fact that it is a community that really shoulders a tremendous 
    amount of a broken system.
        Mr. Cline. You say that the transportation of these 
    individuals to other cities is necessary to prevent your 
    community from descent into chaos, correct?
        Mr. Samaniego. No. That is not true.
        Mr. Cline. You are fine keeping them all in your 
    jurisdiction instead of sending them to other locations?
        Mr. Samaniego. We would welcome them. It is a shame that 
    they are concerned about being close to the border because of 
    how they are going to be treated, and how they are going to be 
    deported even if they shouldn't be deported. So, you have got 
    migrants wanting to move into the interiors simply because they 
    don't feel safe, even if they are here, processed, and legal.
        Once they are processed, they are legal in our community. 
    So, once again, I think we are helping the Nation do the right 
    thing.
        Mr. Biggs. The gentleman's time has expired.
        The Chair recognizes the gentlelady Ms. Scanlon.
        Ms. Scanlon. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        Colleagues on the other side of the aisle seem to have 
    called this hearing to really promote fearmongering or 
    disinformation to justify a radical plan that would effectively 
    shut down asylum to everyone. The plan is so extreme that the 
    Republican colleagues have objected that it is ineffective, 
    inhumane, and even un-American.
        What I find particularly pernicious is the attempt to 
    conflate the issues of migrants seeking legal asylum through 
    our legal processes with the very real scourge of fentanyl 
    trafficking which, as CBP data demonstrates, and Judge 
    Samaniego has testified, overwhelmingly comes through the ports 
    of entry in trucks and cargo ships, not on the backs of 
    migrants trying to flee poverty or violence in their home 
    countries.
        Falsely suggesting that migrant families seeking asylum are 
    the source of the fentanyl epidemic, we can't even start to 
    craft policy measures that could actually address either of 
    these issues, the fentanyl crisis or the humanitarian issues 
    raised by the push factors in South and Central America and our 
    immigration laws.
        So, I don't want to waste this opportunity. Since most of 
    my experience before coming to Congress has to do with how 
    badly broken our immigration laws are, I just wanted to focus 
    there.
        How do we handle the increase in asylum seekers at the 
    southern border with real fixes, like some of those that Judge 
    Samaniego has suggested?
        As I suggested, we do need to address the root causes of 
    migration, but we need to have functioning pathways here in 
    this country that people can pursue. I have represented enough 
    folks seeking asylum to know that there aren't functional 
    pathways.
        I think we heard a statistic that only a small percentage 
    of people seeking asylum are actually entitled to it. That is 
    not true. The statistics vary very widely across the country, 
    but in some areas, particularly on the border where there are 
    less friendly judges often, the rates are very, very different 
    than in other areas across the country.
        So, Judge Samaniego, you are not an Immigration Judge, are 
    you? You don't adjudicate asylum claims?
        Mr. Samaniego. We do not.
        Ms. Scanlon. OK. I did want to verify that.
        Now, a couple years ago I had the opportunity to visit the 
    border and speak with Customs and Border Patrol, Homeland 
    Security agents, and advocates, and did see that there is a 
    humane processing process available there. I really appreciate 
    that.
        Why do you think that has been so successful over the 
    years, particularly when compared with other cities and 
    counties along the border?
        Mr. Samaniego. I think one is that we have accepted to be 
    humanitarian. When you do not start at that point, then you 
    don't create processes, you don't create ways to handle them, 
    the NGO's are not working with you, the Border Patrol doesn't 
    work with you. So, I think the moment that you make that 
    determination that you are going to be humanitarian, it forces 
    you to come up with systems to help out.
        There are some, for example, there are things that we could 
    do. The Venezuelan population dropped tremendously as soon as 
    we--the Border Patrol has an app that you can, now from your 
    country, begin to apply. We are talking about vetting the 
    credible fear. So, you are able to do a bit of that. The 
    numbers dropped tremendously.
        Also, I was able to talk to the Ambassador from the U.S. to 
    Mexico. He talked about what do we do at the origin, the point 
    of origin, is very important. Because we know that, for 
    example, why is Colombia not treating Venezuelans properly, and 
    then Venezuelans have to leave their country to come to our 
    country?
        So, there is a--it is not just a pull that we have. We have 
    a push that we need to look at as well.
        So, I think there is, if we get creative, but once you 
    start with the idea that you have to--it is safety. We have to 
    make sure that the economy is taken care of. El Paso is one of 
    the strongest economies in all of Texas. We were one of the 
    strongest. So, while we are dealing with this situation, we 
    have to worry about the economy. So, the economy, the safety, 
    and being able to do the right things from the humanitarian, I 
    think if you start from that premise, things are more solvable.
        If you start from the premise that you don't want them 
    here, then what is the solution?
        Ms. Scanlon. I do want to pick up on that because over the 
    past few months Texas' Governor has sent dozens of busloads of 
    vulnerable migrants to Philadelphia, which I represent, without 
    notice or coordination which, of course, has made it more 
    difficult for our willing city authorities to welcome those 
    folks. When you have two buses dumped on New Year's Eve morning 
    before 6:00 a.m., and you have vulnerable people without coats, 
    it is very difficult.
        So, I appreciate your insight that cooperation can smooth 
    over many of the issues that we are dealing with.
        I see my time has expired. I yield back.
        Mr. Samaniego. Thank you, Congresswoman.
        Mr. Biggs. I recognize the gentleman from Wisconsin, Mr. 
    Tiffany.
        Mr. Tiffany. Judge Samaniego, you said in one of your 
    answers earlier that people come here because they are 
    passionate. You have advocated for allowing people to come in 
    here.
        Do you think that is a reason why we should allow people 
    into America on a legal basis because they are passionate to 
    come to America?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, no, no. I said, they were here for 
    different reasons. They just happen to be passionate as an 
    additional component. I mean, they come because they are 
    fearing what is happening in their community.
        I touched this when I said earlier when they tell you that 
    every day their mom or their dad calls them and says they come 
    here looking for you every morning, and they want to know where 
    you are at.
        Mr. Tiffany. Thank you.
        Mr. Samaniego. That is why they are moving in this 
    direction.
        Mr. Tiffany. Thank you. I am really glad this issue in 
    regard to Governor Abbott moving people to various cities 
    around the country has come up. Have you been critical of 
    Governor Abbott for what he has done?
        Mr. Samaniego. Absolutely. Absolutely. Because when you 
    send someone that is not organized, and they don't know who is 
    on that bus, and some of them are not sponsored, that is a huge 
    burden on that community.
        Mr. Tiffany. Have you been critical of the Biden 
    Administration when they have flown people all over the country 
    in the dark of night?
        Mr. Samaniego. I don't know of that taking place. I 
    apologize.
        Mr. Tiffany. So, you have not seen, for example, I have an 
    article here entitled, ``Biden Administration quietly flies 
    illegal immigrants to New York in the middle of night''? We 
    just heard from a fellow Member on this panel saying they are 
    doing it in Philadelphia also.
        Do you think that is right for the Biden Administration to 
    do that?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, I think it is an indication that they 
    have to decompress. Because when we get flights that are going 
    out to decompress the system there with the Border Patrol, and 
    has nothing to do with our community--
        Mr. Samaniego. So, did you give the benefit of the doubt to 
    Governor Abbott and say, well, maybe they are decompressing 
    these people on their trips to these cities?
        Mr. Tiffany. Well, I--
        Mr. Tiffany. Isn't it the same thing, Judge Samaniego?
        Mr. Samaniego. No, it isn't, because it is not coordinated. 
    We have never gotten a call from the Governor to tell us, hey, 
    what do you need? How can we help? How can we do things?
        Mr. Tiffany. No. Thank--
        Mr. Samaniego. We just get buses for these people.
        Mr. Tiffany. I really appreciate that. Biden Administration 
    quietly flies illegal immigrants to New York in the middle of 
    the night. That is what they are doing.
        I will be happy to share this article with you so you can 
    see what is happening there.
        Thank you for your answer.
        Sheriff Dannels, I was in your county in June 2020. What 
    has changed since June 2020?
        Mr. Dannels. Well, we went from, just to put it in 
    perspective, five percent of my jail population was border-
    related, up to almost 45 percent now, 45 percent.
        We have seen the pursuits. Last year we put 180 people in 
    jail for pursuits that were deadly pursuits. When I say, 
    ``deadly,'' driving at 100 miles an hour plus, endangering 
    communities. Some resulted in deaths. Some we interdicted 
    before they killed somebody.
        We see the flow of public safety challenges in our 
    community based on this border every day. So, it has changed 
    drastically as a result of this border.
        Mr. Tiffany. Because what I heard from your sheriffs is 
    that there was good coordination all the way from the local 
    level all the way up to the Federal Government in June 2020, 
    and that there was some control being--the border was becoming 
    more secure.
        Is that generally an accurate statement?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes, Congressman. In fact, Border Patrol, when 
    I pull up to a scene to help my deputies or troopers, officers 
    or agents, they always make a point to come over and say, 
    Sheriff, thank you for what you do. Thanks for being a voice 
    for us.
        Mr. Tiffany. We heard earlier that--I can't remember who it 
    was that said that the increased fentanyl is not tied to 
    illegal border crossings. Do you agree with that statement?
        Mr. Dannels. No.
        Mr. Tiffany. Why not?
        Mr. Tiffany. The criminal cartels are exploiting our 
    border, whether they are trafficking children, adults, males, 
    females, whether they are human smuggling for profit, or they 
    are doing illicit drugs. Either way, the criminal cartels are 
    exploiting our border. I keep hearing the word, different words 
    about how it is controlled.
        It is not effectively managed right now. Until it is, the 
    cartels, they are the winners of this.
        Mr. Tiffany. Those of you on the other side of the aisle, 
    you can continue to wear blinders, or you can do photo op trips 
    like the President did down to El Paso where they cleaned up 
    that region before he comes in, you can do that. The American 
    people are seeing very clearly what is going on.
        Now that we are in the majority, we are going to try to 
    identify this as much as possible. Because you are hearing the 
    truth here from people like the sheriff, from the fentanyl 
    families. I hope you are meeting with those fentanyl families 
    because it is directly tied to the border.
        I am going to just close with this: I hope as we go through 
    this process, we also get more information out in regard to the 
    NGO's, the International Organization for Migration, which has 
    weaponized immigration into this country all the way from 
    Panama up to the southern border. I hope we dig in deep to 
    those NGO's that are complicit--
        Mr. Biggs. The gentleman's time has expired.
        Mr. Tiffany. --in the greatest human trafficking operation 
    perhaps in the history of the world.
        I yield back.
        Mr. Biggs. I recognize, the Chair recognizes the gentlelady 
    from Pennsylvania. Is that right, Ms. Dean?
        Ms. Dean. Yes.
        Mr. Biggs. All right. Ms. Dean.
        Ms. Dean. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        Thank you to all our testifiers for being here today. We 
    benefit from your experience, and your service, and your 
    knowledge, and your heartbreaking family experience.
        Before I ran for Congress, I was a professor. For 10 years 
    I taught at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, teaching 
    writing, 7rhetoric, and ethics. That is why I can't help 
    noticing words so often used by my Republican colleagues when 
    we are talking about both of these tragic issues: Words like 
    hordes, invasion, crisis, and open border.
        It is purposeful. They want the American people to be 
    scared. They want us to feel threatened. They want to create 
    divisions because othering people makes it far easier to 
    mistreat them.
        The reality is there is no invasion. There are no hordes of 
    invaders. Our borders are not being overrun by dangerous 
    criminals. We do have a broken immigration system.
        At the same time, we are struggling with an extraordinary, 
    deadly drug problem in our country.
        Mr. Dunn and Ms. Dunn, Ms. Janel, my extraordinary 
    heartfelt sympathy to you on the loss of dear Noah, poisoned by 
    fentanyl, as you have written here in your testimony. My family 
    knows a little bit about drugs and poisoning from a different 
    perspective; my son is a recovering addict. It is by the grace 
    of God that he did not come into deadly fentanyl that would 
    have taken his life.
        We must be able to talk about these things honestly, and 
    not conflate them, as my colleague just said. There is a 
    difference between the facts and the rhetoric, between wanting 
    to solve these problems or just trying to make people afraid of 
    them.
        The fact is 90 percent of fentanyl, heroin, and meth seized 
    in this country is captured at ports of entry. Just about 
    everybody who I have spoken to has said this. This means the 
    drugs are being brought in through normal channels, not on the 
    backs of families crossing at remote parts of the country. The 
    vast majority I am talking about. I am sure it is not 100 
    percent.
        In fact, CBP reports that drug cartels are now recruiting 
    Americans to bring fentanyl into this country, not undocumented 
    immigrants. We have a horrific problem. Like your dear Noah, we 
    are losing more than 100,000 people a year to overdose, more 
    than 70 percent of those fentanyl.
        I wear this band for the son, a 24-year-old son who died of 
    an overdose, fentanyl poisoning. Sadly, it is not one anymore. 
    This band represents at least a half a dozen in my community 
    whose children have lost their lives.
        Let's get serious about it. Let's stop demonizing the 
    immigrant who comes and asks for help.
        Judge Samaniego, I understand, and I have been to El Paso 
    to the Port of Entry, it is the second busiest border crossing 
    in the United States. You interact with a large number of these 
    people who are--and they are people seeking safety and humane 
    treatment. Can you just give a couple snippets of why they are 
    coming across?
        Mr. Samaniego. I said earlier, a large number that you hear 
    is that they were in their country, they were abused, they 
    tried to defend themselves, so they get targeted. That is one 
    big category, where they are just trying to do the right thing 
    in their own country, but their own country rejects them, and 
    then they target them. That is a big part of it.
        A lot of it, like I said, is just it is not--the economy 
    plays a second part of it. Obviously, the economy is worse, but 
    that is not a reason to come to our country, because of the 
    economy. They are really driven by the fact that they can no 
    longer live in their communities.
        Ms. Dean. We know that we have seen these numbers for a 
    large number of years, not just under the Biden Administration. 
    I think in your testimony you wrote at least the last four 
    years you have had increased numbers.
        Mr. Samaniego. Absolutely.
        Ms. Dean. Can you speak to what you also said in your 
    testimony which is this, what I am so concerned about, which is 
    the false racist narrative that is being promoted here today, 
    and is promoted day after day here in Congress?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, if anybody is concerned with that, it 
    is us. I mean, we, that narrative was picked up by a shooter 
    that you had the Walmart situation. We hear that and it 
    concerns us as a community.
        When you say racism, and invasion, and all this, it makes 
    our community extremely nervous because then we might get 
    targeted for being that community, and for being humanitarian.
        So, I do ask for these words to be settled in a different 
    way. You don't need to say invasion and all these things that 
    are happening across the border. We are a community that works 
    really hard. We are very privileged with what we have. It is 
    just very concerning when we hear this because we don't know if 
    we are going to be targeted because of these comments.
        Ms. Dean. I know my time is up. I thank all three of you 
    for your service.
        Mr. Dunn, I thank you for your wish to our children.
        Thank you.
        Mr. Biggs. The gentlelady's time has expired.
        The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Van 
    Drew.
        Mr. Van Drew. Thank you, Chair.
        First, Mr. Dunn, as everybody else has said, and I know we 
    have been repetitive, but it really is heartfelt, we feel for 
    you.
        As somebody, I am a grandfather, I am getting older, and a 
    father. I can't imagine. I cannot imagine. I will tell you, I 
    mean this sincerely that I will pray for you and for your 
    family.
        I don't know, sometimes I think the world is upside-down. 
    The more that time goes on, especially recently, it seems 
    upside-down to me. So, I have to talk about a few of the things 
    that I heard my colleagues on the other side say that, for 
    example, this hearing was a show.
        The hearing is not a show. To determine how to effectively 
    fix something you have to study it, you have to learn about it, 
    and you have to hear about it. That is what this hearing is 
    about. It is not a show.
        It is also not anti-immigration. None of these Republicans, 
    and I know, I am sure, none of the Democrats are anti-
    immigration. We are anti-illegal immigration. There is a 
    difference. There is the rule of law.
        I don't know where we have lost that. That is what I mean 
    by the world being upside-down. The rule of law, that you 
    follow laws, and things happen in a certain way.
        The other secret here that people sometimes don't want to 
    talk about is no country that is ultimately successful for a 
    long period of time has wide open borders. Yes, there can be 
    border problems. America has had border problems. Many 
    countries have had border problems. Nevertheless, you can't say 
    that you can just have completely open borders.
        If that is true, let's just open our country completely to 
    every single country in the world and say we have no borders, 
    and as many people want to come here can come here, whether 
    they are sick or not, whether they have other issues or not, 
    whether drugs are coming in or not. Yes, drugs are coming in 
    because the cartels are helping these people to get across and 
    using them. Human trafficking is happening. Human abuse is 
    happening. I am sorry, Judge, but it is.
        If you talk to people down there, I know the people you 
    don't talk to don't see it and hear it, but the people that I 
    do--and we are going to go again real soon--do see it and hear 
    it. It is true. It is real.
        I kind of empathize with the sheriff, Sheriff Dannels, when 
    he spoke about Secretary Mayorkas because I have had the 
    opportunity to ask him questions a number of times when I was 
    on the Homeland Security Committee, and the guy doesn't tell 
    the truth. Nobody wants to say that openly, but I will: The guy 
    is a liar. He does not tell the truth.
        When he tells you he is going to look at something, he 
    doesn't. When he tells you he is going to do something, he 
    doesn't.
        When you show him a  of terrible things happening, 
    once it was a video of a young officer actually saving 
    somebody's life that was drowning, and they found out that it 
    was a drug dealer whose life he saved--by the way, the officer 
    died--that is the truth.
        The truth is we have a problem. The truth is that we need 
    borders that are effective, and we need borders that are 
    sealed. The truth is it is Biden's. I will be the partisan one 
    here, it is Biden's problem, because in two years it has 
    radically changed.
        When President Trump put together a strong array of 
    immigration policies at stemming the flow of illegal immigrant 
    crossings, there was so much of a reduction. It was so much 
    safer. It was getting better. It was working.
        You know what? Legal immigrants don't like the illegal 
    immigration. They don't want to be mixed into that. His very 
    first day in office President Biden decimated this process. He 
    ignored the experts. He ignored the expert advice of those 
    serving at the borders. He turned his back on the millions of 
    Americans that live in border communities. Does anybody care 
    about all these people that are being overrun? We are all going 
    to care soon because we are all going to be overrun.
        That is not being--that is not hyperbole. It is not 
    extreme. They are being shipped all over the country.
        He ended the construction of the wall and he refused to 
    deport any illegal immigrants during the first 100 days, so he 
    terminated the declaration of a national emergency at the 
    southern border, all in one single day. Did we put out a 
    message that we wanted illegal immigration? Absolutely.
        You know all the things that have happened since and how 
    many got-aways have got away.
        I wanted to ask something of the sheriff. Because I don't 
    have time, I would love to talk on this longer.
        Kamala Harris was appointed the Border Czar. That means she 
    should know this border in and out and in every way, along with 
    Mayorkas. Has she? Have you had a lot of interaction with her?
        I am done talking, but can he answer that at least?
        Mr. Biggs. Yes. The gentleman's time has expired.
        You may answer that question.
        Mr. Dannels. No.
        Mr. Van Drew. No.
        I hope everybody heard that. That is the answer. That is 
    the truth.
        Mr. Biggs. Thank you. The gentleman's time has expired.
        The Chair recognizes the gentlelady from Texas, Ms. 
    Escobar.
        Ms. Escobar. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        I would like to also join my colleagues, Mr. Dunn, in 
    expressing my heartfelt sympathies and condolences for the loss 
    of your son.
        Sheriff Dannels, thank you for your service to your 
    community and to our country.
        Mr. Dannels. Thank you, Congresswoman.
        Ms. Escobar. Again, Judge Samaniego, I am so grateful for 
    your compassionate and strategic leadership and your 
    partnership with the Federal Government. We appreciate your 
    testimony here as well.
        For anyone who really, truly wants to understand what is 
    happening at the border and to depoliticize this, we have got 
    to take a step back and acknowledge that what we have been 
    seeing is an historic refugee crisis impacting our Western 
    Hemisphere. It started in 2014 as we began seeing record 
    numbers of unaccompanied minors. It has continued through the 
    years.
        When folks credit Donald Trump for limiting migration, I 
    want you to look at what the data shows, which is the only time 
    we saw a drop during the Trump Administration was in the weeks 
    after the country and the world shut down because of COVID. The 
    apprehensions began increasing again before the November 
    general election in 2020.
        So, let's operate in truth and fact or we won't be able to 
    achieve any solutions together.
        I will tell you there is no one who wants a safe, secure, 
    well-managed border than those of us who live and work on the 
    border, than those of us who raise our children on the border, 
    those of us who have pledged our service to the border.
        So, to my Republican colleagues, I will work with anyone 
    who wants to achieve what I hope we all want to achieve. So, 
    how do we do that? How do we solve this challenge?
        I will tell you how we don't do it. We don't keep doing 
    more and more of the same. The definition of doing the same 
    thing over and over again and expecting a different result is 
    insanity.
        What have we been doing for decades in America? We have 
    been addressing immigration as a border only issue. That is an 
    expensive failure.
        So, how do we solve this?
        No. 1, Congress needs to open-up legal pathways. We haven't 
    done that in decades. For many of these migrants there is no 
    line for them to get into, there is no right way for them to 
    use except for asylum, which is legal.
        We should also recognize that our country needs immigrants. 
    I don't know about you all, but every CEO I talk to says we 
    need a labor force. I have had CEOs from different parts of the 
    country tell us, can we have some of those asylum seekers in 
    our community, because we can't get anybody to go to work?
        So, we need to recognize how advantageous immigration is 
    for America.
        We also need to modernize our processing and include a 
    Federal civilian workforce so that, Judge, you don't have to 
    step in and fill in where the Federal Government has failed.
        Most importantly, we can depoliticize this work and work 
    for real solutions.
        So, if we want to end the scourge of fentanyl, I sure wish 
    my Republican colleagues would have voted for the bipartisan 
    Infrastructure Law which funds technology at our ports.
        If you want to help defeat the cartels, fund the 
    President's budget as he applies historic resources to do this.
        If you want to erode the power of the cartels, advocate to 
    end Title 42.
        If you want to secure the border, I sure wish you would 
    have voted for historic funding for the Department of Homeland 
    Security in December.
        Every member of the Republican party, every colleague 
    actually on this panel who is a Republican voted against that 
    funding. In fact, in December President Biden asked for $5 
    billion for the Department of Homeland Security. Republicans 
    cut that in half and then voted against it.
        Judge, in that funding was money for communities like ours, 
    for governments like yours that help partner with us. If the 
    Republicans would have had their way, and if that funding 
    wouldn't have made it to you to help, who or what agency would 
    have been hurt the most?
        Mr. Samaniego. Oh, my goodness. Just the fact of not having 
    the funding, obviously everybody gets hurt because now NGO's 
    have to step in without any money. Everything gets shifted away 
    from what they need to do.
        I can tell you, FEMA helping us really took a--that was 
    such an incredible opportunity for us to be able to shelter, to 
    process, to do the things that we wanted to do in a very 
    organized manner.
        Ms. Escobar. When you can't help, what agency has to pick 
    up the burden, what Federal Law Enforcement Agency?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, the Border Patrol.
        Ms. Escobar. That is right.
        Mr. Samaniego. Border Patrol. They, that is why we have 
    such a great relationship, because they know that if we weren't 
    doing our job with the community, they would have to have--they 
    have 1,200, they have 1,200 beds available. Sometimes they have 
    as much as 5,500.
        When we help them, the flow comes through, they are feeling 
    good about it, and we take all that pressure away from the 
    Federal Government.
        Ms. Escobar. Thank you, Judge.
        My time has expired. I yield back.
        Mr. Biggs. Before we go to our next interlocutor, I guess 
    do any of you need a five or 10 minute break? Do you? OK.
        So, we are going to recess for 10 minutes, or the sound of 
    the gavel.
        We are in recess.
        [Recess.]
        Chair Jordan. [Presiding.] The Committee will come to 
    order. The gentleman from Oregon, Mr. Bentz, is recognized.
        Mr. Bentz. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Let me just start with 
    Sheriff Dannels. Sheriff, I am interested in knowing about how 
    you would view a system that did not allow asylum claims.
        If we decide to secure the border completely and cut asylum 
    claims and cutoff parole claims, that doesn't mean necessarily 
    that the border is going to be secure. There are still going to 
    be issues because the border is a long space and folks will be 
    coming across it. The reason I bring up this reference to 
    asylum and parole is because when Secretary Mayorkas appeared 
    before us, he assured us that the border was secure and that 
    the law was being enforced.
        Of course, he neglected to point out that literally tens of 
    thousands of people were being allowed in under the guise of 
    both of those perfectly legal devices. So, two questions to 
    you. First, I was looking at your suggestions on what we needed 
    to do to perhaps secure the border.
        So, the first question is, which one is the most important 
    if we are actually going to do it? The second one in the same 
    vein is, can we do it? Do you think that we can actually secure 
    the border?
        If so, tell us how much money it is going to take. I saw 
    your list. I have no idea what the cost would be. Can we 
    actually secure the border?
        Mr. Dannels. I do believe, Congressman, that we can secure 
    the border to a manageable State. We've seen it done before. 
    I've seen it almost four decades of law enforcement where we 
    have a manageable border.
        It'll never be perfect. I've seen that. I don't ever see 
    perfection on the border. What I do see is having the right 
    programs which starts with the President of the United States.
        I know it was mentioned before, different Presidents, 
    different ideologies. The bottom line is when we have a 
    President that, (a) prioritizes all our borders, not just our 
    southern border, and then (b) we enforce the rule of law. We 
    can always polish the rule of law. We have to enforce the rule 
    of law.
        Mr. Bentz. Stop there. That takes me nicely to asylum and 
    parole. Those are the laws. Are you suggesting we do away with 
    those and say, the border is now closed? We don't want anybody 
    coming across. Is that what you are suggesting? Because I can't 
    let you get away with abolish the rule of law without talking 
    about asylum and parole.
        Mr. Dannels. Congressman, when I say--I always put border 
    security first and then immigration second because we can talk 
    immigration all day. If the border is not secure, we're going 
    to be fighting ourselves like we are in this meeting today. So, 
    when I talk about asylum, I believe in asylum.
        You got to do it legally. You got to go through a Port of 
    Entry as designated by our rule of law. You can't come across 
    our border illegally and then have no consequences.
        I've been a cop for 38 years. I've been in the military. I 
    support the rule of law. I'm never going to change from that. 
    I've done that for so long. So, we've got to have rules that 
    we're going to follow, not that we make them subjective to what 
    political ideology fits. We have to have a rule that fits. 
    That's why I say we have to enforce the rule of law or we 
    change it to make it fit current times.
        Mr. Bentz. Correct. With mass migration, that is a real 
    challenge. Mr. Dunn, I am really, really sorry for your loss. I 
    had some of the staff ask you during break if there was a way 
    of testing for fentanyl so that children, such as your son, 
    could have some means where they could check to see if that 
    which they are taking has been contaminated with fentanyl.
        I understand that there may be a way to do it. It is 
    designated as drug paraphernalia and thus not available. Tell 
    us what the future is when it comes to trying to warn kids who 
    are taking these kinds of things of the danger.
        Mr. Dunn. There are fentanyl test strips that are 
    available. Right now, they are classified as drug 
    paraphernalia. Excuse me.
        One of the things that we're working on along with other 
    families that we talk with in Texas and as well as multiple of 
    our democratic State representations, our current 
    representative is a Democrat is to have these removed from that 
    classification. Governor Abbott has already stated that he will 
    sign any legislation that decriminalizes fentanyl test strips. 
    They just have to get that legislation out there, so it can be 
    enacted.
        Mr. Bentz. So, why would anybody object?
        Mr. Dunn. They won't. Everybody that we've talked to is on 
    board with it. It's just our session in Texas doesn't meet as 
    frequently. So, they have to--we've been told it is one of the 
    priorities.
        I believe there's several different bills out there. So, I 
    think it's finally just getting everybody on board and getting 
    it done is what we're waiting on. I think our session just 
    convened a few weeks ago. That is one of the top priorities 
    from the representatives that we've spoken to.
        Mr. Bentz. Yes, thank you for being here. I yield back.
        Mr. Dunn. Thank you.
        Chair Jordan. The gentleman yields back. The gentlelady 
    from North Carolina is recognized.
        Ms. Ross. Thank you, Mr. Chair. First, Mr. Dunn and to your 
    wife, I am just so profoundly sorry for your loss. I have met 
    with the families of focus who have lost loved ones to 
    fentanyl.
        It is a problem in my home State of North Carolina. I think 
    it is quadrupled the problem. So, I am 100 percent with you in 
    finding a way to stop this drug from coming into our country 
    and spreading throughout the country. So please, please know 
    that.
        I am just somewhat saddened by this hearing because we have 
    had the opportunity to work on bipartisan immigration reform, 
    both immigration reform that deals with the safety and security 
    of our border and that addresses the needs of our workforce. I 
    represent North Carolina. So, we have a huge agriculture 
    industry that is dependent on migrant farm workers.
        We also have a lot of people in our State who come to work 
    in high tech companies and in biopharma. They are having 
    difficulty with their visas and extending their stays. It 
    really is incumbent on all of us to work together to solve this 
    problem.
        We are seeing some glimmers of hope on the Senate side. My 
    great fear that we are going to have one-sided hearings on the 
    House side that don't bring people together to be able to both 
    solve the situation at the border which is both a humanitarian 
    and a safety issue and make sure that we have the workforce 
    that we need. As I said, in my State of North Carolina, that 
    workforce comes from all corners of the world, but has 
    insecurity about whether or not they are going to be able to 
    stay and whether or not their children are going to be able to 
    stay.
        So, it is my hope that the majority on this Committee 
    really wants to do that hard work. I know that Congresswoman 
    Lofgren is not here right now. The work that she did on farm 
    worker modernization was bipartisan and important and helped 
    with border issues and helped with making sure we had enough 
    farm workers.
        I worked last session in a bipartisan way to help the 
    documented Dreamers. These are young people who come here 
    legally with their parents on a visa. Because our immigration 
    system is so broken; they have to self-deport at age 21.
        We have bipartisan sponsors on the House and Senate side. 
    It got through the House. We are really, really hoping to work 
    on that.
        So, it is in that spirit that I would both ask my 
    colleagues to work on this issue and I will be asking some 
    questions of our witnesses. My first question is for our judge. 
    Please tell me how to appropriately pronounce your name.
        Mr. Samaniego. It's sort of easy. It's Samaniego.
        Ms. Ross. Samaniego. So, as I have said, immigration has 
    become such a partisan issue. What I would like to know from 
    you, what are things that work where you think we can get some 
    bipartisan support at the border?
        Mr. Samaniego. I'm glad you're saying that, Congresswoman, 
    because we gain a lot of traction and things seem to be moving 
    in the right direction. Then when politics enters, it sort of 
    distracts us from doing what we need to do. I think you would 
    think at this point that necessity would give us the way toward 
    getting job creations and we hear a lot about that.
        I ask two questions from every migrant, every person I 
    meet.
    
        (1)  How long have you been traveling just to get them to 
    sympathize with what's happening with them?
    
        (2)  What is it that you did in your country?
    
        ,I can tell you plumbers, teachers, bricklayers, and 
    agriculture. Everyone has--there's no one that has said, I'm 
    just a laborer or I'm just a--they've worked in farms. They've 
    worked in doing things that we need.
        So, if you connect the two that we have a tremendous need, 
    I know just in El Paso, right there on the border, we have 
    maybe 20 percent, that we could use 20 percent, especially in 
    the service industries, in the entertainment industries. They 
    have all that talent and the abilities. I think the first thing 
    is instead of trying to eat the elephant in one sitting that we 
    start saying, what are some of the small things that we could 
    do?
        I believe from just my experience that job creation and 
    connecting the immigration situation to jobs. We've already 
    lived through the bracero situation that we need it, and we 
    used it properly. It was very successful.
        So, I think the first thing is that I hear is they're ready 
    to work. If we could connect it with our needs here in our 
    country.
        Ms. Ross. Thank you so much, and I yield back.
        Mr. Samaniego. Thank you.
        Chair Jordan. The gentlelady yields back. Judge why wasn't 
    it fixed last year?
        Mr. Samaniego. Pardon me?
        Chair Jordan. Why wasn't it fixed last year? The gentlelady 
    talked about working in a bipartisan fashion to fix this 
    problem. Why wasn't it fixed last year?
        Mr. Samaniego. Why wasn't it fixed last year?
        Chair Jordan. You talked about the concerns and how we have 
    to work together to fix--I am just wondering, why wasn't it 
    fixed last year? Because they didn't need bipartisan support 
    last year. Last Congress, they controlled everything in the 
    Federal Government. If it is a Federal Government solution, why 
    didn't they fix it?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, one of the things that we're doing 
    today, and I appreciate that is we're having a dialog. Those 
    dialogs can lead to--
        Chair Jordan. I am all for dialog. I am all for working 
    together. Now, it is all bipartisan. First, they say there is 
    no problem at the border. The border is secure.
        Then they come in here and say, oh, no, no. We got to work 
    in a bipartisan way to fix it now that we are in control of the 
    House of Representatives. All I am saying is last Congress, 
    they controlled everything.
        Joe Biden is a Democrat in the White House. The Senate was 
    controlled by the Democrats and the House was controlled by the 
    Democrats. Why didn't they fix it then?
        Mr. Samaniego. I think that falls more in your corner than 
    mine.
        Chair Jordan. My corner?
        Mr. Samaniego. Yes, because--
        Chair Jordan. The minority last Congress?
        Mr. Samaniego. All we do is maintain the flow and try to do 
    the best we can with a broken system. We have nothing to do 
    with fixing a system. So, this--
        Chair Jordan. You understand how the U.S. Government works, 
    right? You get a majority in the House and majority in the 
    Senate. They pass something that goes to the President. He 
    signs it. They could have done that last Congress. They didn't.
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, what a great--
        Chair Jordan. Why not?
        Mr. Samaniego. --opportunity for you to be different.
        Chair Jordan. Great opportunity. That is why we are having 
    the hearing. They criticize us on the hearing. They said, why 
    are we starting this Congress off with this hearing?
        They can't have it every way. They can't blame Republicans 
    when they were in control. You come here and you can say, oh, 
    no, now it is time for bipartisanship. We welcome that.
        If we really want to address the problem, the problem that 
    caused Mr. and Ms. Dunn to lose their son, the problem that 
    Sheriff has talked to us about that has been so, so 
    dramatically changed in the last couple of years. That is what 
    we want to address. I yield the remainder of my time to the 
    gentleman from Texas, Mr. Roy.
        Mr. Roy. I thank the Chair for his remarks. I am just going 
    to followup, Judge with the question of the--well, you and I 
    came to an agreement about the numbers of 55,000 roughly that 
    had been encountered in December in the El Paso sector, some 
    200 and I can't remember the exact number. I am sorry, a 
    145,000 or 50,000 encountered over the fiscal year, the three-
    months. How many of those encountered have been turned away 
    under Title 42?
        Mr. Samaniego. Have been what?
        Mr. Roy. How many of those have been turned away under 
    Title 42 with respect to the--
        Mr. Samaniego. I'm not sure of the number. I think from the 
    border patrol, they're looking at about 35 percent.
        Mr. Roy. Yes, that tracks with the numbers that I 
    understand, right? So, you are talking out of the 55,000, you 
    would have 18,000-20,000 that would have been turned away under 
    Title 42. You have about 50,000 of those 150,000 that would 
    have been turned away under Title 42.
        Yet, we know that there was a situation in El Paso with the 
    difficulty of dealing with the processing and the numbers. Now, 
    we have got bussing going on across the country. What happens 
    if Title 42 is no longer being enforced?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, I think you're doing the right thing 
    because as you know it was a public health mandate. It had 
    nothing to do with migration. If you want to figure out and get 
    to the problem, that was very confusing because it had to do 
    with something totally different that is now being utilized.
        To me, I think the reason we would lift it is because we 
    can continue the process and do it properly. You're not going 
    to have all these other individuals that are trying to cross 
    illegally because that's their only way to get here. Because as 
    I said over and over that there's a lot of them that have been 
    stuck in middle that they came thinking that Title 42 is going 
    to be lifted. When it wasn't lifted, then they fell into this 
    desperation. I believe and I've said over and over that if we--
        Mr. Roy. Judge, I am running out of time. I am sorry. I 
    don't want to--we just have limits on time.
        Mr. Samaniego. Go ahead.
        Mr. Roy. I would say to you that what you just described is 
    all in the context of border security. It is all in the context 
    of who comes in and who doesn't, right, which is what border 
    security is. So, there have been some who have been critical of 
    saying that we should enforce our existing laws with respect to 
    asylum laws, asylum laws which require detention.
        That is what our current laws require, detention while you 
    make a determination, right, a determination of credible fear 
    for persecution under our asylum laws which is a smaller number 
    than the number of people who are coming that would qualify. 
    So, we are saying we should detain to make those 
    determinations. The connection to Title 42 is really important 
    because the current administration is even in all its bluster 
    about Title 42 still defending the law in court because they 
    know what happens when Title 42 goes away.
        What you just described is really important for the 
    American people to understand. You just described it in the 
    context of border security, not the context of COVID and a 
    pandemic because it is being used as a border security Band-
    Aid. What we must do as a body is embrace policy changes to 
    ensure we can effectuate management of the flow while 
    respecting our laws with respect to asylum which is precisely 
    what House Republicans are putting forward, notwithstanding the 
    allegations of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. I 
    am over my time. I yield back.
        Chair Jordan. The Chair now recognizes the gentleman from 
    Maryland, Mr. Ivey.
        Mr. Ivey. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I want to thank all you for 
    coming to testify today, Mr. Dunn and your family, in 
    particular. I want to commend you actually. You have turned a 
    tragedy in your family into action to making a difference in 
    your community and your State. I was especially appreciative of 
    your comments about the effort to legalize testing for 
    fentanyl, I guess, in Texas, in this Texas State legislature.
        Mr. Dunn. Correct.
        Mr. Ivey. OK. Well, I think it is important for people like 
    you to continue that kind of work, bring that activism into the 
    public arena, because I think you have voices that are 
    immensely important. It is certainly an impact in my community 
    just the past week or two. In fact, Congressman Trone and I 
    were having to deal with a situation, a family that straddles 
    our two districts in Montgomery and Prince Georges County is 
    having issues with fentanyl.
        I have seen recently there have been high school deaths and 
    overdoses with respect to fentanyl. So, it is clearly a major 
    problem. I am supportive of your efforts to try and address it.
        I was a prosecutor beginning back in 1990. So, it wasn't 
    fentanyl then. It was crack cocaine. When I became an elected 
    prosecutor in Prince Georges, we still had cocaine. There was 
    PCP. There were all sorts of drugs like that, some of it coming 
    across the border like cocaine, some of it like PCP not.
        I think it is clear that this is an issue that we need to 
    do more to address. That is kind of why I was disappointed with 
    H.R. 29. It is a bill as I reviewed it that was supposedly the 
    Republican leadership effort on addressing these kinds of 
    issues.
        I just took a look at the bill, and it didn't really do 
    anything with respect to addressing many of the problems you 
    discussed today such as the need for additional resources. To 
    get rid of the backlog, I think judges and courts and the like 
    to address some of those issues. I think Congressman Swalwell 
    asked about whether 20,000 additional border agents would be 
    helpful.
        There are no additional resources that are provided under 
    this legislation. Their legislation raised some additional 
    issues too that I wanted to raise. We got a letter from the 
    U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops which they submitted to the 
    Congress in response to their reading of H.R. 29.
        Their position was they asked for Members to vote against 
    it.
    
            We urge you to vote against H.R. 29, as well as any subsequent 
            legislative proposals that would unjustly deprive vulnerable 
            peoples the legal right to seek humanitarian protection in the 
            United States.
    
    I know we have had a little discussion about whether this bill 
    impacts humanitarian rights.
        Clearly the Catholic bishops had concerns about it. This 
    bishop wrote this.
    
              Most concerning is that the bill effectively expands the 
            policy that's of Title 42 without any exceptions for those with 
            bona fide asylum claims, unaccompanied children, victims of 
            torture, victims of trafficking.
              Protecting these populations delineate, and they lay out some 
            of the statutes that are in place currently. Moving forward 
            with this piece of legislation would exacerbate the harm faced 
            by vulnerable persons while also failing to meaningfully 
            address the root causes of migration and the unsustainable 
            conditions at our southwest border. Not only will the 
            challenges we face persist, people will suffer.
              We must remain true to our laws and our Nations proud 
            tradition of offering safety and opportunity to those who have 
            lost everything besides hope for a better future.
    
    They end with this.
    
              The Bishops Committee called on us to reject the contemporary 
            forces of division that tempt us with a false choice between 
            our security and our humanity. Our great Nation is capable of 
            safeguarding both our humanity and our security.
    
        Judge, let me ask you, what sorts of resources and support 
    do you think would be helpful in addressing this crisis that we 
    are having at the border? I think you testified a little bit 
    about the Governor and the absence of support at the State 
    level. I wondered if you would elaborate on that.
        Mr. Samaniego. Yes. I mean, they have resources, and they 
    should be understanding what we need. Texas, for some reason, 
    people forget. They think we're maybe part of New Mexico 
    because we're so far away from the capital.
        So we need to be able to have those discussions on 
    sheltering, on processing. Like I said, we could go up to as 
    much as 1,200 a day processing. All of these are individuals 
    that have sponsors and they're able to move quickly, that same 
    day. That helps us to be able to address all the other concerns 
    that we have of the other 60 percent. I want to, real quickly, 
    if you don't mind, just to comment on the Congressman from 
    Texas.
        Mr. Ivey. My time is expired. So, perhaps we should wait 
    until the next round.
        Chair Jordan. You can get that on the next round. The Chair 
    now recognizes the gentleman from Kentucky, Mr. Massie.
        Mr. Massie. I yield my time to Mr. Fitzgerald from 
    Wisconsin.
        Mr. Fitzgerald. I thank Mr. Massie for the time. Sheriff, 
    one of the things I try to focus on in the hearings that we 
    have had on the border is the corridors that exist throughout 
    the United States because I am always perplexed when you hear 
    people talk about, well, it is an issue at the border, but it 
    is not an issue in Wisconsin or South Dakota or North Dakota. 
    That is not the case, right? The other thing I would say is 
    strip clubs, head shops, truck stops, all these types of 
    locations is kind of where this stuff is transported, right?
        We started to see that probably 10 years ago, maybe even 
    longer, and how it is being distributed. So, I was wondering if 
    you could comment on that because the one thing we have with 
    fentanyl is we still have issues related to it not being a 
    Schedule 1 drug. That is something this Congress should do as 
    well. I wonder if you can comment on that.
        Mr. Dannels. I can. There's been a shift over the last 
    couple years on smuggling. I'll answer. There are two thoughts 
    on this.
        First, since there's less border patrol on the border now 
    and they're more into processing, they're very thin. So, the 
    migrants that are being smuggled, they get them up to the 
    closest asphalt, the closet highway. Cars pull in, grab them. 
    They're gone.
        So, the old corridors like you're talking about that was 
    very common, they're not as used like they used to. They don't 
    have to because they don't have to get that deep into our 
    counties. The other aspect of what you're talking about, the 
    trafficking aspect of it where they're trafficking kids and 
    adults, females and males, the trafficking aspect, the 
    nonconsensual part of it is, yes, they're taking them to stash 
    houses.
        They're making them servant, within truck stops, for 
    example, within strip clubs and places like that. Just a little 
    side note on that, and the question has been asked to me. One 
    of the things we've done on the many innovative thoughts is we 
    have a program through our nonprofit where we're going after 
    the cartels that are trafficking these people.
        We're going after them not just in my county. Working with 
    sheriffs in Dallas, Texas, Sacramento, California, and 
    throughout urban areas where we know they're being taken to and 
    exploited. So, we're doing that program. Again, that's a 
    multimillion-dollar program that we're putting forward.
        Mr. Fitzgerald. Thank you very much. I appreciate the 
    comments, and I would yield back to Mr. Massie.
        Mr. Dannels. Thank you, Congressman.
        Mr. Massie. Thank you. I yield my time to Mr. Roy from 
    Texas.
        Mr. Roy. I thank the gentleman from Kentucky. Kayla 
    Hamilton, 20 years old, Aberdeen, Maryland, she was recently 
    brutally murdered by an MS-13 gang member who was allowed into 
    the United States as a UAC last year who is 17 years old. There 
    is a 24-year-old Honduran immigrant was charged with murder and 
    the brutal stabbing death of a Florida man after crossing the 
    U.S. border illegally while posing as a UAC.
        He was found covered in blood after allegedly killing a 
    father of four who had taken the immigrant in because the 
    immigrant had posed as a UAC. It is not always as simple as 
    some of my colleagues say. Some of my colleagues on the other 
    side of the aisle have been spending some time today misleading 
    the American people, telling untruths about legislation that I 
    have put forward, H.R. 29, and in so doing, using words like 
    unchristian.
        The legislation to be clear to all is legislation that 
    reiterates existing law. It makes very clear that under 
    existing law we are supposed to detain when we have somebody 
    who is seeking asylum. It maintains our asylum laws in full and 
    requires that we detain.
        To be clear and for everybody to listen, I want to follow 
    with Mr. Dannels for your view on this. My colleagues on the 
    other side of the aisle are universally saying to the American 
    people and to all they represent, to every single American 
    citizen they are saying that they believe we should release 
    against current law, that we should release into the United 
    States using parole, which is supposed to be on a case-by-case 
    basis. Release into the United States under parole where 
    notices to appear without having full intention of someone 
    making an asylum claim.
        They are making false accusations about a law saying that 
    we should follow the law and detain. So, my question for you, 
    Sheriff, with your knowledge of the law is, if we were going to 
    follow the law, would that not slow down the numbers, funnel in 
    those who can make a legitimate asylum claim so that they can 
    then be detained for an adjudication of that claim, so they can 
    still claim asylum and Americans would be safer and migrants 
    would be safer? Could the sheriff respond to that?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes, Congressman. The answer to that is yes. 
    That's our approach. National sheriffs, western sheriffs, 
    southwest border, I addressed that with Secretary Mayorkas in a 
    room about enhanced judicial oversight when it comes to how we 
    address them at the border.
        Right now, there is no consequence. I mean, they know if 
    they come here, they claim those couple words, they're in the 
    country. They'll come back within the year for their first 
    hearing and then--
        Mr. Roy. So, that is key. They know that they will get 
    released.
        Mr. Dannels. Yes.
        Mr. Roy. Therefore, that is the problem at the border. I 
    yield back.
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman for yielding. The 
    gentleman from Texas, Mr. Gooden, is recognized.
        Mr. Gooden. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Judge Samaniego, I was 
    listening to your testimony earlier. In your opening statement, 
    you said there is no open border in Texas.
        Yet, it seems that you have spent the last several years 
    processing as you said, migrants that have come across. So, I 
    don't know how you can say there is no open border. You 
    mentioned several times, in fact, that you are processing 
    illegal immigrants.
        I would like for you to elaborate what you mean by 
    processing, because a little over a month ago, about 1,500 
    migrants crossed the Rio Grande in a single night. A report 
    suggested because there weren't enough beds, more than 600 of 
    these were released--these migrants were released into the 
    streets. Is that an example of processing?
        Mr. Samaniego. The example of processing is the border 
    patrol lets us know about those that have been sponsored. They 
    vet them at that point. This is where we work really closely 
    with them.
        Mr. Gooden. So, you are saying if they have a sponsor they 
    are allowed into the country?
        Mr. Samaniego. No.
        Mr. Gooden. That is the requirement?
        Mr. Samaniego. No, that facilitates the fact that they're 
    allowed into our country. Then when they're processed, they 
    become legal. At that point, the fact that they have a sponsor 
    allows us to work with the legal--the persons that are legal. 
    We never try to process illegal at any point at any time. 
    There's no consideration for that.
        Mr. Gooden. One of the things you mentioned were these 
    NGO's. Catholic Charities was brought up. Are you aware if 
    taxpayer dollars are being spent on those? You talked about bus 
    tickets and shelter. I have been to the border personally and 
    seen Catholic Charities put migrants in hotels and send them to 
    the airport and purchase flights. Where is that money coming 
    from?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, most of it is--in El Paso, most of 
    them are donations from the public. They get donations. We have 
    Annunciation House.
        Mr. Gooden. So, you don't believe there is any taxpayer 
    dollars being spent on that?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, let me give an example. One of the 
    leading individuals at houses and shelters and moves them 
    forward is Annunciation House. They will not take one cent from 
    Federal money. They do not want Federal money because they just 
    feel like they've be trapped into that.
        Mr. Gooden. Well, the information that I have from our 
    government is that we have spent quite a bit on that. I hope 
    this Committee will determine just exactly how much. I would 
    also implore you to revise some of your wording.
        You have called several of us racist because of--yes, in 
    your opening testimony. You said, ``There is no invasion of 
    migrants in our country. Saying as such continues a false 
    racist narrative.''
        Then you went so far as to try to link these words to a 
    horrible crime that was committed in your city. I would advise 
    you to watch your words and be careful when you are talking 
    about people like Mr. Dunn who are voicing a very serious 
    issue. Migrants are absolutely invading this country.
        I applaud this bill. I am very disappointed in the 
    testimony I heard from my colleague in Maryland, citing the 
    Catholic Bishops. I believe the Catholic Bishops have endorsed 
    this Catholic charity's ruse to encourage more migration.
        They have encouraged and facilitated child trafficking and 
    a lot of the violence that we have seen. Our borders are 
    absolutely open. I will yield the balance of my time to Mr. Roy 
    from Texas.
        Mr. Roy. I yield back to--
        Chair Jordan. Mr. Goodwin, would you yield?
        Mr. Gooden. I will yield to the Chair.
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman for yielding. Sheriff:
    
        (1)  On day one, President Biden terminated the national 
    emergency declaration on the southwest border.
    
        (2)  On day one, he halted construction of the border wall.
    
        (3)  On day one, he revoked President Trump's immigration 
    enforcement priorities.
    
        (4)  On day one, he paused deportations.
    
        (5)  He moved to terminate the asylum cooperative 
    agreements with Northern Triangle countries.
    
        (6)  He suspended enrollments in the Remain in Mexico 
    program.
    
        Did any of those things factor into the conditions you 
    described in your opening statement and this influx of people 
    coming to our border? Did any of those six things that 
    President Biden did on day one contribute to the situation we 
    now find ourselves in?
        Mr. Dannels. Mr. Chair, it did. That's all of it.
        Chair Jordan. Every single one?
        Mr. Dannels. Every one of them changed. We went from what I 
    consider probably in my 38-year career almost manageable 
    borders. That was also shared--
        Chair Jordan. So, I want to be clear what you said, 
    Sheriff. The most manageable border we had in your 38 years in 
    law enforcement was two years ago?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes, it was.
        Chair Jordan. OK. Then on day one, President Biden 
    terminated the national emergency declaration of the southwest 
    border. That is contributed to the problem we now have, right?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes, sir.
        Chair Jordan. He halted construction on the wall. Has that 
    contributed to the problem we now have?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes, my border is frozen in time in my county.
        Chair Jordan. Yes, and he revoked President Trump's 
    immigration enforcement priorities. Has that contributed to the 
    problem we see now?
        Mr. Dannels. It has.
        Chair Jordan. Including the fentanyl getting to communities 
    and harming people like Mr. Dunn's son?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes.
        Chair Jordan. Not harming, taking his life. He paused 
    deportations. Is that hurting? That is what Mr. Roy was just 
    talking about.
        Mr. Dannels. It's all a collective message that the border 
    is open.
        Chair Jordan. Terminated the asylum cooperative agreements 
    and suspended enrollments in the Remain in Mexico program, that 
    is contributing to the situation we now have?
        Mr. Dannels. Yes.
        Chair Jordan. All right. So, this idea that if we just give 
    more agents, build more wall, put in the roads, more drones, 
    more border security which I am all for, that is not going to 
    solve it until you go back to these policies. Is that right?
        Mr. Dannels. That is correct. Mr. Chair, if I could add one 
    more thing is before President Biden took office, myself and 
    several other sheriffs on behalf of National Sheriffs met with 
    President Biden's transition team and went over all the current 
    plans on the border to include what was working. I was told by 
    his transition team, Sheriff, we appreciate all you're doing. 
    They were very optimistic that things were doing well on the 
    border. They took over. That all changed.
        Chair Jordan. Now, that is important what you just said. I 
    know I am over time, and I will go the gentleman from Colorado. 
    What you just said is important because you basically told the 
    Biden Administration, do this and we will have a secure border, 
    the most secure in your 38 years of experience in law 
    enforcement. They said basically thanks but no thanks. Is that 
    right?
        Mr. Dannels. They actually were very complimentary. I was 
    shocked on day one--
        Chair Jordan. Even worse.
        Mr. Dannels. Yes, I was shocked. They were very, thank you, 
    Sheriff, for everything you're doing. Day one when I saw that, 
    I was disappointed and shocked.
        Chair Jordan. I yield to the gentleman from Colorado, Mr. 
    Neguse.
        Mr. Neguse. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chair. A couple 
    things, first, I want to say congratulations to the Chair on 
    his ascension to the Chairship of the Committee. I missed the 
    organizing this morning, and so I want to make sure--
        Chair Jordan. We missed you.
        Mr. Neguse. Well, I appreciate that. I will be here for all 
    the future meetings. I also want to say thank you to the acting 
    Ranking Member, my colleague from Texas, Ms. Escobar, for her 
    leadership during, of course, a very difficult time for the 
    country and for her community in El Paso. We are all grateful 
    for her service to the country, the caucus, and to her 
    community that I visited and that I look forward to visiting 
    again.
        To the witnesses, I want to say thank you, Judge, for your 
    testimony and for your service. Of course, Sheriff, thank you 
    for your service and the service of your many deputies and all 
    the law enforcement who are engaged in herculean efforts in 
    protecting our communities.
        Mr. Dunn, I want to tell you that our hearts and our 
    thoughts and our prayers are with you. My wife and I are 
    expecting our second child later this year, a son. It breaks my 
    heart to hear your story and very much want you to know that I 
    think across both sides of the aisle here everyone expresses 
    our deepest condolences to you and to your family.
        Sheriff, I just want to dig in a little bit on your 
    testimony. I reviewed the written testimony that was submitted 
    by all the witnesses. A lot of--you had written testimony, but 
    then also a memo that was essentially an appendix to your 
    testimony.
        I reviewed that appendix. You suggest a lot of proposals of 
    ideas of programs that I gather you believe would help us 
    ameliorate the emergency and what is happening on our southern 
    border. In digging through some of these, just for example, you 
    list enhanced funding for regional communication 
    interoperability with local law enforcement.
        I think that is something that all Members of Congress 
    would support, Democrats, Republicans. That is a commonsense 
    step that we ought to be funding. You list here continued 
    funding and support for the Stonegarden program.
        I don't know if you can talk a little bit about what the 
    Stonegarden program is. I am certainly aware of it. Some of my 
    colleagues might not me. I know my colleagues from Texas are. 
    If you care to talk a little bit about that program, the DHS 
    program that you would like to have seen continued support for.
        Mr. Dannels. It's one of the only programs, Congressman, 
    where Stonegarden actually brings partnership between CBP and 
    sheriffs and local law enforcement to include our State law 
    enforcement. It's a program that sheriffs nationally and beyond 
    have supported. It pays our overtime to include EREs, employee 
    related expenses, to work side by side with border patrol. It's 
    a great program.
        Mr. Neguse. Here is why I bring that up. The Stonegarden 
    program has been in existence for quite some time.
        Mr. Dannels. Yes.
        Mr. Neguse. Back during the Administration of President 
    Obama, it was at about 50 million dollars given the fiscal 
    year. Right now, we are funding it at 90 million dollars for 
    the Fiscal Year 2023 budget the President has submitted. That 
    is the exact same number that former President Trump submitted 
    during the course of his Presidency.
        I guess why I offer that is because to me these aren't 
    partisan proposals that at the end of the day are focused on 
    blaming one side or the other. This is an example of something 
    that President Biden has continued to do to support. I presume 
    you support that, that he is--
        Mr. Dannels. I do.
        Mr. Neguse. --continued funding for the Stonegarden. 
    Similarly, you put here one of the items in terms of a proposal 
    that you would like to implement is to hire more immigration 
    and asylum hearing officers for all POEs or port of entries I 
    presume that acronym. I am sure you are already aware of this 
    that on January 5th--so a few weeks ago, the President 
    announced that there would be an increase of officers at the 
    border to help process migrants. That is in addition to the 
    25,000 officers. Obviously, we are waiting in terms of the 
    President's budget to get the exact number. I think that is 
    something you support as well, I presume, in terms of adding 
    more officers?
        Mr. Dannels. I do. I do.
        Mr. Neguse. I reason why I am asking those questions again, 
    just to kind of land here at the end, is that from my 
    perspective and from my constituent's perspectives in Northern 
    Colorado and Western Colorado, they are focused on solutions, 
    trying to solve the problem. You have outlined a couple of 
    solutions here. I would love to be able to have a thoughtful 
    conversation with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle 
    about these different prescriptive proposals and get to a place 
    where we can find consensus.
        Unfortunately, at least as I have gathered from the parts 
    of the hearing that I have heard, it is a lot of heat from some 
    of my colleagues unfortunately about blame and sort of 
    characterizing the problem instead of solving the problem. So, 
    I am hoping that we can get to that. With that, I would like to 
    yield my remaining time to the Ranking Member.
        Ms. Escobar. Thank you, Mr. Neguse. Two quick points: 
    First, the folks that are being processed by CBP who are 
    seeking asylum, I want to remind my colleagues seeking asylum 
    is legal. So, once they have been processed, they are legally 
    in the country. Second, Mr. Roy stated that we called his bill 
    unchristian. We did not. We are quoting his colleague from 
    Texas in the Republican conference, Mr. Tony Gonzalez. His is 
    the one who called Mr. Roy's bill unchristian.
        Finally, I would like to ask my colleagues not to slander 
    the U.S. Conference of Bishops, Catholic Charities, and the 
    Catholic Church as one of our Republican colleagues did just 
    moments ago. Thank you. I yield back.
        Chair Jordan. The gentleman from Texas is recognized, Mr. 
    Nehls.
        Mr. Nehls. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I would like to thank the 
    witnesses for being here. It is no secret. Quite honestly, it 
    is self-evident.
        We are facing the worst border crisis in the history of our 
    great country. It is self-induced. It is a self-induced crisis. 
    It falls at the feet of Joe Biden and his borders, Kamala 
    Harris who have expressed very little interest in addressing 
    our border crisis, evidenced by their unwillingness to place 
    the American people first.
        I would like to address Sheriff Dannels. Thank you for 
    almost your four decades of service in law enforcement. 
    Sheriff, in your written testimony, you highlight tragedies in 
    your country related to illegal immigration. I am a former 
    Sheriff in Texas, Bend County. I feel your pain. Sheriff, I 
    feel your pain.
        Mr. Dannels. Thank you.
        Mr. Nehls. I also experienced the loss of life of innocent 
    county residents, Americans at the hands of Joe Biden's 
    irresponsible border policies. It is very clear the individuals 
    from around the globe that have been invited into our country 
    by this administration do not have America's best interest at 
    heart. I say this because they are willing to kill.
        Sheriff, you shared a personal tragedy in your written 
    testimony of a citizen. It was Wanda, I believe. She was 65 
    years old attending her birthday party trying to go and 
    celebrate her 65th birthday. Rammed by a car, high speed chase, 
    ran a red light, and it killed her.
        The smuggler had three illegal aliens inside that vehicle. 
    It ended her life. Then I understand that shortly thereafter 
    her son ended up driving upon the scene. I can't imagine. I 
    can't imagine how he felt, what he felt when he saw that car 
    with his mother inside that vehicle.
        Stories like this are often too common. They are common 
    today. I want to show you this here. This is me here. This guy, 
    this guy, his name is Mr. Zavala.
        He ran over and killed Ms. Booth. Her last name is Booth, 
    81 years old. Ran her over, fled the scene, and took off. We 
    apprehend him.
        Our sheriff's office apprehended him a couple hours later. 
    We start booking him into the county jail. We run him. This 
    knucklehead has been deported six previous times, six.
        I think the American people are going to want to say, how 
    does a guy get deported more than once? Has been deported six 
    previous times. These are just a few stories that Sheriff 
    Dannels and I, we are sick of telling these stories.
        We are sick of having to have families come into our 
    offices and explain that their loved ones were killed by people 
    that should be here in the first place. I would like to turn my 
    attention to Judge Samaniego's testimony. Judge, your written 
    testimony claims your center has assisted 26,829 asylum 
    seekers, and I think it opened up on October 10, 2022, correct?
        Mr. Samaniego. That's correct.
        Mr. Nehls. So, about four months, 26,000. Fair enough. Data 
    has shown that between the years of 2008-2019 just 14 percent 
    of aliens who claim credible fear were granted asylum. So, that 
    means 86 percent don't.
        So, 14 percent of 26,829 is 3,756. Would you agree with 
    that number? OK. Congratulations. Your center has assisted over 
    23,000 illegals that have been scattered throughout the 
    country, coming into Houston, buses, right, bus every day, 
    scattered throughout the entire country.
        There are 23,000 of those that will never be able to have a 
    legitimate asylum claim because only 14 percent of them do. 
    Sir, that puts the American people at risk. It puts the 
    American people last.
        You stated there is no invasion of migrants in our 
    community, nor are there hordes of undocumented immigrants 
    committing crimes against citizens or causing havoc in your 
    community. I will say this. El Paso PD, February 25, 2022, 
    violent crimes on the rise in El Paso.
        The sergeant said we have seen a 27 percent increase in 
    offenses involving weapons, stabbings, and everything. Here is 
    another one. El Paso cops arrest two migrants and overwhelm 
    border city. That is your city, sir.
        People selling dope, doing all sorts of stuff. Illegals, 
    Venezuelan running around in stolen police cars. Cops are 
    having to chase them.
        Here two days ago we have here in the city of Houston the 
    enforcement removal operations. Had to remove a guy that was in 
    Houston illegally. He goes out and commits an armed robbery in 
    the city of Houston, right?
        We arrest him. Thank goodness we arrested him. We find out 
    he has a murder warrant out of Mexico. So, we have some 
    problems here, sir. I would like to ask you this question. Do 
    you believe that these illegal migrants are coming into our 
    communities harming the American citizens? Thank you. Your 
    answer is yes.
        Mr. Samaniego. Not the percentages you mentioned.
        Mr. Nehls. You may know that Houston is right next to my 
    district. I will say this. My eyes are wide open. The American 
    people's eyes are wide open. I would ask you to open yours. I 
    yield back.
        Mr. Moore. [Presiding.] Chair recognizes Ms. Bush.
        Ms. Bush. Thank you. To Mr. Dunn, my condolences. Very, 
    very sorry for your tremendous loss. To Judge Samaniego, thank 
    you very much for your testimony and for listening, enduring, 
    and for giving your testimony.
        St. Louis and I are here to recognize the humanity of all 
    people regardless of immigration status. We are here in 
    opposition to any racist agenda pursued by Republicans. Let's 
    take a moment to reflect on the is first month of Republican 
    control of the House.
        The disastrous and embarrassing Speaker's vote that 
    resulted in the selling of the gavel to a bunch of pro-coup 
    Members of Congress, the seating of insurrectionists and 
    someone who defrauded his way into Congress. That is where we 
    are. Now, this hearing whose purpose it seems it to amplify the 
    anti-immigrant hysteria and right-wing conspiracy theories.
        The Republican position on immigration is to inflict as 
    much cruelty as possible on people fleeing suffering and 
    persecution. As Democrats, we need to recognize this reality 
    and refuse to be a part of it. That is why I strongly oppose 
    the administration's expansion of Title 42 and the 
    reinstatement of the asylum transit ban. These lawless and 
    inhumane policies deny the right to asylum while failing to 
    address any of the underlying structural problems of our 
    immigration system. So, Judge Samaniego, I want to ask you, do 
    you believe Title 42 is an effective or a humane immigration 
    policy?
        Mr. Samaniego. It is not. I thank you for being practical, 
    because I need to get back to this idea of detaining them until 
    they're able to vet them. That's one of the most impractical 
    things I've ever heard of.
        Right now, Border Patrol is shivering thinking, how are we 
    going to do that? Without the community being involved, we're 
    pushing that on them where they have 1,400 spaces. We're going 
    to detain them?
        We talk about the humanity of the Border Patrol. Just think 
    about what it would take to detain until we vet them. It'd be 
    impossible.
        I remember growing up and we'd say, how do you put 50 
    people in a Volkswagen? Twenty-five in the front and 25 in the 
    back. That's about as impractical as this idea of detaining 
    them until you can let them go when you don't the facility. You 
    don't have the manpower.
        It's those impractical solutions that confuse people. So, I 
    tell you that we've been able to manage things. We know that 
    when there's issues in other parts of the border is because of 
    the lack of organization.
        It's the lack of collaboration. It's a lack of a lot of 
    different things. When you have people running in to your 
    country because you're not well organized and you're not using 
    collaboration.
        We've had two or three incidents. We have 800 people out 
    that we're not able to manage because of funding. There are 
    communities that have had as many as 10,000 because they're not 
    organized properly.
        So, I can tell you our strategy works. If people listen to 
    it and we were able to share the ideas in how we've been 
    successful, I can tell you that we minimize the problem, 
    incredibly minimize the problem for the Federal Government. 
    There should be some kind of appreciation for a community that 
    is sensible about what's happening in El Paso.
        We all know that we don't want it to happen to the rest of 
    the Nation. All we hear is that I used the wrong word or that I 
    said racist. I never said that.
        What I said is that using those narratives creates more 
    racism in a community. I didn't say anything about the people 
    involved in it. So, I thank you for looking at practical 
    reasons. I'm appalled when somebody has an idea like detaining 
    them as a solution when that's the most impractical thing you 
    could probably do. Thank you.
        Ms. Bush. Thank you. Thank you for your work and thank you 
    for explaining that. As Democrats, we must refuse to adopt 
    illegal and ineffective solutions to this complex, longstanding 
    crisis. We must be better than what we are seeing coming from 
    Republicans.
        Republicans want to talk about Biden's border crisis. The 
    reality is we have a broken immigration system because 
    Republicans want us to. So, they can hold these hearings to 
    mask the fact that they have no affirmative agenda that 
    actually helps people.
        So, they can spew their lies about immigrants bringing 
    fentanyl across the border while exploiting victims and 
    refusing to support advancements in public health and addiction 
    treatment. So, they can take out their anger and insecurities 
    on the most vulnerable. History will not look kindly on those 
    politicians. Thank you, and I yield.
        Mr. Moore. Chair recognizes Mr. Hunt from Texas.
        Mr. Hunt. Thanks, Mr. Chair. I really appreciate it. Mr. 
    Dunn, thank you, sir, for being here. My condolences to you and 
    your family from the bottom of my heart. I am very sorry, and I 
    hope we can do something to fix this issue of fentanyl in our 
    country.
        Mr. Dannels, sir, thank you very much for your continued 
    service from the bottom of my heart. Thank you very much, sir. 
    Judge, thank you so much for being here. Thank you for taking 
    the time out of your very busy schedule to be here. I greatly 
    appreciate everybody on this panel today.
        We have heard a lot of talk today about the five million 
    people--illegal people that have entered this country. That is 
    a fact. There is just absolutely no getting around that.
        Five million people have entered our country illegally. 
    That is the equivalent to seven congressional districts. Enough 
    Fentanyl has poured into country to kill every American five 
    times. I will say that again, to kill every American five 
    times. Sir, your son is one of those Americans. This is a fact.
        I am from Houston. Houston is known for a lot of things. We 
    are known for the world champion Astros. We are also known as 
    being the human trafficking capital of the entire world.
        That is not anything I am proud of. This is all happening 
    at our southern border as we live and breath every single day. 
    Sir, Judge, I am not criticizing what you are saying, and I 
    have listened to you. I can hear your heart and understand 
    where you are coming from.
        You did say that there is no invasion here. I am somebody 
    that likes to look at the definition of things before we 
    actually can have this conversation. For the definition of an 
    invasion is an incursion by a large number of people or things 
    into a place or sphere of activity.
        I will say it again. An incursion by a large number of 
    people, and I would say five million people constitutes a large 
    number, or things, and I would say enough fentanyl poured into 
    our country to kill an American five times is a thing. I would 
    consider that to be the direct definition of the word invasion.
        My colleague, Mr. Gooden, talked about race and using the 
    word racism and racist. I have been Black for a long time, sir. 
    So, I get it. I have been a minority in this country for a very 
    long time.
        This is actually not about race. This is actually an issue 
    of public safety. If I call this an invasion, sir, I am not 
    racist. I can assure you I am not racist.
        What I can assure you is that I want to make sure that 
    fentanyl doesn't indiscriminately kill any race, religion, 
    color, or creed because fentanyl doesn't care where you are 
    from. Fentanyl doesn't care about race. Fentanyl kills 
    indiscriminately.
        This gentleman right here works his tail off every single 
    day to stop that from happening. Now, there has been a break in 
    the dam and that is pretty obvious because a couple of years 
    ago, of course, we have got some problems. It wasn't amplified 
    to the level that we are seeing every single day.
        The reason why we have to be careful with what we call and 
    what we deem racist moving forward in the future is because we 
    start to lose focus on what the actual problem is. This 
    administration of the Democrat party unfortunately uses race as 
    a scapegoat for everything. As somebody that wants to make sure 
    that we do attack racist issues when they do occur, we can't be 
    the boy who cried wolf and blamed racism all the time.
        I am here to hold this administration accountable to 
    understand that there are issues of race that need to be 
    addressed. Sir, this ain't one of them. I applaud some of your 
    actions in El Paso. It sounds like you are doing some great 
    things.
        I am going to tell you being born and raised in Texas, 
    living in Houston, we have a problem. This problem has 
    precipitated over the course of the past two years. That is a 
    fact.
        I get working together. I get reaching across the aisle. 
    This morning, I can't believe that we had a one-hour debate 
    over whether or not we should say the Pledge of Allegiance 
    before we convene every day, one hour.
        That, to me, is antithetical to the point of this meeting 
    today. I implore you all to be careful with using race because 
    your son is no longer here and I am sorry. There are 100,000 
    sons and daughters that are no longer here because of fentanyl 
    last year.
        This debate is very important and very spirited. I implore 
    this entire Committee to take a strong look at what is happened 
    over the course of the past few years and to derive substantive 
    solutions to this problem so that our youth can continue to 
    have a future for these country. It ain't about race. We are 
    all in this together. I yield back, Chair. Thank you.
        Mr. Moore. The Chair will recognize himself for five 
    minutes. Let me first say thanks to all the witnesses. We 
    appreciate you being here.
        Mr. Dunn, you and Ms. Janel, I am reminded of Romans 8:28. 
    It says, I know the plans I have for you, the plans to prosper 
    and not do you harm. More importantly, all things work together 
    for those who are called according to your purpose.
        Ms. Janel was telling me how you are using this to share to 
    young people across the country. That is a service to our great 
    Nation, and we are grateful. Thank you for being here.
        With that, Sheriff Dannels, I want to cut away to you here 
    for a little bit. I went to the border, been a couple times 
    down there. One of the things that I took away, and we talked a 
    lot of statistics.
        A lot of the things we have seen, the record five million 
    which is basically my State's entire population of Alabama. We 
    had that many encounters on the border. The one thing that kind 
    of struck me the most and it was what I begin to talk about and 
    find out that there was a price that these people were paying 
    to come across the U.S. border. So, will you explain to me 
    exactly who is controlling the U.S. southern border and who is 
    getting paid?
        Mr. Dannels. Congressman, it's a simple answer and that is 
    the criminal transaction organization that's called the 
    cartels. They control the south of our national border, south 
    of it's all controlled. They control guns across.
        There are prices based on who you are. Are you a terrorist 
    coming from a different country? India was 21,000 dollars, for 
    example. The minimum is, like, around 7,000 dollars right now.
        Most of these people don't have it. So, when they come 
    across the country, though they might go through a processing 
    as Hon. Judge has talked about. They're servant to the cartels 
    at the end which is usually for sex trade, gangs, drugs, labor, 
    you name it. I have seen no win-win in this, because we don't 
    have a manageable process right now.
        Mr. Moore. So, Sheriff, one of the things I heard was 
    initially, of course, with inflation in our country, the rate 
    we are spending money, everything is going up. When I was out 
    there, it was about 4,000 dollars for anybody just south of the 
    U.S. border. Then the Triangle countries further south, it was 
    seven to eight thousand.
        We had a price at that time 20,000 dollars for Syrian 
    refugees. Just recently, I think August Pfluger testified or 
    told us that we had two Chinese nationalists captured on the 
    U.S. southern border, paid 80,000 dollars each to come in our 
    country illegally. So, my question is, what happens to that 
    individual that says we want to come to America, we want to 
    come to the great land of prosperity, and they don't have the 
    money?
        Say they cut a 7,000-dollar deal with--whatever you call 
    them cartel. Say they cut that deal, and they agreed to pay 
    7,000 dollars. From there, what happens?
        Do they come in the country? Do they have to have the money 
    prepaid? Are they indentured servants? I think the term slave I 
    heard earlier today.
        Mr. Dannels. It truly is modern day slavery. I mean, the 
    lessons of life and history should be playing out today. These 
    people that don't--they go through processing. There is no 
    doubt about it. They are well watched by these cartels that are 
    on the U.S. side.
        When they are released into a family member, a known family 
    member, whoever, the bottom line is they are also receiving it 
    by the cartels. We know that. We hear it. We see it. The 
    American dream that you are talking about, Congressman, what we 
    talk about, what people in this room are talking about, in 
    those circumstances never met between they are a servant to 
    these criminal cartels for bad, bad things.
        Mr. Moore. Sir, one scenario I heard, and you maybe can 
    help me with this too. I heard that if they want to cut a deal 
    and didn't necessarily want to be indentured servants and make 
    installment payments, they could, in fact, back pay it, heroin, 
    cocaine, or fentanyl across the border as their payment. Is 
    that the case?
        Mr. Dannels. It's all part of the drug labor. They're going 
    to do what the cartels do. A lot of the people make the comment 
    when they're here in the United States, they're protected. They 
    also have family in Mexico that they hold hostage. That keeps 
    them doing what they do here. So, they have the strings on 
    family in Mexico. We hear that all the time.
        Mr. Moore. Got you. One other thing I want to touch on 
    really quick. When I was out at Fort Bliss, I went to the 
    emergency intake center. That was for unaccompanied minors 
    coming to the United States.
        So, I decided just--I didn't take the tour through the 
    facility. I decided to kind of stay outside. Sheriff, I was 
    keeping an eye on things.
        I actually started videoing buses with young people being 
    shipped all over the country. They seized my phone onsite. They 
    did not want any record of people being shipped, young 
    unaccompanied minors, to Google addresses in the United States.
        So, I asked the admiral onsite. I said, sir, can you tell 
    me where are we shipping these children to? His response to me, 
    well, we are just building the bus as we drive.
        They had never seen the influx of youth that we are seeing 
    coming here unaccompanied. They were building a bus as they 
    drive. Here is the thing, guys. Here is the thing.
        Young unaccompanied minors, they were not doing background 
    checks on who we are shipping them to. So, we are shipping 
    these children to Google addresses instead of back home to 
    their country. Who knows what happens to those minors in this 
    country. So, with that, my time has come to an end. Who do I 
    need to recognize? Mr. Kiley, you are recognized for five 
    minutes.
        Mr. Kiley. Mr. Dunn, I want to thank you again after going 
    through the unthinkable, every parent's worst nightmare for 
    your courage to speak out and do everything you can to stop 
    other families from having to go through the same thing. The 
    reality is that far too many families in this country have 
    found themselves in the same unthinkable position.
        I have worked with a number of them in my own district, one 
    of whom is the Didier family. Laura and Chris Didier lost their 
    son, Zach, two days after Christmas in 2020. He was a 17-year-
    old senior at Whitney High School, an Eagle Scout, soccer 
    player, star of the high school musical, no history of drug 
    use.
        I have had the chance to get to know Laura and her husband, 
    Chris, Zach's parents, over the course of the last couple years 
    as they, like you, have worked to raise awareness about the 
    dangers of fentanyl. As part of her work, Laura is actually 
    here in Washington, DC, today meeting with lawmakers and is now 
    here with us in the room. Laura, I don't know if you want to 
    just briefly stand up so everyone can see your button there. It 
    says Zach here.
        Laura will also be my guest next week at the State of the 
    Union. Thank you for everything that you are doing. Thank you, 
    Mr. Dunn again as well.
        There is bipartisan support in this country among Americans 
    for securing the border. There should be bipartisan support in 
    this Committee and in this Congress for supporting the border. 
    I have been rather discouraged by what I have heard at today's 
    hearing.
        Now, there have been some thoughtful comments on both sides 
    of the dais. Frankly, on one side of the dais, there has been a 
    lot of excuses. We have heard that there may be other sources 
    of the fentanyl in this country.
        Does that mean we should ignore the overwhelming nexus with 
    the vulnerabilities at our border? We have heard that what we 
    really need is comprehensive immigration reform. That is a 
    question separate and apart from securing the border which is 
    about enforcing the laws that we already have.
        We have heard that illegal immigration has been a problem 
    for the last 50 years. Well, the two biggest years in terms of 
    number of illegal border crossing by far have been the last two 
    years, 2022 fiscal year, 2021 fiscal year. The month with the 
    highest number of illegal border crossings is not some random 
    month in the last 50 years in the 1970's or the 1980's. It was 
    last month, December 2022.
        The problem keeps getting worse. What strikes me is the 
    lack of compassion from this administration and those making 
    excuses for it. Compassion for the communities and families 
    being ravaged by fentanyl. Compassion for those who are victims 
    of the horror of human trafficking.
        Compassion for the migrants themselves who are now dying in 
    record numbers. During Fiscal Year 2022, a record number 856 
    died attempting to cross the southwest border. That is three 
    times as many as just in 2020.
        Another facet of this problem is the issue of sanctuary 
    jurisdictions which we are seeing increasingly across the 
    country where jurisdictions actively interfere with Federal 
    immigration enforcement. My own State of California in 2017, 
    the super majority legislature and Governor declared California 
    a sanctuary State, forbidding local law enforcement from 
    communicating with ICE regarding the whereabouts of wanted 
    criminals. These are folks who are not just immigrants, not 
    just undocumented immigrants, but who have committed crimes 
    while they are here.
        From the very beginning, it was predicted this would raise 
    serious problems. The State's sheriff's Association wrote,
    
            Before this was adopted, our overarching concern remains that 
            limiting local law enforcement's ability to communicate and 
            cooperate with Federal law enforcement officers endangers 
            public safety.
    
        They said it would preclude staff in our jails from 
    notifying ICE at the request of the pending release of certain 
    wanted undocumented criminals.
        We have seen time and time again this prediction bear 
    itself out in tragic ways. Just last year in California, there 
    was one of the most horrific crimes I have ever seen. You had a 
    man who murdered his own three daughters and their chaperone at 
    a church just a few miles from the State capitol.
        It turns out this individual was in the country illegally 
    and had been in police custody just the week before because he 
    had assaulted a police officer. ICE had asked to be notified of 
    his release. The sheriff's office said we can't tell you 
    because of the sanctuary State law. So, Sheriff Dannels, I just 
    wanted to give you a moment if you had any thoughts on the ways 
    that sanctuary policies are contributing to these problems.
        Mr. Dannels. Well, Congressman, thank you for your 
    comments. Thank you because that's something sheriffs around 
    the country are talking about. This is where that partnership 
    with our Federal partners, State and local, have to work 
    together. That collective recipe of success as I stated in my 
    opening statement is true to how we protect our communities. 
    Thank you for saying that.
        Chair Jordan. [Presiding.] Thanks, gentlemen. Sheriff, I 
    know you got to catch a plane.
        Mr. Dannels. Yes.
        Chair Jordan. We are going to go--if you can, I think it is 
    a five plane you got. We are going to go really quick with our 
    last three here, and then we will get you out of here just 
    ASAP. The gentlelady from Wyoming is recognized.
        Ms. Hageman. Thank you so much. Border security is national 
    security. The failure of the Biden Administration to secure our 
    southern border and uphold our Nation's laws has created a 
    situation where the effects of the border crisis are felt 
    nationwide. The number of people crossing the southern border 
    last year dwarfs the number of people who live in the State of 
    Wyoming.
        Since Biden took office, over ten times the Wyoming 
    population has crossed the southern border illegally. 
    Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Criminal 
    Investigations show a significant increase in fentanyl seizures 
    within the State. In 2022, the Wyoming Department of Health put 
    out a notice titled Fentanyl Burden Growing in Wyoming as the 
    number of synthetic opioids involved overdose deaths more than 
    quadrupled between 2018-2021.
        This situation is simply unsustainable, and it is 
    untenable. Sheriff, you have stated that you have seen the 
    good, the bad, and the ugly being a border county and working 
    in a border county. Can you highlight for the Committee where 
    we were in 2013, 2018, and 2022 going into 2023 and how they 
    might fall on that scale?
        Mr. Dannels. Well, besides my collective statements I have 
    made during this hearing, I would like to hit on many of the 
    aggravated attacks toward law enforcement. That has not been 
    addressed today. I've always seen border issues in my 38-year 
    career.
        What I'm seeing now is something that I've never seen where 
    almost every other car runs from us. They try to assault us. 
    This is a fight and flight syndrome.
        That's why we don't get the give-ups. To give you an 
    example, I'll give you a story. I've got a deputy right now on 
    administrative leave where he made a traffic stop at 10:00 at 
    night on a vehicle. The driver got out. Fentanyl was thrown all 
    over the highway. The driver was noncompliant. Border patrol 
    came in behind my deputy to assist him because we work so close 
    with them.
        It turned into a physical altercation based on his 
    noncompliance. There were three illegal migrants in the back 
    seat that ran during this, added more confusion to the case for 
    my deputy. As they got into the altercation to secure the 
    driver, they fell into the roadway. Just as they get him cuffed 
    up, the deputy looks up, within half a second, sees a car 
    barreling at him. Actually, hits the suspect driver. Take him 
    right from the deputy's hand, kills him, the deputy, and the 
    car keeps going. We suspect it was another smuggler driver. 
    That's an opinion. The deputy performed life saving measures on 
    the individual. Medics got there, took over that.
        As the deputy went back to the car to check the truck, 
    which is standard, that's just what we do. Open the truck. A 
    male migrant was being smuggled illegally actually attached my 
    deputy a second time.
        Ms. Hageman. Goodness gracious.
        Mr. Dannels. When it got to the scene moments later, the 
    deputy made a comment to me. He goes, Sheriff, I don't know how 
    to prepare for this. I go, I don't know how you do it either.
        The bottom line is this is a day in Cochise County with 
    assaults. We had an agent that was attacked on a trail south of 
    my area toward the border. They tried to take his gun from him.
        One round was fired. They actually took a knife, tried to 
    cut the agent's throat. He fought him off for seven minutes 
    before my deputy got there.
        The assaults were seen on--I've had deputies' drug by 
    cartel drivers. I've seen them assault for no reasons and 
    threats. I had the cartels across the line actually come 
    across.
        We had a couple different sources. They're coming to my 
    county to kill one of my deputies, a random hit. So, I could 
    talk all day on this, and I know you only got five minutes.
        Ms. Hageman. Well, Sheriff, giving us that report and that 
    information is incredibly important. We all hold all the folks 
    down there in our prayers.
        Mr. Dannels. Thank you, ma'am.
        Ms. Hageman. One aspect that is important to remember is 
    that President Biden has not only halted the enforcement of the 
    Nation's laws at the border but he openly showcased his action 
    to the world which only further encourages this security and 
    humanitarian crisis. In contrast, the Trump Administration not 
    only enforced our humane immigration laws, but also made 
    enforcement known to the world. The reality is that Joe Biden 
    has enabled the largest human and drug trafficking operation in 
    U.S. history.
        The tragedy of that is, as Milton Friedman saw, you can 
    have either an open border or you can have a welfare State. 
    That is just an economic reality. You can't have both.
        It is the poorest U.S. citizens who suffer the most when 
    the government refuses to enforce our immigration laws and 
    secure our border with overextended services, lack of 
    affordable housing, and suppression of wages. This tragedy is 
    not only manmade. It is government mandated which is a tragedy 
    and a legacy of this administration that must be fixed. Thank 
    you.
        Mr. Dannels. Thank you, Congressman.
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentlelady. The gentleman from 
    Texas, recognize--Sheriff Dannels, when you have to go, you 
    just tell me.
        Mr. Dannels. We're pushing time here.
        Chair Jordan. OK.
        Mr. Dannels. Maybe one more.
        Chair Jordan. All right. One more.
        Mr. Dannels. He knows my pain.
        Chair Jordan. Yes.
        Mr. Moran. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Judge Samaniego, I want to 
    address my comments to you and some questions to you as well. 
    Until my election to Congress in November 2022, I actually was 
    a Texas county judge as well, serving for six years in East 
    Texas in Smith County.
        So, I am very familiar with the limitations of your job and 
    the demands of your job, both in terms of manpower and 
    financial resources to meet the needs of your local country 
    just like I had to do for six years in Smith County. One of the 
    things, though, that I can say is even in East Texas, we 
    recognize that there is a real need to support border security 
    and that there is a crisis on the border. So, I am surprised by 
    your comments here today that would indicate that there is 
    nothing wrong and nothing going on, on the border out there.
        I have been out to the El Paso sector as well. So, I know 
    firsthand that is simply not the case. During my tenure as a 
    county judge, we worked even in East Texas to fight against the 
    cartels doing things like setting up a financial crimes unit 
    that was a statewide unit that is now leading the way against 
    financial crimes that the cartel is using for human trafficking 
    to underwrite their human trafficking and the drug trafficking.
        We also in conjunction with our neighboring counties and 
    several State, local, and Federal law enforcement agencies set 
    up a TAG unit, a Texas Anti-Gang unit. You guys probably have 
    one in El Paso County as well. hat works against the cartels.
        So, I really am shocked here today that you would really 
    dismiss the concerns of the right side of the aisle and say 
    there is simply not a problem and not a crisis at all. I want 
    to also address the fact that Judge Carruthers is not here 
    today because being the Terrell County judge, she is a good 
    friend of mine. As county judges, we had lots of conversations 
    about what was going on in Terrell County.
        I recall those personal discussions way before I even 
    decided to run for Congress of her saying, listen, there is 
    times at night when the sheriff will call me and I am alone in 
    our ranch on that 17,000 acre ranch by myself and he is calling 
    me to say there are a large group of individuals that just 
    crossed the border. You need to be very careful. You are in a 
    very precarious situation.
        She could not sleep well at night because of that. There is 
    a lot of instances like that where she can recount that. I hope 
    you are not discounting her story about what is going on in 
    Terrell County. Are you at all doing that, sir?
        Mr. Samaniego. Absolutely. I think you're mixing things. 
    That is, at El Paso is very, very different from those other 
    communities. So, I cannot speak for them. I can speak for El 
    Paso.
        You've got the largest FBI. You've got the largest law 
    enforcement. You've got a lot of conditions that you don't see. 
    Having crime in El Paso is not--people know that's the worst 
    place that you could go.
        Mr. Moran. In your capacity as county judge, you are 
    focused on county operations.
        Mr. Samaniego. Absolutely.
        Mr. Moran. So, let's talk about that for a moment. Have you 
    guys analyzed from the El Paso County standpoint what is the 
    total cost of having to deal with on the local taxpayers' 
    burdens and their backs issues related to migrants crossing the 
    border illegally? Have you guys analyzed that cost?
        Mr. Samaniego. Absolutely. Ninty-five percent is paid by 
    FEMA. They're the ones that are assisting. The Federal 
    Government is assisting. Otherwise, we couldn't do it.
        Mr. Moran. Your sheriff's office I am sure is having to 
    deal with those issues, or are they not?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, we have not had increases in jails or 
    migrants or related to migrants in the sheriff's office. It's 
    related to--
        Mr. Moran. What percent of your population in your jail are 
    migrants that have come over illegally across the border?
        Mr. Samaniego. Very small. Very small.
        Mr. Moran. What would characterize as very small?
        Mr. Samaniego. I wouldn't want to say something without 
    fully understanding that. I could tell you I ask the sheriff 
    all the time. Has there been an increase because of migrants? 
    We don't face that.
        Mr. Moran. Has your dispatch operations tracked the number 
    of calls that your sheriff's officers have to go on that deal 
    with illegal immigration?
        Mr. Samaniego. Our biggest impact, Congressman, has to do 
    with medical, like, people falling trying to get across the 
    wall and hurting themselves and children hurting themselves. 
    One of the things that you keep saying that things have 
    changed. We're not taking into consideration that the world has 
    changed, and there's an increase of a necessity to move into 
    the border.
        It's apples and oranges. When I talk to every single 
    migrant that I talk to, they're having to experience things 
    that they didn't experience last year, experience two years 
    ago. These are new changes in the world that's creating the 
    increase as well. So, it's not fair to say--
        Mr. Moran. I understand. Some things don't change like good 
    fences make good neighbors. That is something I learned as a 
    12-year-old boy when my next-door neighbor told me I could swim 
    in his swimming pool. Then the next thing I did was I took my 
    friend over there without permission.
        He said, you know what? That is not what I authorized you 
    to do. He had that right. It is not because he didn't like me. 
    It is because at the end of the day, that is his property. We 
    were good neighbors as a result of ourselves respecting each 
    other's property. Shouldn't we do that--
        Mr. Samaniego. Absolutely. I think there's some confusion 
    that we don't want orderly. We don't have that luxury.
        Mr. Moran. So, then would you support Congressman Roy's 
    bill that would just simply say enforce the laws currently in 
    place?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, that's what we do. There's nothing 
    that we do--asylum is legal. The majority of people that come 
    across is through asylum. That's legal. There's nothing I can 
    do about that.
        [Simultaneous speaking.]
        Chair Jordan. Thank you, Mr. Moran. Thank you, Sheriff, for 
    your testimony. More importantly, for your work that you do in 
    the law enforcement community and express that same thanks to 
    your deputies as well.
        Mr. Dannels. Thank you, Chair. Thank you all.
        Chair Jordan. I now recognize the gentlelady--you bet. I 
    now recognize the gentlelady from Florida, Ms. Lee.
        Ms. Lee of Florida. Thank you, Sheriff, for being with us 
    here today and to all our witnesses. The testimony that we have 
    heard today makes clear that the crisis and lawlessness at our 
    southern border is endangering every American community. Drug 
    cartels and human traffickers are exploiting our failure to 
    secure the southern border, and their criminal activities are 
    eroding community safety across America.
        In my community, authorities in Polk County confiscated 
    recently 11 pounds of fentanyl. Following this drug bust, our 
    State's aAttorney General, Ashley Moody, announced that 
    authorities had seized enough fentanyl in the last few months 
    to kill every single Floridian. We have an obligation to take 
    action to protect our communities.
        We are a Nation of laws. We have an obligation to enforce 
    our laws, to secure our borders, and to keep our community 
    safe. I would like to return, Mr. Dunn, to your testimony and 
    first express my sincere condolences for your loss.
        As a mother, it is particularly important to me that we 
    always remember that this isn't just a crisis of statistics. 
    This is a tragedy in individual American families that cannot 
    be set right. I would appreciate it, sir, if you would do us 
    the honor of sharing with us a little bit more about your son. 
    What was he like?
        Mr. Dunn. He was an athlete, played football. He was an 
    honor roll student. He was a friend. He had so many friends.
        Ms. Lee of Florida. How would you describe the threat of 
    fentanyl poisoning to your son and to other young men and women 
    who are like him across America?
        Mr. Dunn. It's there. I mean, he was exposed to it by 
    somebody that he considered a friend. He unfortunately didn't 
    survive.
        He had other friends days later that were poisoned also. 
    Luckily, they were saved. The threat is real. We've met at 
    least 30 or so families personally in the short amount of time 
    that we've been doing what we've been doing.
        We don't get into what politics each other follows. I don't 
    know the political affiliations of any of them. We don't talk 
    about politics. It's not a political issue. Every single one 
    that I've talked to since, they found out I was coming here, 
    was tell them we have a problem.
        Ms. Lee of Florida. Could you tell us about your 
    organization, the Forever15Project?
        Mr. Dunn. We primarily speak to schools. We're really 
    trying to reach the youth in our communities. We do public 
    speaking at schools, churches, any organization that'll have us 
    come out and speak.
        We've partnered with the Hays County Sheriff's Department. 
    They do a presentation that presents facts and statistics on 
    fentanyl. Then Janel will tell our story to make it relatable 
    to the young people we're talking to.
        We also do a lot of awareness through billboards. We paid 
    to have a billboard in Hays County. We were fortunate enough to 
    be provided other locations throughout the State of Texas 
    because of the overwhelming response that media company 
    received about our billboard. Just anything we can do to get 
    the word out is what our focus is.
        Ms. Lee of Florida. Are there changes that you would like 
    to see enacted or things that we can do to help ensure that 
    another tragedy like this doesn't occur?
        Mr. Dunn. Just stop it from getting here. There's always 
    going to be drugs smuggled in. It's happened forever.
        In the last couple of years, not just fentanyl but all of 
    narcotics smuggling has increased exponentially. While that in 
    and of itself is bad, fentanyl is far deadlier than any other 
    drug out there. It has a greater ability to kill more Americans 
    than any other drug out there.
        Ms. Lee of Florida. Thank you, sir. Mr. Chair, I yield the 
    remainder of my time.
        Chair Jordan. Thank the gentlelady. The Chair recognizes 
    the gentlelady from Texas for unanimous consent request.
        Ms. Escobar. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I ask unanimous consent, 
    and this is on behalf of Mr. Ivey to submit into the record a 
    letter signed by El Paso's bishop, the Most Reverend Mark 
    Seitz, who is the Chair of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops 
    Committee on migration. It is a letter asking Congress to 
    oppose H.R. 29.
        Chair Jordan. Without objection, so ordered.
        The Chair now recognized for our last five minutes of 
    questioning, the gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Fry.
        Mr. Fry. Mr. Chair, thank you for having this hearing 
    today. Thank you to our witnesses that are here. Mr. Dunn, 
    words can't express how sorry I am for your loss. I was in the 
    general assembly in South Carolina up until recently and served 
    as the Chair of the House opioid abuse prevention study 
    committee where we passed 18 bills, a record investment.
        I will tell you that every hearing that we started and 
    every hearing that we finished, we started with families who 
    were going through exactly what you are going through. So, I 
    know how incredibly tough it is for you. I know how incredibly 
    brave it is for you to be here today to share your story.
        Mr. Chair, I will tell you it is amazing to me just hearing 
    some of the things that have come out of this Committee that we 
    on this side of the aisle have imaged things that we are 
    engaging in conspiracy theories. We are not imaging the 
    increase in human trafficking on our southern border. We are 
    not imagining the record of amount of fentanyl seizures, 
    fentanyl into this country, fentanyl associated deaths and 
    overdoes that occur every single day.
        We are not imagining five million people in this country or 
    the 1.2 million got-aways we talked about a little bit, Judge, 
    earlier about the amount of people who were seeking asylum. 
    What is interesting to me just looking at the statistics was 
    that, as was alluded to earlier, 14 percent of those 
    individuals were considered lawful. Now, this was under an 
    Obama Administration and a Trump Administration.
        So, 14 percent of all people who said that they were 
    seeking asylum were actually legitimate asylum seekers. Of 
    that, a third--according to Biden v. Texas, a third of that 
    absconded into the United States, never appearing for their 
    immigration proceedings again. So, I look at the way in which 
    the other side today has really glossed over the problems that 
    have been exacerbated by this administration.
        As somebody who has dealt with the opioid epidemic in my 
    State and how I have studied how other States have handled it 
    in Texas and elsewhere, I am incredibly frustrated by an 
    unwillingness to deal with this problem. I did want to ask a 
    few questions of both of you. I will start with you, sir.
        You have been to--you have obviously seen Texas and other 
    States and you have talked to parents involved. In your 
    opinion, are governments attempting to trying to deal with in 
    good faith the fentanyl epidemic in this country?
        Mr. Dunn. Honestly, up until Noah's passing, we really 
    didn't hear much about fentanyl. We had started to hear some 
    about it shortly before he passed. Since then, our local 
    sheriff's department has been very proactive.
        I don't hear a lot on the State level. I know there's 
    stuff--we know about the test strips and whatnot. I haven't 
    heard--I've seen billboard media in the Dallas area. So, I'm 
    sure there are other areas where awareness is being raised. I 
    don't think on a wide scale level the issue is getting much 
    attention.
        Mr. Fry. We are not getting any attention in your opinion 
    or much attention from the Federal Government to the level it 
    should be?
        Mr. Dunn. No.
        Mr. Fry. What would you tell--piggyback on what Ms. Lee was 
    talking about earlier. What would you tell parents and children 
    about the risks associated with fentanyl?
        Mr. Dunn. Like we tell our five-year-old daughter, don't 
    take anything from anybody. You have to assume that everything 
    is dangerous now. One of the comments, the sheriff that we do 
    speakings with makes, ``is the days of experimentation are 
    over.''
        When you were a kid, you could try smoking pot or you could 
    try this, that, or the other. Now, it's fentanyl has been mixed 
    with everything. So, you can't assume anything is safe. If you 
    don't get a prescription from a pharmacy, you can't assume that 
    it's what you're getting.
        Mr. Fry. Thank you, sir. Judge, really quick. President 
    Biden recently visited the border passing through El Paso. I 
    think there was a comment from you in the press that he didn't 
    get to see the real difficulties. What did you mean by that and 
    what difficulties did he not see on his trip?
        Mr. Samaniego. Well, I know a lot of people thought that we 
    had something to do--they call it sanitizing. I could tell you 
    that would be crazy on my part for him not to see what really 
    was happening. It just so happened the numbers had come down. 
    We wanted anybody please see what we really go through. So, we 
    were not--
        Mr. Fry. What do you think took him so long to visit the 
    border?
        Mr. Samaniego. I can't tell you. I know that thanks to 
    Congresswomen Escobar, we're really connected through her. 
    She's connected to the Secretary, to the Ambassador. We're 
    constantly communicating through them. So, I have a lot of 
    trust that Congresswomen Escobar is relying the information 
    that he needs. I don't think it's that important that he's not 
    there, but that he supports what we're trying to accomplish and 
    that is the humanitarian component that El Paso has been doing 
    for centuries.
        Mr. Fry. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am out of time. I yield 
    back.
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman. Judge, just really 
    quick if I could. You said the numbers went down. It just so 
    happened they went down when President Biden visited your city 
    and the Ranking Member's city. Are they back up now?
        Mr. Samaniego. No, no. We're still pretty low.
        Chair Jordan. OK, OK. I want to thank everyone. Before we 
    adjourn, we want to inform all Members about a CODEL our 
    Committee will be taking to the border on February 24th. I make 
    the minority aware of that.
        This hearing has made clear some of the problems that we--
    real problems that we see at our border and across our country. 
    So, we want to make sure we can get down to visit that area 
    here later this month. Without objection, all Members will have 
    five legislative days to submit additional written questions 
    for the witnesses for additional materials for the record.
        Without objection, this hearing is adjourned.
        [Whereupon, at 3:45 p.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
    
        All items submitted for the record by Members of the 
    Committee on the Judiciary can be found at https://
    docs.house.gov/Committee/Calendar/ByEvent.aspx?EventID=115264.

    Witnesses

    • Mr. Brandon DunnCo-Founder, Forever15ProjectWitness Statement [PDF 73KB]Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF 953KB]
    • The Honorable Mark DannelsSheriff, Cochise County, AZWitness Biography [PDF 103KB]Witness Statement [PDF 5MB]Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF 113KB]
    • The Honorable Ricardo SamaniegoCounty Judge, El Paso, TXWitness Biography [PDF 111KB]Witness Statement [PDF 100KB]Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF 366KB]

    Supporting Documentation

    • Statement for the Record of Human Rights First, submitted by Ms. Jayapal [PDF 478KB]
    • An Article for the Record titled, “El Paso Forced to Bus Immigrants out of Town Amid Mass Migration,” submitted by Mr. Biggs [PDF 36KB]
    • An Article for the Record titled, “El Paso Looks Like a ‘Third-World Country' After Texas Border City is Overrun by Migrants,” submitted by Mr. Biggs [PDF 36KB]
    • A Statement for the Record from Church World Service, submitted by Ms. Jayapal [PDF 106KB]
    • Statement for the Record from National Immigration Law Center, submitted by Ms. Jayapal [PDF 36KB]
    • Letter for the Record from U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, submitted by Ms. Escobar on behalf of Rep. Ivey [PDF 109KB]
    • An Article for the Record titled, “Over 73,000 ‘Gotaways' at Southern Border in November, Highest Ever Recorded,” submitted by Mr. Buck [PDF 1MB]
    • Statement of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, submitted by Ms. Jayapal [PDF 116KB]
    • A letter from the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, submitted by Ms. Jayapal [PDF 264KB]
    • Statement for the record submitted by Ms. Jackson Lee [PDF 241KB]
    • An Article for the Record titled, “El Paso Joins Gov. Abbott in Busing Migrants to New York City,” submitted by Mr. Biggs [PDF 2MB]
    • An article for the Record titled, “Rhode Island High School Staff Solicits ‘Donations' to Pay Cartel ‘Coyote' who Brought Students to US,” submitted by Mr. Buck [PDF 2MB]
    • A Written Statement of Southern Border Communities Coalition, submitted by Ms. Jayapal [PDF 180KB]
    • Statement for the Record from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, submitted by Ms. Jayapal [PDF 338KB]
    • Statement for the Record from First Focus Campaign for Children, submitted by Ms. Jayapal [PDF 232KB]
    • Statement for the Record by Kids in Need of Defense, submitted by Ms. Jayapal [PDF 171KB]
    • Letter for the Record from the Project on Government Oversight, submitted by Ms. Jayapal [PDF 228KB]
    • An Article for the Record titled, “Fentanyl Is Smuggled for U.S. Citizens By U.S. Citizens, Not Asylum Seekers” submitted by Mr. Lieu [PDF 569KB]

    Transcript: THE BIDEN BORDER CRISIS: PART II

    =======================================================================
    
                                    HEARING
    
                                   BEFORE THE
    
                           COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
    
                         U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    
                        ONE HUNDRED EIGHTEENTH CONGRESS
    
                                 FIRST SESSION
    
                                   __________
    
                          THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2023
    
                                   __________
    
                                Serial No. 118-4
    
                                   __________
    
             Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
             
    [GRAPHIC NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]         
    
                   Available via: http://judiciary.house.gov
                   
                                  __________
    
                                    
                        U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE                    
    51-491                     WASHINGTON : 2023                    
              
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------                
                   
                           COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
    
                            JIM JORDAN, Ohio, Chair
    
    DARRELL ISSA, California             JERROLD NADLER, New York, Ranking 
    KEN BUCK, Colorado                       Member
    MATT GAETZ, Florida                  ZOE LOFGREN, California
    MIKE JOHNSON, Louisiana              SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
    ANDY BIGGS, Arizona                  STEVE COHEN, Tennessee
    TOM McCLINTOCK, California           HENRY C. ``HANK'' JOHNSON, Jr., 
    TOM TIFFANY, Wisconsin                   Georgia
    THOMAS MASSIE, Kentucky              ADAM SCHIFF, California
    CHIP ROY, Texas                      DAVID N. CICILLINE, Rhode Island
    DAN BISHOP, North Carolina           ERIC SWALWELL, California
    VICTORIA SPARTZ, Indiana             TED LIEU, California
    SCOTT FITZGERALD, Wisconsin          PRAMILA JAYAPAL, Washington
    CLIFF BENTZ, Oregon                  J. LUIS CORREA, California
    BEN CLINE, Virginia                  MARY GAY SCANLON, Pennsylvania
    LANCE GOODEN, Texas                  JOE NEGUSE, Colorado
    JEFF VAN DREW, New Jersey            LUCY McBATH, Georgia
    TROY NEHLS, Texas                    MADELEINE DEAN, Pennsylvania
    BARRY MOORE, Alabama                 VERONICA ESCOBAR, Texas
    KEVIN KILEY, California              DEBORAH ROSS, North Carolina
    HARRIET HAGEMAN, Wyoming             CORI BUSH, Missouri
    NATHANIEL MORAN, Texas               GLENN IVEY, Maryland
    LAUREL LEE, Florida
    WESLEY HUNT, Texas
    RUSSELL FRY, South Carolina
    
                   CHRISTOPHER HIXON, Majority Staff Director
              AMY RUTKIN, Minority Staff Director & Chief of Staff
                                     ------                                
                                C O N T E N T S
    
                                  ----------                              
    
                          Thursday, February 23, 2023
    
                                                                       Page
    
                               OPENING STATEMENTS
    
    The Honorable Jim Jordan, Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary 
      from the State of Ohio.........................................     1
    The Honorable Tom McClintock, a Member of the Committee on the 
      Judiciary and Chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration 
      Integrity, Security, and Enforcement from the State of 
      California.....................................................     3
    
                                   WITNESSES
    
    Dr. Robert Trenschel, President and CEO, Yuma Regional Medical 
      Center
      Oral Testimony.................................................     6
      Prepared Testimony.............................................     9
    Leon Wilmot, Sheriff, Yuma County Sheriff's Office
      Oral Testimony.................................................    11
      Prepared Testimony.............................................    14
    Jonathan Lines, Yuma County Supervisor, District 2
      Oral Testimony.................................................    33
      Prepared Testimony.............................................    35
    
     
                        THE BIDEN BORDER CRISIS, PART II
    
                                  ----------                              
    
    
                          Thursday, February 23, 2023
    
                            House of Representatives
    
                           Committee on the Judiciary
    
                                 Washington, DC
    
        The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 4 p.m., in Yuma 
    City Hall, One City Plaza, Yuma, Arizona, Hon. Jim Jordan 
    [Chair of the Committee] presiding.
        Present: Representatives Jordan, Gaetz, Biggs, McClintock, 
    Tiffany, Bishop, Spartz, Cline, Van Drew, Nehls, Moore, Kiley, 
    Hageman, and Fry.
        Also present: Representative Gosar.
        Chair Jordan. The Committee will come to order.
        Without objection, the Chair is authorized to declare a 
    recess at any time.
        We want to welcome everyone to today's hearing on ``The 
    Biden Border Crisis, Part II.''
        I'd like to start our proceedings with Mr. Gosar, who's 
    been kind enough to let us come to his great district.
        Where is Paul? I haven't seen--oh, here comes Mr. Gosar.
        We'd like to ask Congressman Gosar to lead us in the Pledge 
    of Allegiance. If you would, if you'd all stand for the pledge.
        All. I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States 
    of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one 
    Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for 
    all.
        Thank you. Paul, thank you.
        First, I want to say thanks to the good folks here in Yuma 
    for hosting us. We've had a wonderful 24 hours. I guess it's 
    been 24 hours, Supervisor, seeing all kinds of interesting 
    things. We want to thank you for your hospitality.
        To the mayor, thank you for the facility and for all your 
    hospitality as well, and our witnesses who we'll get to you. We 
    talked to doctor earlier today, and, Sheriff, we're glad to 
    have you with us, as well as so many folks from our law 
    enforcement community.
        It's not easy. It is not easy being in law enforcement 
    today, so we want to thank all of you for what you do.
        [Applause.]
        Obviously it's even tougher when we're down here on the 
    border and dealing with what we have.
        It's a shame that not one Democrat Member of Congress would 
    join us on this trip despite having weeks of advance notice. 
    It's disappointing, but it's not surprising. In fact, the 
    Democrats have called this a stunt. I would argue it's not a 
    stunt, not what we've--my guess is our witnesses wouldn't call 
    it a stunt, what we've learned today from them, what we've seen 
    last night on the border. It's disappointing that they're not 
    here.
        Democrats dismiss the experiences of these real people that 
    we've had a chance to visit with the last 24 hours, people 
    affected by the Biden border crisis, and Democrats seem to 
    believe that solutions can only come from bureaucrats in 
    Washington. We actually think they come from the American 
    people.
        [Applause.]
        If Democrats were here and saw what we're seeing, maybe 
    we'd have a chance at ending this crisis and actually securing 
    our southern border.
        According to Border Patrol agents, last night, there were 
    over 200 folks who crossed the border last night. We got to see 
    the unfinished wall. Everyone tells us that walls work, walls 
    help. Every agent we've talked to says that's the case, and yet 
    we saw places where it should've been finished but wasn't.
        This morning we were at the Yuma Regional Medical Center. 
    We heard from Dr. Trenschel and his great staff about the $26 
    million in uncompensated care that they've had to administer. 
    Now, they're willing to help everybody, and they do, but it 
    would be nice to get actually paid for the great work that they 
    do, and some other concerns that they had, that impact the 
    residents of this wonderful community.
        Of course we saw the damage--we heard from growers today--
    the damage that happens to them, and the crops in the fields, 
    and a host of other issues that we'll get to in the course of 
    our hearing this afternoon.
        By not being here and seeing firsthand is no excuse for 
    inaction. Numbers don't lie. The January southwest border 
    encounter number was 156,000, 30 percent higher--36 percent 
    higher than the total number of encounters in January 2021 and 
    January 2020 combined.
        Let me just say that again. The number of encounters this 
    January, last month, were more than a third higher than the 
    last two Januarys of the Trump Administration combined. Yet, a 
    Biden Administration official touted this 156,000 encounter 
    number as the result of, quote, ``a highly effective border 
    security strategy.'' Only in Joe Biden's America is over 5,000 
    illegal migrants encounter per day on the southwest border a 
    cause to celebrate.
        Never forget what happened on day 1. Day 1, January 20, 
    2021, Joe Biden said:
    
            We're not going to build the wall anymore, we're not going to 
            keep the Remain in Mexico policy, and we're not going to deport 
            any illegal migrants who come in for an immigration violation.
    
        So, think about that. They're not going to--there's no wall 
    to get over, you won't have to wait in Mexico to have your 
    asylum claim evaluated, and you will not get deported, you'll 
    get to go wherever you want. Well, it's no wonder so many 
    migrants want to come to the greatest country ever. That's the 
    situation he had.
        He's also called on Congress to pass a massive amnesty 
    package. All these reckless actions let people around the world 
    know that our border is open, and the illegal border crossings 
    haven't stopped since that day.
        Again, numbers don't lie: 4.75 million encounters since Joe 
    Biden's been in office. Nearly a million of those have crossed 
    in just the first four months of Fiscal Year 2023. Over 1.89 
    million illegal aliens encountered along the southwest border 
    have been released into American communities by the Biden 
    Administration.
        There was 14,700 pounds of fentanyl were seized by Custom 
    and Border Protection officials during Fiscal Year 2022; 12,500 
    pounds of fentanyl seized by Customs and Border officials just 
    in the first four months of this fiscal year.
        Americans are dying as a direct result of President Biden's 
    open border policies.
        It's a shame that the Democrats did not join us today in 
    Yuma. They would have learned a thing or two. They could've 
    heard from the farmers and landowners and the growers that I 
    talked about earlier. They would've seen how overrun the 
    hospital is with illegal migrants and the cost to our 
    healthcare institution here in Yuma. They would've heard 
    directly from the people here in Yuma who live President 
    Biden's border crisis each and every day.
        Instead, they've accused us of political grandstanding 
    because we're here trying to hear from real people outside of 
    Washington, DC.
        Why don't Democrats want to hear from local law 
    enforcement? Why don't Democrats want to talk to hospital 
    administrators? Why can't Democrats be bothered to hear how 
    fentanyl continues to kill tens of thousands of people in 
    communities across this great country.
        I think the answer--I think we know why. It's because 
    Democrats' open border policies caused this crisis, and rather 
    than choosing to do anything to fix it, they want to call it a 
    stunt and they want to play political games.
        I want to thank our witnesses for being here today, and I 
    hope we can discuss what Congress can do to help fix this 
    problem.
        With that, I would like to recognize our Subcommittee 
    Chair--there he is--our Committee on Oversight and 
    Accountability, from the great State of California.
        Mr. McClintock is recognized.
        Mr. McClintock. Thank you.
        Mr. Chair, as you know, the morning of inauguration day 
    2021, illegal immigration had slowed to a trickle and our 
    borders were finally secure for the first time in decades. The 
    border wall was nearing completion, the Remain in Mexico policy 
    had all but stopped phony asylum claims, and ICE was actually 
    enforcing court-ordered deportations.
        By the afternoon of that same day, Joe Biden had reversed 
    these successful policies and initiated an unprecedented 
    illegal mass migration on a scale that no civilization in 
    history has ever survived.
        Since that afternoon, this administration has deliberately 
    admitted into the interior of our country 1.9 million illegal 
    immigrants, 600,000 of whom have not even been given notices to 
    appear in court. While the Border Patrol has been overwhelmed 
    changing diapers and taking names, another 1.2 million known 
    got-aways have entered our country as well.
        So, that totals 3.1 million illegal immigrants who've been 
    allowed into our country to violate our borders and demand 
    billions of dollars of taxpayer resources that were supposed to 
    be helping Americans. The 3.1 million is a population larger 
    than the entire State of Arkansas, a State that has Seven 
    Congressional Districts. That's just in the last 25 months.
        The vast proportion of these people are homeless, 
    impoverished, and desperate. Gallup warned us last year that 
    there are 42 million people living in poverty in Latin America 
    and the Caribbean alone who intend to come here now that they 
    can, and they are.
        There's no question that this policy is deliberate and 
    calculated. For two years, we couldn't get the Democrats to 
    hold a single hearing on this crisis, not one. In the first six 
    weeks of this session, Republicans have held two, and we've 
    come to the border today to ask the people who are at ground 
    zero to tell us of their experiences. Not a single Democrat on 
    this Committee has bothered to show up to listen.
        If not already affected, every American soon will be, 
    because every community will soon face the practical effects of 
    this collapsed border.
        We have to ask ourselves; how does it make our schools 
    better to pack classrooms with non-English speaking students? 
    How does it make our hospitals more accessible by flooding 
    emergency rooms with illegals demanding care? How does it 
    strengthen our social safety net by adding millions of 
    impoverished individuals to a system that's already strained to 
    the breaking point?
        How does it make our children safer with fentanyl flooding 
    our neighborhoods and killing nearly 300 Americans a day? How 
    does it make our communities safer to introduce violent cartels 
    into them and make it all but impossible to deport criminal 
    illegal aliens?
        How does it help working Americans to undercut them by 
    flooding the labor market with cheap, illegal labor?
        We are here today to listen to our fellow Americans who 
    live with the full impact of this new and lawless age, one 
    that's rapidly making its way to every town and every 
    neighborhood in the country.
        On my last trip to Yuma this past fall, I asked rank-and-
    file Border Patrol officers what laws they needed us to write 
    to do their jobs. To a person, every one of them said the same 
    thing: We don't need new laws, we need to enforce our existing 
    laws.
        [Applause.]
        When President Trump faithfully executed those laws, our 
    borders were secure. There's still much that can be done 
    legislatively to assure this never happens again.
        The law requires every asylum claimant to be detained until 
    their case is adjudicated. We need a Title 42-type mechanism to 
    assure that we have the capacity to enforce this law. Credible 
    fear standards need to be tightened to prevent the admission of 
    anyone who has a criminal record or who has passed through a 
    safe country. Unaccompanied minors need to be returned safely 
    to their own homes immediately. E-Verify should be required to 
    streamline compliance with the law that protects Americans' 
    jobs. The current abuses of parole authority must be stopped.
        Well, the two parties are far, far apart on this issue, as 
    evidenced by the lack of any interest by the Democrats on this 
    Committee today to even address the crisis or listen to the 
    people who've been directly affected by it.
        The trust gap is also immense. If this administration 
    refuses to enforce existing laws, why would anyone trust it to 
    enforce future laws?
        This won't stop us from trying. That's why we're here 
    today. I'm afraid that this is going to get worse until the 
    American people demand that these policies be reversed.
        History is screaming this warning at us. Countries that 
    cannot or will not enforce their borders simply aren't around 
    very long. We can't and we won't let that become the epitaph of 
    the American Republic.
        I yield back.
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman. Well said.
        [Applause.]
        Without objection, all other opening statements will be 
    included in the record.
        I want to introduce, we have three great witnesses today 
    who are--and I want to introduce them--who are here to give us 
    the facts, to give us the truth, not here to complain. 
    Complaining doesn't solve--what's the old--the great football 
    coach, Lou Holtz, said that, ``stop complaining about your 
    problems, 90 percent of the people don't care, and 10 percent 
    are glad you got them,'' right?
        That is not what this panel is about. These are folks who 
    want to give us the facts and the truth from here on the ground 
    on the front lines, and we welcome them being here today.
        Mr. Jonathan Lines has served as District 2 Yuma County 
    Supervisor for two years, a previous Chair of the Republican 
    Party of Arizona. He is now a Member of the Arizona-Mexico 
    Commission, serves as Vice-Chair of the new Water 
    Infrastructure and Finance Authority for Arizona and, of 
    course, as you all know, is a small business owner here in this 
    community.
        The Honorable Leon Wilmot. Sheriff Wilmot has served in law 
    enforcement in Yuma, Arizona, for 38 years. This is our second 
    hearing, and this is the second hearing where we've had a 
    sheriff from this great State. We had Sheriff Dannels a few 
    weeks ago up in Washington, DC. It's interesting, I think he 
    served 28 or 38. I think you've served 38 years, and currently 
    serving his third term as sheriff of Yuma County. He's a 
    veteran of the United States Marine Corps--thank you for that 
    service too--and serves on the Executive Committee on the 
    National Sheriffs' Association.
        Of course, our third witness is Dr. Robert Trenschel. He's 
    President and CEO of the Yuma Regional Medical Center where we 
    spent the morning. Amazing facility. He has nearly 20 years of 
    experience in senior management of medical care. Graduated from 
    medical school at Nova Southeastern University in Fort 
    Lauderdale, Florida, which is dear to my colleague's heart here 
    from the great State of Florida, and was in private practice 
    from 1990-2000. Dr. Trenschel holds a master's degree in public 
    health from Florida International University in Miami, Florida.
        We want to welcome all three of our witnesses and thank 
    them for appearing here today.
        As I said earlier, I also want to welcome several Arizona 
    sheriffs. Now, I'm not sure if I got everyone listed, but I'm 
    going to go on my list, and if I didn't get you, I want you to 
    stand up and tell us who you are. I want to make sure I 
    pronounce these.
        Lu Paz, Lu Paz, did I say that county right?
        Voice. La Paz.
        Chair Jordan. La Paz, OK, county sheriff--that's what a 
    Buckeye does when he gets to Arizona.
        Sheriff William Ponce and Chief Deputy David Gray, are they 
    here?
        Oh, right there, there we go. Thank you, thank you.
        Pinal County Sheriff--did I get that one right.
        Mr. Biggs. Pinal.
        Chair Jordan. Pinal. You got to help me, Biggs. What the 
    heck.
        [Applause.]
        Pinal County, Sheriff Mark Lamb, and Chief Deputy Matthew 
    Thomas, thank you as well.
        Cochise--I got that one right--Cochise County, Mark 
    Dannels. That's because I had that before. He was there two 
    weeks ago. I know Mark couldn't make it, but he was there in 
    DC.
        Graham County Sheriff Preston Allred. Excuse me. Yes.
        [Applause.]
        Gila--thanks for the help--Gila County Sheriff Adam 
    Shepherd. Thank you, Sheriff. Thank you.
        Yahopie, wow--
        Mr. Biggs. Yavapai.
        Chair Jordan. Yavapai. I would've never got that one. 
    Sheriff David Rhodes, thank you as well.
        [Applause.]
        Navajo--I would've got the last one--Navajo Sheriff David 
    Clouse, thank you as well for being here.
        God bless you all.
        [Applause.]
        We need to--we will begin by swearing in our witnesses.
        If you'd all stand and raise your right hand, our three 
    witnesses here.
        Do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the 
    testimony you're about to give is true and correct to the best 
    of your knowledge, information, and belief, so help you God?
        Let the record show that each witness answered in the 
    affirmative.
        We're going to give you five minutes. You guys can be 
    seated. We'll start with Dr. Trenschel, and we'll go right down 
    the line, five minutes, and then the sheriff and then Mr. 
    Lines, and, yes, pass that microphone.
        I'll give you a little mike tap with the gavel when you get 
    to about 4\1/2\ minutes, but we're going to be--we're among 
    friends here; if you got to go a little longer than 5-5\1/2\ 
    minutes, that'd be fine too.
        So, Doctor, you're recognized. Thank you again.
    
                   STATEMENT OF DR. ROBERT TRENSCHEL
    
        Dr. Trenschel. Thank you, Chair.
        Good afternoon, Chair Jordan and Members of the Committee. 
    I'm Dr. Robert Trenschel, President and CEO of Yuma Regional 
    Medical Center. Thank you for being here in person today to get 
    a firsthand account of the impact that open borders have had on 
    our hospital and community over the past year and more.
        I've been in Yuma for close to eight years as CEO, and I 
    bring over 30 years of experience in healthcare administration. 
    Yuma Regional Medical Center is a 406-bed hospital that offers 
    a full range of acute care services. The closest hospitals that 
    do what we do are located 180 miles away in Phoenix or San 
    Diego.
        Given our geographic location, our hospital and health 
    system hold a deep responsibility of keeping local families 
    close to home for care whenever possible. For many who live 
    here, traveling out of town for care is simply an unbearable 
    challenge. They depend on us to be here.
        Our mission to meet the needs of the community is always in 
    the forefront of every decision.
        I also want to acknowledge the work and heart of our staff 
    at Yuma Regional Medical Center who continue to work and care 
    for patients each and every day. They provide the same high 
    level of care for every patient. We do not treat anyone 
    differently, and we take pride in that. If your mother or 
    grandchild walks through our doors or if a migrant walks 
    through our doors, they will receive the same level of care.
        We've had a significant increase in the number of migrants 
    crossing the border into our community. Our hospital saw an 
    increase in the number of migrants seeking care beginning late 
    fall, early winter of 2021. They arrive to our hospital 
    emergency room in a multitude of ways. Some patients come to us 
    via Border Patrol, who typically release them from custody upon 
    arrival. Other patients walk in, take taxis, some even come by 
    Uber.
        As I've said, we're the only acute care hospital in the 
    area, which means diversion to another facility is not an 
    option. We are it.
        Some migrants come to us with minor ailments, but many come 
    in with significant disease. We've had migrant patients on 
    dialysis, cardiac catheterization, and in need of heart 
    surgery. Many are very sick. They have long-term complications 
    of chronic disease that have not been cared for. Some end up in 
    the ICU for 60 days or more.
        One of the largest cohorts we have seen are maternity 
    patients who present with little or no prenatal care. These 
    higher risk pregnancies and births result in higher 
    complication rates and longer hospital stays. Due to a lack of 
    prenatal care, many of these babies require a stay in our 
    neonatal intensive care unit, some for a month or more at a 
    time.
        There are language and cultural concerns with migrant 
    patients. We work through those, but when you consider the 
    volume and associated case management that comes with it, 
    resources have to support this as well.
        Migrants often require three times the amount of human 
    resources to resolve their cases and provide them with a safe 
    discharge as defined by CMS. That effort includes assisting in 
    locating families, making sure they have a safe place to go 
    when they are discharged, arranging, and sometimes purchasing 
    durable medical equipment when needed. We have paid for 
    emergency air transport when they need a higher level of care, 
    hotel rooms, taxis, and car seats.
        We do all these things because it's the right thing to do 
    from a humanitarian perspective, but it also allows us to open 
    up a hospital bed sooner for another patient in our community.
        None of these expenses are included in the $26 million 
    figure. Our reality is this: We have delivered over $26 million 
    in uncompensated care to these individuals in the 12-month 
    period from December 2021-November 2022. That's an auditable 
    figure.
        Let me assure you this is not an approximation. That number 
    comes from a detailed review of unpaid patient bills directly 
    attributed to migrant patients.
        The $26 million in uncompensated care is simply not a 
    sustainable business model. While this is a huge number that we 
    have validated, the point is that any number is not acceptable. 
    It is an unsustainable model to have a hospital like ours bear 
    the entire burden of paying for migrant healthcare. No business 
    or service can survive ongoing, large-scale expenses without 
    any offsetting revenue.
        Because of this surge in migrant care, we've had to hire 
    additional staff at a time when healthcare labor post-pandemic 
    is higher than ever.
        Every dollar in uncompensated care has a direct impact on 
    our hospital. Migrant patients are receiving free care. They 
    have no ability to pay. We have no ability to bill anyone. We 
    don't know their final destination. We don't know anything 
    about them. We cannot provide completely free care to the 
    residents of our community, so the situation is simply not fair 
    and understandably concerning to them.
        Let me put this into perspective. The $26 million is equal 
    to the salary and benefits to support 212 bedside nurses. The 
    city of Yuma has 100,000 people, and we've had over 300,000 
    people cross the border here. That's three times the population 
    of Yuma coming across the border. We're the only hospital 
    within a three-hour radius, which means they come here.
        We've contacted our State and Federal leaders, and no one 
    has a solution. They are willing to listen and are empathetic 
    to our situation, but so far, we have no solutions or 
    reimbursement for the care.
        We've been at this for well over a year now. On behalf of 
    our entire healthcare team, I'm here seeking your leadership 
    support to find a payer source for the care we have already 
    provided and will continue to provide in the future, and to put 
    long-term solutions into action that will support our daily 
    commitment to be here for our community for years to come.
        One hospital should not and cannot bear the healthcare 
    costs of a national migrant problem that is deeply impacting 
    Arizona and our community. We need a revenue source for the 
    patient population so we can sustainably provide high-quality 
    care to all comers and remain viable for the future.
        [The prepared statement of Dr. Trenschel follows:]
        [GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT] 
        
        Chair Jordan. Thank you, Doctor. We appreciate your being 
    with us and your testimony.
        Sheriff, you're recognized for five minutes. Yes, pull that 
    nice and close, and everyone in the room will be able to hear 
    you.
    
                    STATEMENT OF SHERIFF LEON WILMOT
    
        Sheriff Wilmot. Good afternoon, Mr. Chair Jim Jordan and 
    distinguished Members of this Committee. I appreciate the 
    opportunity to address this Committee regarding the status of 
    our southern border from the perspective of our community and 
    local law enforcement.
        I've served our border community for over 38 years with the 
    Yuma County Sheriff's Office, and prior to that as a member of 
    our military, serving in the United States Marine Corps, 
    stationed here at MCAS Yuma, located within Yuma County.
        I've always been a genuine believer in my oath of office, 
    to protect my country and now Yuma County as a duly elected 
    sheriff for the past 11 years. I'm an active member of the 
    Arizona Sheriffs' Association, currently serve as an Executive 
    Committee Member for National Sheriffs. I'm a board member and 
    past Chair of National Sheriffs' Association Border Security 
    Committee, Executive Board Member at Western States Sheriffs' 
    Association, and an active member and past Chair of the 
    Southwestern Border Sheriff's Coalition.
        All these associations share three objectives: Public 
    safety, national security, and addressing humanitarian issues 
    in our communities.
        In my submitted brief, I have shared with you all an 
    overview of Yuma County and the history of our border. I have 
    personally experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly of being 
    a border county.
        Unfortunately, my office has always had to deal with 
    border-
    related crimes, death investigations, and the smuggling of 
    illicit drugs, humans, weapons, and cash by our transnational 
    organizations--the cartels.
        I am proud of our relationship with our Federal, State, and 
    local law enforcement partners that serve our communities.
        I do want to take this opportunity to thank our Customs and 
    Border Patrol officers and agents who have worked tirelessly 
    and diligently to protect this great Nation. I also want to 
    thank all my fellow sheriffs that stand united for the rule of 
    law and the protection of their communities. Finally, I want to 
    thank my constituents for their patience and support in a time 
    of crisis and disarray.
        To best understand my presentation, you need to understand 
    where we were two years ago. My county was one of the safest 
    border communities and counties based on our collective 
    governmental efforts, messaging, and yes, delivering a hundred 
    percent consequence delivery and enforcement efforts against 
    the criminal element supported by the rule of law.
        Apprehensions by Border Patrol were an average of roughly 
    40 a day. When the policies of this administration changed, our 
    Federal agents immediately averaged 200 a day, then 400 a day, 
    to over a thousand a day in apprehensions along the river 
    corridor.
        Chair Jordan. Wow, wow.
        Sheriff Wilmot. The citizens of Yuma County and law 
    enforcement face a huge migrant crisis along the river 
    corridor. Last Federal fiscal year, you've heard, there were 
    310,000 give-ups. So far, this Federal fiscal year, we are 
    currently at 93,000 in Yuma County.
        We had 28,000 known got-aways last Federal Fiscal Year in 
    the east part of our county alone, and so far, 5,000 this 
    Federal fiscal year.
        Yuma County is an agricultural community, supplying 90 
    percent of the winter leafy greens to the whole of the United 
    States during the winter season. Because of the proximity of 
    the fields to the river corridor, it's visually an 
    environmental disaster on the river area ecosystem with the 
    tons of trash, pharmaceuticals, and biological waste being left 
    by those crossing the river illegally.
        Yuma County Emergency Management alone has had to budget 
    general fund dollars to lease Porta-Johns to put down by the 
    river corridor to prevent the defecation in the fields.
        The price tag for migrants being illegally smuggled by the 
    cartels begins at roughly $6,000 per person and up to $15,000, 
    depending on what country they're coming from. These smugglers 
    include juveniles being recruited, via social media, by the 
    cartels to smuggle not only humans and narcotics into Yuma 
    County, but children are also the pawns on the cartel's money-
    making schemes.
        Roughly 400-800 juveniles cross our border every day to go 
    to school in Yuma County. The cartels use them to body conceal 
    and carry narcotics across and tell them that the Federal 
    Government will not charge a juvenile for smuggling, so you 
    don't have to worry about being arrested.
        Border-related bookings of undocumented immigrants 
    committing State crimes in Yuma County has cost us, in Federal 
    Fiscal Year 2021, $440,000, and last fiscal year, over 
    $300,000.
        These charges included sexual exploitation of minors, 
    narcotics, assaults, kidnappings, burglary, and theft cases, 
    and of recent, we have one smuggler that was caught and is 
    being charged by our agency for committing murder on another 
    individual he was smuggling into this country.
        All of this is borne on our local taxpayers' dollar. Our 
    Federal partners across the southwest border made 40,000 
    arrests of individuals with criminal convictions or individuals 
    that were apprehended and wanted by local law enforcement.
        In 2021, over five million dosages of fentanyl were seized 
    on the Arizona border. In 2022, over 12,000 pounds of fentanyl 
    was seized on the southwest border.
        From a local's perspective, there were 50 overdose deaths 
    between 2021 and 2022 in Yuma County.
        We've also had to encounter 700-plus deaths in the desert 
    along the southwest border as a whole. In 2021, our agency 
    investigated 30 of those. In 2022, we investigated 70 deaths 
    just in Yuma County's desert.
        In 2021, 1,821 encounters by my officers with individuals 
    that were smuggled into Yuma. In 2022, my officers encountered 
    over 4,600 who were being smuggled into the United States into 
    our county.
        We've had to handle over 750 911 calls through our dispatch 
    center, on and above the ones that Border Patrol gets, from 
    migrants wanting to be rescued out in the remote deserts of our 
    county.
        In 2021, I authorized an effort to identify and combat the 
    influx of illegal moneys into Yuma County. The ensuring effort 
    resulted in the discovery of the use of local banking 
    institutions to move moneys from the United States into Mexico.
        In the four-month period of September 2021-January 2022, 
    two people and one business moved over $600,000 from U.S. banks 
    into Mexico. In a two-month period between April and June 2021, 
    one business moved over 300,000 alone.
        As the initiative has expanded and matured in 2022, three 
    people were discovered to have moved about 1.6 million in a 10-
    month period, in addition to another estimated 950,000 from 
    other accounts in a four-month period, for an estimated total 
    of over 2.5 million.
        Our initiative continues in the latter part of 2022. Eleven 
    individuals were identified in Yuma County as moving roughly 
    over $3 million between the U.S. and Mexico in a three-month 
    period, and one company was identified as moving 1.9 million in 
    a 90-day period.
        Chair Jordan. Wow. Sheriff, if you can, we got your written 
    testimony, so on that, maybe just, if you could just finish up, 
    and then we'll--we got your written testimony, it's been given 
    out to every member, and then we can get to Supervisor Lines. 
    Go ahead and finish up if you can.
        Sheriff Wilmot. Absolutely. I will cut mine short and I 
    will leave you with this final statement.
        We all serve the priorities of Americans based on our 
    shared oaths of office to keep them safe, enhance their quality 
    of life, and support the rule of law, absent political 
    affiliation or the concern of reelection. I ask each and every 
    one of you today to reflect on this statement as you serve 
    those that placed you into the office of trust.
        Once again, I thank this Committee for the invitation and 
    the opportunity to provide testimony.
        [The prepared statement of Sheriff Wilmot follows:]
        [GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
        
        Chair Jordan. Sheriff, thank you. Very interesting numbers. 
    The financial dealings that you've uncovered too, the stuff 
    going on there is something new that we--I don't know that the 
    Committee had seen much of before. Thank you so much.
        Supervisor Lines, thank you. You're recognized for five 
    minutes.
    
                    STATEMENT OF MR. JONATHAN LINES
    
        Mr. Lines. Chair Jordan, Members of the Congressional 
    Judiciary Committee, thank you for being here. For many of 
    you--Mr. Gaetz, Mr. Biggs, and my Congressman Mr. Gosar--
    they've been here multiple times, as well as Mr. McClintock. 
    So, thank you for taking a personal interest in some of the 
    challenges that we have here along our border.
        For many of the freshmen that just came into office, 
    congratulations, and hopefully you can come back to discuss 
    other things like great weather. Except for yesterday, we 
    noted.
        I'd like to welcome you to the most patriotic community in 
    Arizona as declared by Insurify. I serve my community in many 
    different capacities: As a county supervisor and sitting on 
    boards like the Yuma Community Food Bank, Amberly's Place, and 
    through service organizations.
        Yuma has been my family's home since the 1930's, and 
    Arizona, our State, since the 1870's, prior to statehood. 
    Here's where we choose to carve out an existence in the desert.
        I am sad to be before you today to discuss the failures of 
    the Biden Administration on the southwest border in the Yuma 
    Sector. Since the first days of this administration, we have 
    seen a significant deterioration in border security, despite 
    the massive efforts from the men and women who have been 
    working tirelessly to secure the border to safeguard our 
    national security.
        Since President Biden took office, we saw a huge surge, a 
    record number of people crossing illegally from 106 different 
    countries. Seventeen of those countries are designated as 
    special interests because of the negative relationship with the 
    United States and a desire to do harm, and that has steadily 
    continued these many months.
        Along with illegal entry into the United States across an 
    open border, the increase in trafficking of narcotics, both 
    human trafficking and drug trafficking, remain at an all-time 
    high, significantly greater than any other administration in 
    our history.
        In addition to the known give-ups, we are extremely 
    concerned about the backgrounds and intentions of the got-
    aways, the 1.2 million as noted, those who evade law 
    enforcement, enter the United States illegally, who are not 
    willing to give themselves into the custody of Border Patrol 
    for processing. These are estimated to exceed the 1.2 million 
    since Biden took office.
        I've had many opportunities to visit with the border from 
    elected officials from all over the United States, and the 
    message they have shared with me is that this is not just a 
    Yuma, Arizona, problem, but that illegal entry, human 
    trafficking, and narcotics, especially fentanyl and 
    methamphetamines, has now compounded and pervaded across the 
    United States to affect every community across our Nation, now 
    making them too into border communities.
        These leaders stood with us in asking the President to 
    fulfill his commitment through Secretary Mayorkas at his visit 
    last year, who had pledged to Mayor Nicholls and myself, to 
    close the Yuma gaps in the border wall and provide financial 
    support, safety and security for the men and women who are on 
    the front lines battling a very porous border, which support 
    has yet to materialize from the Executive Branch.
        Today you'll have the opportunity, as you have, to hear 
    testimony--and I thought I was going to go first, so I have to 
    change this a little bit. You've heard their testimony, and now 
    you'll have the opportunity to ask them questions.
        Last week, we learned that the average number of people who 
    entered illegally across the Yuma Sector is now percolating up 
    at 2,500 a week. Prior to, that number was 5,000-6,000 per 
    week. Yet, at the same time, fentanyl, methamphetamines, and 
    cocaine seizures were up between 200 and 400 percent because 
    the men and women in uniform were able to direct their 
    attention and efforts to border security, national security.
        Fentanyl is the scourge of our Nation. It's being shipped 
    from Mexico--to Mexico from China. In conjunction with the 
    cartels, it is being marketed and sold to children through 
    social media apps. These stories are tragic when parents talk 
    about the loss of life of their sons and daughters due to 
    fentanyl and opioids.
        My hope today through this hearing is that we can shed 
    light on the challenge we face as a small community, as well as 
    to remind the Nation, like many elected officials have done 
    after coming to see for themselves, that every community in the 
    United States is now a border community due to an abject 
    failure by this administration to control and stem the tide of 
    illegal entry along the southwest border and to commit to take 
    back control of the border from the cartels.
        Mr. Chair, thank you.
        [The prepared statement of Mr. Lines follows:]
        [GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
        
        Chair Jordan. Thank you, Supervisor.
        Now, I want to go to one of the experts in the U.S. 
    Congress on this issue and done so much to bring its attention 
    to colleagues in the Congress and folks around the country. The 
    gentleman from Arizona, Congressman Biggs, is recognized for 
    five minutes of questions.
        Mr. Biggs. I thank the Chair. I appreciate being here in 
    Yuma, where it's always a very hospitable group of people that 
    greet us, and I'm grateful for that. It's reflective of the 
    unity of this community and how great you are.
        We just heard from three great witnesses, and I also tip my 
    hat today to the officers and agents of CBP and law 
    enforcement. We recognize the challenges that you have.
        I'm going to try to first undercut a narrative that our 
    colleagues across the aisle raise, and they tell you that 90 
    percent of fentanyl is seized at the border--at the port of 
    entry, right, port of entry, as if there's not a massive amount 
    of fentanyl and other drugs coming between the ports of entry.
        So, I'm going to ask the panel: Why do you suppose that we 
    are more successful at interdicting drug smuggling at a port of 
    entry that has, I don't know, dogs, X-ray machines, material, 
    and more agents, than we would be between ports of entry?
        Mr. Lines, you look like you're just chomping at the bit to 
    answer that question.
        Mr. Lines. No, the sheriff winked at me and told me to go.
        Mr. Biggs. Very good. Please.
        Mr. Lines. Mr. Biggs, Congressman Biggs, thank you for the 
    opportunity. We learned last week, and this number we made 
    public toward the end of the month, but the narrative of 90 
    percent coming through the ports has been changed a little bit 
    in that because of the downturn over the January timeframe, 48 
    percent of the fentanyl was being intercepted between the ports 
    and 52 percent at the ports.
        To combat that narrative, Border Patrol has now had the 
    opportunity, because they're not spending 1.5, 1.7 hours 
    processing each individual, and so they are now on the border 
    being able to provide national security and border security.
        Mr. Biggs. Sheriff, do you want to add on that?
        Sheriff Wilmot. I would just confirm what Jonathan Lines 
    just said.
        Mr. Biggs. Thank you.
        Sheriff Wilmot. With our agents being able to get back out 
    in the field, it's helped us intercept that.
        Mr. Biggs. Thank you. Sheriff, I'm going to ask you a 
    question. You mentioned juvenile drug smuggling, juveniles 
    being used and exploited to smuggle drugs coming across, who 
    have legal purpose to enter the country--or legal authority to 
    enter the country through the port of entry. Please tell us 
    about that.
        Sheriff Wilmot. That is correct. When we speak with our 
    port of entry personnel, they are the ones that typically are 
    the screeners when juveniles come across from Mexico to go to 
    school each and every day. The cartels exploit them by asking 
    them to carry fentanyl and other narcotics across the border 
    when they're walking into the United States.
        These individuals are then apprehended by port of entry 
    personnel, who then get ahold of DEA or the local narcotics 
    task force, and then they end up getting charged as an adult 
    because of the amount of narcotics that they have in their 
    possession.
        Mr. Biggs. Thank you. I'm going to make a quick statement 
    and then try to get time to get to Dr. Trenschel to ask him a 
    question too. There's just so much. This is an incredibly broad 
    topic.
        The violation of laws of this administration, I'm going to 
    point out four quick things. They've changed the parole--they 
    haven't changed it. They are violating the parole of the law--
    the parole law. The parole authority typically would be a case-
    by-case basis, 12-20 people a year, per year, until the Biden 
    Administration came in.
        Last year, more than 300,000 people received parole, and 
    there's a promise of 360,000 more people this year from four 
    different countries: Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. 
    That's one violation.
        The second is the no deport. One of you mentioned the no 
    deportation law. More than 1.2 million individuals have 
    received due process and an order of removal because their 
    asylum claim was bogus--found to be bogus by a court. This 
    administration has forbidden ICE to pursue, look, and deport.
        The third thing is the violation of the first safe nation 
    international law. That's another reference to the Remain in 
    Mexico policy. If you had the First Safe Nation Law and you 
    enforced the First Safe Nation Law, which we did under the 
    Remain in Mexico policy, Yuma Sector, the last year of the 
    Trump Administration had fewer than 9,000 encounters. Last 
    year, well over 300,000 encounters. That's the third thing.
        So, I will just leave it there, so I can ask Dr. Trenschel 
    this last question, because you said something that I think 
    every American needs to hear. You are actually expending 
    hospital funds--community hospital funds--to actually move 
    people to family members or elsewhere around the country. There 
    are many that you are sending, that you don't even know their 
    destination. Please expand on that and tell us what that looks 
    like.
        Dr. Trenschel. Sure. So, when a patient comes into the 
    hospital, we have to provide them with a safe discharge, per 
    CMS, and we do that. So, a lot of that includes tracking down 
    their family members. We've had to fly them to their families. 
    We've had to air ambulance individuals for higher levels of 
    care. We've just had to--durable medical equipment, 
    wheelchairs, walkers, all these other items that we have to 
    provide for patients for a safe discharge.
        Mr. Biggs. you're not being compensated by the Federal 
    Government or anyone else, and these individuals are not those 
    that have been brought for medical treatment by CBP through 
    some kind of legal mechanism.
        Dr. Trenschel. Correct. Some individuals may have walked 
    in, declared themselves a migrant and we treat those. They 
    could've have come in by taxi. They could've come in by any 
    means, yes.
        Mr. Biggs. Thank you.
        Mr. Chair, thank you so much. I yield back.
        Chair Jordan. Thanks for all your good work.
        The Chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration, the gentleman 
    from California, is recognized for five minutes.
        Mr. McClintock. Well, thank you, Mr. Chair.
        Dr. Trenschel, you said that your hospital has incurred $26 
    million in uncompensated care over the past year. Obviously 
    that money doesn't come from nowhere. It comes out of what 
    you'd otherwise be spending. So, does this mean that there's 
    $26 million less equipment for your patients, $26 million less 
    staff to care for them?
        Dr. Trenschel. It does. That extra revenue that we would've 
    brought in would've gone back into the community, and we do 
    that as a nonprofit. So, it would've been either to purchase 
    equipment, have additional access ports for patients here, 
    bring in additional physicians. It would've been used for the 
    benefit of our community for sure.
        Mr. McClintock. Now, you say you serve all patients 
    equally, but it is a zero-sum equation, isn't it? A bed that's 
    taken by one person is not going to be available for another. 
    An hour of a doctor's time on one person is not going to be 
    available to care for another.
        So, if your emergency room, for example, is packed with 
    illegal immigrants, doesn't that mean, just as a simple, 
    mathematical equation, that legal residents must wait exactly 
    that much longer for care?
        Dr. Trenschel. Yes, it does. That's very true. We've had 
    that experience in our emergency room. We've had that 
    experience with patients who've had to delay elective surgery 
    because other urgent migrant patients have come in who needed 
    emergent surgery.
        We've had to delay maternity patients with planned 
    inductions, because we've simply been out of space in our 
    maternity unit with migrant patients who've had deliveries. 
    Many of them just coming in at the same time for deliveries.
        Mr. McClintock. Now, of course, virtually all these 
    migrants don't stay here. Where do they go?
        Dr. Trenschel. We don't know where they go. Some may go to 
    Florida. Other--they really go everywhere. We don't know.
        Mr. McClintock. So, this is going to be impacting every 
    hospital in the country?
        Dr. Trenschel. Yes, yes.
        Mr. McClintock. Sheriff Wilmot, are Mexican cartels 
    operating in Yuma County today?
        Sheriff Wilmot. There is a cartel influence in Yuma County 
    between--we have two States in Mexico that border Yuma County. 
    We have the Baja California, which is the Sinaloa cartel in 
    Sonora.
        Mr. McClintock. What are they doing on this side of the 
    border? What are the cartels doing on this side of the border?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Well, they're the ones that are 
    orchestrating the smuggling of narcotics and the humans toward 
    the east part of the county.
        Mr. McClintock. What are your greatest concerns for public 
    safety from their activity here?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Well, obviously, first concern is the loss 
    of life and the impact on our local communities. It's also the 
    fact that when we have that many get-aways, and we know how 
    many countries have actually come through Yuma County, those 
    also being special interest countries, what is this country 
    going to expect to happen of these unknown individuals coming 
    into the United States? Where are they going, and what is their 
    intentions?
        Mr. McClintock. Could we expect to see the kind of violent 
    cartel gun battles in our cities that we're now seeing in 
    Mexico?
        Sheriff Wilmot. We have seen victims of that come into our 
    county as well as other counties along the U.S.-Mexico border. 
    We have not--
        Mr. McClintock. Is it just a matter of time before we see 
    the same things here?
        Sheriff Wilmot. I believe they've already seen it in other 
    States as of late.
        Mr. McClintock. We saw it in Tulare County in California 
    just a few weeks ago.
        Sheriff Wilmot. Yes.
        Mr. McClintock. What is your warning to other communities 
    from what you've experienced here?
        Sheriff Wilmot. We've been trying to warn other communities 
    for the past couple years in regard to the activities that 
    we're seeing here. It's not staying in the border, it's going 
    across the Nation, and I don't think you'll find a sheriff now 
    throughout the United States that doesn't say that they're 
    actually now a border county because of what the impacts they 
    have had in their communities.
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman.
        I now yield to the gentleman from Florida, my friend, Mr. 
    Gaetz.
        Mr. Gaetz. Mr. Chair, I observe that the people of Yuma are 
    good folks, and they deserve a lot better from the Federal 
    Government than they have been getting, and whether or not 
    they'll get it depends heavily on the House of Representatives, 
    and particularly this group and whether or not we will fight 
    for them.
        We don't have a single Democrat that we could even convince 
    to come to this briefing to get evidence from these experts. 
    You think we're going to get President Joe Biden and Chuck 
    Schumer to pass legislation without a fight, without demanding 
    that it go in must-pass bills? We have to use every bit of 
    leverage, or this is a deeply unserious exercise.
        Now, Dr. Trenschel, about 1 in 4 of the migrants who use 
    birthing services at your hospital need neonatal intensive care 
    unit services, NICU, right?
        Dr. Trenschel. That is true, yes.
        Mr. Gaetz. That rate, 1 in 4, is way higher than with the 
    nonmigrant population, right?
        Dr. Trenschel. Very much higher, correct.
        Mr. Gaetz. You got about 20 beds at any given time?
        Dr. Trenschel. Correct.
        Mr. Gaetz. They fill up sometimes, don't they?
        Dr. Trenschel. Yes, they do.
        Mr. Gaetz. So, when you have those beds that are full up 
    because of the pressure of these migrant communities, where do 
    you have to send the residents of Yuma when they have a baby 
    that needs NICU?
        Dr. Trenschel. We would have to fly them to Phoenix or 
    another venue.
        Mr. Gaetz. That's 170 miles away?
        Dr. Trenschel. Yes, it is.
        Mr. Gaetz. There are few prayers that I have ever seen more 
    sincere and deeper than the prayers of parents when their 
    little babies are at the NICU. For all the folks on the left 
    who want to lecture to us about how humane an open border is, 
    there is nothing humane about putting a parent on a 170-mile 
    journey when they need NICU services.
        Supervisor Lines, we hear Secretary Mayorkas come to us all 
    the time on the Judiciary Committee and testify that the most 
    important partnerships above all else for the Department of 
    Homeland Security are the partnerships with local officials. We 
    hear it time and again.
        So here is my simple question for you. Has Secretary 
    Mayorkas ever lied to you?
        Mr. Lines. Yes.
        Mr. Gaetz. What was the substance of that lie?
        Mr. Lines. So, the mayor and I had the opportunity to visit 
    with Secretary Mayorkas, and the Yuma Sector Chief, as well as 
    the chief of the entire Border Patrol at sector headquarters 
    almost a year ago. During that meeting, he committed to, after 
    reviewing the border, both from the ground and the air, to 
    specifically address, quote, ``9 of the 11 Yuma gaps,'' 
    unquote.
        Mr. Gaetz. How many of those gaps have been addressed?
        Mr. Lines. To date so far, none. We see infrastructure on 
    two, and yet they will not deter anyone.
        Mr. Gaetz. This is my fourth time here with you.
        Mr. Lines. Yes, sir.
        Mr. Gaetz. I think if I come any more often, I'm going to 
    be eligible to vote in Yuma County.
        Mr. Lines. Thank you for coming back, Matt. District 2 is 
    great.
        Mr. Gaetz. It seems as though it's not a great mystery 
    where the pressure points are, where we have gaps in the wall, 
    and where we have recalcitrant tribes. So, in those 
    circumstances, should we observe that this is a lack of 
    capability or a lack of will to go and plug those holes?
        Mr. Lines. A lack of will. We've followed up multiple 
    times, as well as Yuma Sector Border Patrol staff and--with 
    Under Secretaries, and we were told time and time again that 
    they were issuing contracts, that we would have it no later 
    than June of last year, then no later than September, then no 
    later than November. Every time it kept getting pushed out 
    while--
        Mr. Gaetz. So, would a reasonable person observe that this 
    is on purpose?
        Mr. Lines. My wife says I'm not a very patient person, but 
    I was patient every time that I called, and they continued to 
    push this process out. It's not reasonable.
        Mr. Gaetz. Well, the American people are losing their 
    patience, we ought to be losing ours, and while we greatly 
    appreciate the three of you being here to answer our questions, 
    the day will come soon when Secretary Mayorkas has to come and 
    answer our questions.
        To my colleagues, if he'll lie to Mr. Lines and lie to the 
    community here, then he will lie to us, and he will lie to the 
    American people, and that's why I'm very proud to cosponsor 
    Representative Biggs' Articles of Impeachment against Secretary 
    Mayorkas, because this is not a lack of ability, it is a lack 
    of will.
        [Applause.]
        Mr. Lines, I'll give you the last word.
        Mr. Lines. Mr. Gaetz, thank you very much. To what Mr. 
    McClintock was saying as far as the cartel violence, over the 
    last 14 months, the sheriff and I have been made aware of over 
    200 assassinations in San Luis Rio Colorado, where the cartels 
    are targeting law enforcement. This last weekend we had another 
    officer shot and then retribution the following night.
        So, when you talk about that violence, it's here at our 
    border. They are in control, and we want to take our control--
    our border control back, and we need an administration that has 
    the will to secure our borders. That's what we're asking you to 
    do. I thank you very much for being here.
        Mr. Gaetz. Mr. Chair, my time's expired. I yield back.
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman from Florida.
        I now recognize the gentleman from Wisconsin, Mr. Tiffany.
        Mr. Tiffany. Thank you very much.
        Let me followup on that. Sheriff, do you believe the U.S. 
    Government has control of the border here with Mexico?
        Sheriff Wilmot. I believe that we are trained, and our 
    Border Patrol partners are trying very hard, but the cartels 
    are the ones that are creating the narrative and controlling 
    the activities all along the 2,000 miles of international 
    boundary.
        Mr. Tiffany. Do you have the ability to identify migrants 
    who are inadmissible to the United States for criminal reasons 
    or prior deportations?
        Sheriff Wilmot. We do not have access to that.
        Mr. Tiffany. Is ICE or CBP actively assisting you in 
    processing the migrants, in your charge?
        Sheriff Wilmot. In the law enforcement aspect, we work with 
    them quite a bit in regard to those that are in my jail. As far 
    as the immigration side, that is something that is not in our 
    wheelhouse. I can tell you that, because of their constraints, 
    that I've actually cross-deputized our Federal partners in the 
    different entities to be able to seek State charges against 
    individuals that the U.S. attorney would not charge for crimes.
        Mr. Tiffany. Have you had--say that last part again, the 
    United States attorney.
        Sheriff Wilmot. The part in regard to the United States 
    Attorney not wanting to charge an individual for a crime, then 
    I've cross-deputized them so they can take that case to a 
    county attorney to get prosecution.
        Mr. Tiffany. Have you had any detainers issued by ICE for 
    migrants in your facilities?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Yes, I have.
        Mr. Tiffany. As a result of the illegal migration coming 
    across our border, are they harming the environment?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Absolutely. The vast amount of trash, 
    pharmaceuticals, garbage, clothing that's being dumped along 
    our river corridor has been astronomical, and the impacts for 
    our farmers in their fields as well.
        Mr. Tiffany. When we had a hearing just a couple weeks ago, 
    we had a Judge Samaniego, from I believe El Paso, and Sheriff 
    Dannels on the panel. They had very divergent statements to say 
    in regard to fentanyl, that the reason for fentanyl--the 
    expansion of its use in our country and the devastating 
    consequences was not because of the border being open. That was 
    the case being made by Judge Samaniego.
        Sheriff Dannels said that it is a result of the borders 
    being opened over the last couple years that fentanyl use and 
    its migration into the United States has gone up exponentially.
        Who's correct?
        Sheriff Wilmot. I would tend to support Sheriff Dannels' 
    statement in regard to that. I would agree with his statement 
    as well.
        Mr. Tiffany. So, you've seen--are you saying you have seen 
    the same thing as Sheriff Dannels in Cochise County?
        Sheriff Wilmot. We have seen the same type of activity 
    where individuals were recruited to come and pick up 
    individuals that entered this country illegally between a port 
    of entry and come to pick them up because it's a money-making 
    adventure. They've also been found to be in possession of 
    narcotics too at the same time.
        Mr. Tiffany. Has Secretary Mayorkas secured the border?
        Sheriff Wilmot. No.
        Mr. Tiffany. I just have one further question and then a 
    final statement, Mr. Chair.
        Do any--to Dr. Trenschel--do any of the NGO's out there, 
    nongovernmental organizations, have they compensated you for 
    any of the uncompensated care that you're providing for 
    migrants?
        Dr. Trenschel. No, they have not. We've not received any 
    compensation from anyone.
        Mr. Tiffany. Thank you.
        I'm just going to close with this. You know, folks, set 
    aside--we've had the most number of people that are on the 
    terror watch come across our border in the last couple years, 
    in the history of the United States of America.
        You can set aside the human trafficking. You have the 
    largest--your U.S. Government, via the Biden Administration, is 
    running perhaps the largest human trafficking--or complicit in 
    perhaps the greatest, biggest human trafficking operation in 
    the history of the world, along with the cartels, along with 
    the International Organization of Migration, a United Nations 
    outfit, and others.
        Set those things aside. Just fentanyl alone should be a 
    national emergency in America, and I can't believe we do not 
    have colleagues on the other side of the aisle that are not 
    here today, and even if they're not here today, that are not 
    calling for the same thing that we're calling for: At a 
    minimum, secure the border to stop the fentanyl, or at least 
    reduce the amount of fentanyl coming into America that has made 
    every State, including my State of Wisconsin, a border State.
        I yield back, Mr. Chair.
        [Applause.]
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman.
        I now recognize the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. 
    Bishop, for five minutes.
        Mr. Bishop. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        That does it.
        I sit up here and I wonder what you must be thinking, who 
    are here, kind enough to spend your time watching us today, and 
    you must be troubled that only one of the major parties is 
    here. You must be discouraged as you ponder what it would take 
    for the Federal Government to fix this problem. I appreciate 
    your hospitality and your interest, and I love everything I've 
    seen about Yuma.
        How many fentanyl deaths in Yuma this year, Supervisor 
    Lines, in the past year?
        Mr. Lines. Mr. Bishop, I was just able to submit data that 
    I acquired from the hospital. That number continues to 
    increase. The average nationwide is 1 in 100,000, and yet we've 
    had 16 fatalities directly attributable to fentanyl, so more 
    than 16 times the national average.
        Mr. Bishop. How many ODs?
        Mr. Lines. Sixteen--well, there were 117 overdoses, and 16 
    of those were fatal.
        Mr. Bishop. Sixteen deaths, right? So, you're way above the 
    national average in that key thing.
        You made a point earlier that about--this was very 
    interesting, because a lot of our colleagues in Washington say 
    over and over and over again that the uncontrolled immigration 
    between ports of entry really doesn't contribute to the illicit 
    drugs because they come through the ports of entry. You've 
    touched on that already. You've said your data that Border 
    Patrol has furnished to you is that about half--about half--I 
    hope everybody's listening in Washington--about half of the 
    seizures are occurring between ports of entry.
        Mr. Lines. Yes, sir.
        Mr. Bishop. It means it is coming from this uncontrolled 
    problem. Yet, we have colleagues that--Katie Porter said at a 
    hearing, she's a Democrat from California, she said last week 
    at a hearing:
    
            We had a change in President in 2020 and some changes in border 
            policy, and what we can see here is that the facts show we are 
            seizing a lot more fentanyl, and for me, as a mom, that is a 
            sign of success.
    
    
                   I don't even know what to say about that.
    
        Border Chief Raul Ortiz said a couple of weeks ago--put a 
    tweet out that said that Yuma--let's see ``so far, in Fiscal 
    Year 2023, we have seized over 476 pounds of fentanyl between 
    ports of entry along our southwest border.'' That's enough to 
    kill 100 million people. I'd say that's a problem even that 
    Washington should be able to recognize.
        I want to use my remaining time--Supervisor Lines, I hope 
    you won't be offended. I was taken with a moment of 
    conversation between you and me at the lunch before we came in 
    here. I hope you won't mind my sharing it with the Committee 
    and with those attending, because for me it connects to the 
    issue that we are grappling with.
        As extraordinary as your story is, I would say that--and I 
    don't articulate it to single you out but to recognize that the 
    law enforcement officers who are sitting next to and behind you 
    and the healthcare professionals, like Dr. Trenschel, and the 
    men and women attending this, there are hundreds of lives who 
    likewise have fulfilled and even exceeded their potential to 
    contribute to building and sustaining a culture that has proved 
    the most successful in the history of mankind for the 
    flourishing of human beings.
        Everyone wants his family--his or her family and children 
    to thrive. I submit that what we're talking about is not really 
    a question of the stresses on the safety net--the provision of 
    food for the people who can't provide if for themselves, the 
    provision of medical care, the jail, the detention services, 
    keeping the community safe--this is about how we maintain and 
    protect a culture that has been the most successful in the 
    world. That is what is at stake too.
        You and your wife have 11 children, and with three 
    remaining at home, your wife has undertaken developing 
    subdivisions.
        Mr. Lines. Yes, she has.
        Mr. Bishop. You have four grandchildren. Your children are 
    hardworking and productive, and yet you've made time not only 
    to serve in office but as a charitable leader, particularly as 
    Chair of the Food Bank, et cetera.
        So, you've not only reckoned with the task of--the awesome 
    task of figuring out how to provide for 11 children, but you've 
    produced and served in a way to demonstrate just how 
    constructive and productive human lives can be.
        [Applause.]
        Mr. Bishop. So, I'm grateful to you for having us here, for 
    your hospitality in this great community, to show me that yet 
    again, and to remind all of us that we must act. We must act. 
    The first thing we must do--I'm going to finish this way, 
    because I think everybody's got a responsibility to say: What 
    are we going to do?
        Matt Gaetz summarized it correctly, that it is a question 
    of will. The first thing to preserve this culture we must do is 
    we must restore order.
        The best vehicle at hand--Chip Roy of Texas is not here 
    today, can't be here today, but his H.R. 29, which says to the 
    Secretary of Homeland Security: Notwithstanding any other 
    provision of law, with respect to every migrant that you 
    encounter, you must detain or turn away.
        You cannot just release them into the country, you cannot 
    continue doing this to all our support services, our safety net 
    on which our culture depends, you cannot do this to our 
    culture, or we will surely face, not only what you just--the 
    shocking information you just mentioned, Supervisor Lines, 
    about the assassinations. I haven't heard that story, I'm 
    afraid to say.
        [Applause.]
        Mr. Bishop. So, I'm grateful to you for having us here, for 
    your hospitality in this great community, to show me that yet 
    again, and to remind all of us that we must act. We must act. 
    The first thing we must do--I'm going to finish this way, 
    because I think everybody's got a responsibility to say: What 
    are we going to do?
        Matt Gaetz summarized it correctly, that it is a question 
    of will. The first thing to preserve this culture we must do is 
    we must restore order.
        The best vehicle at hand--Chip Roy of Texas is not here 
    today, can't be here today, but his H.R. 29, which says to the 
    Secretary of Homeland Security: Notwithstanding any other 
    provision of law, with respect to every migrant that you 
    encounter, you must detain or turn away.
        You cannot just release them into the country, you cannot 
    continue doing this to all our support services, our safety net 
    on which our culture depends, you cannot do this to our 
    culture, or we will surely face, not only what you just--the 
    shocking information you just mentioned, Supervisor Lines, 
    about the assassinations. I haven't heard that story, I'm 
    afraid to say.
        There was this--on January 5th of this year, I think it's 
    Culiacan, Mexico, there was a warfare, there was a war between 
    the Sinaloa Cartel and the Mexican Army with helicopter 
    gunships firing against people on the ground and burning cars, 
    blocking the entrances to the town so that the people were 
    cowered in their homes.
        That will occur in the United States of America if we do 
    not get control of this problem. It sits squarely as the 
    responsibility of the Federal Government, and we must have the 
    will to act.
        Mr. Chair, I yield back.
        [Applause.]
        Chair Jordan. Well done. Well done. Thank you.
        The gentlelady from Indiana is recognized for five minutes.
        Ms. Spartz.
        Ms. Spartz. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        It's my pleasure being here today. I can tell you one 
    thing: That the great State of Indiana will stand with the 
    great State of Arizona to protect your border, I can assure 
    you.
        [Applause.]
        People do care, because it's not an issue of one State, 
    it's a national security issue. Unfortunately, we can debate 
    and deliberate on a lot of issues and have disagreement, but 
    we're always able to come together to protect our country.
        This is a crisis. It's a national security crisis. It's 
    unacceptable. It's unfortunate that my colleagues from this 
    Committee couldn't come here today to see what's really 
    happening, the impact of real life.
        I just want to have a couple questions to this panel. I 
    grew up in a Communist, totalitarian regime, under mob rule. 
    So, have lots of guns and ammunition. We have constitutional 
    carry in Indiana. So, I am good to go, but that's not where we 
    want to go.
        I sometimes wonder, listen, if I have come here illegally, 
    I would really not have to go through all the struggles I had 
    to go for the last 23 years.
        So, my question is for Dr. Trenschel.
        When I was listening to you, I thought, like, OK, as a 
    legal immigrant, a legal citizen in this country, you have to 
    pay for healthcare, you have to get insurance, you have to work 
    and do all those different things.
        Isn't it we're creating perverse incentives for people to 
    come here illegally? Because it's not just hurting people that 
    try to be within the system, but, actually, you get a free 
    ride, and we have now illegal immigration to welfare.
        So, I would like you to comment on that.
        Dr. Trenschel. I agree. We're required by law to see all 
    comers and to provide the same level of care we do to everyone 
    else. When a migrant comes in that crosses the border without 
    insurance, without a payment plan, we give them the same 
    healthcare we provide to the other residents of our community.
        We have no ability to bill. We don't know where they're 
    going. We don't know if their name is right. We don't know 
    anything about them.
        Ms. Spartz. It's unfortunate that we're starting to 
    incentivize the lawlessness in our country.
        I have a question to the sheriff. I think really my 
    colleagues on the other side are always talking about this 
    human trafficking and what was happening, and it's really--it's 
    a humanitarian crisis, too, because these people become slaves. 
    It's like modern day slavery. To the cartels, it was a lot of 
    big money made on these people. I understand they're desperate, 
    but we created perverse incentive.
        So, I want you to comment on human trafficking and the 
    issues of getaways, how dangerous it is.
        Sheriff Wilmot. I'll use the word from the Yuma Border 
    Patrol Chief: It's narco-slavery, every bit of it, that we are 
    seeing along our border, and it's gone to the interior 
    throughout the United States.
        There's indentured servitude in a lot of these States and 
    counties because of the cartels controlling the narrative right 
    now. So, there's not been many sheriffs that I have ran into 
    that have not had to investigate those types of crimes.
        We've seen in the past where you had indentured servitude 
    discovered by Border Patrol agents happening in the Carolinas, 
    3,500 cases of children being used, as recycled to get more 
    people in.
        So, we have seen the indentured servitude. If you can't 
    pay, you're going to pay another way.
        Ms. Spartz. So, thank you for your service.
        I would like to let you know we have great sheriffs in the 
    State of Indiana. If you need help, let us know, because if we 
    cannot fix it at the Federal level, States can also step up and 
    help each other.
        Mr. Lines, some quick question. Even though I have a little 
    problem with being called flyover State, so I need to work on 
    that. Hopefully you'll visit Indiana more often because we have 
    a lot of great things. It's a great State, as well as you have 
    a great State here, too. It's far from a flyover State, but 
    actually farther.
        I want to just have a quick question for you. With what we 
    have happening right now with agriculture, and I was actually 
    surprised at some of the numbers, isn't it really pose some 
    issues with food safety and food security, what's really 
    happening at the border?
        Mr. Lines. So, it's a challenge along the border. Our 
    agriculture practices here in Yuma exceed the expectations and 
    even the minimum standards or the maximum standards of any 
    growers against any region in the United States. They have 
    about a 500-page volume that they use, it's self-imposed, to 
    make sure, and they have hired people to watch over.
        We have had entry into fields. At that point in time, 
    depending upon what they have been able to locate, they either 
    plow it under or remove it altogether.
        Ms. Spartz. It would add that additional cost placed onto 
    the consumer, right?
        Mr. Lines. It's an additional cost, yes, absolutely.
        Ms. Spartz. Because it's extra cost that everyone has to do 
    because ultimately you have to be able to survive and pay money 
    to be able to run your business.
        Mr. Lines. Ms. Spartz, may I comment a little bit just on 
    the narco-labor, narco-trafficking of human trafficking?
        It was interesting, just before the China virus hit, the AP 
    did a story, and they were talking about the L.A. Basin 
    specifically, but they estimated that between 65-75 percent of 
    all manual labor was undocumented in the L.A. Basin.
        That remains a challenge and a problem today, because many 
    of these people, as they come across the border, are still 
    subject to the cartels to pay a debt and are indefinitely 
    remanded to their service. They actually never leave.
        Ms. Spartz. Thank you. It's unfortunate.
        I yield back.
        [Applause.]
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentlelady.
        The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Cline, is recognized for 
    five minutes.
        Mr. Cline. I thank the gentleman.
        I want to thank the witnesses for being here. I want to 
    thank the people of Yuma for being here, too. We stand with the 
    people of Yuma.
        My constituents are far, far away from here. They are in 
    the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, another farming community, 
    another agriculture community. We have many ties that bind us 
    to Yuma.
        We also stand with you in protecting the national security 
    of this country, making sure that we secure our border, and we 
    will do everything in our power to do that.
        We recognize it as a national security crisis. The things 
    that we have seen and heard here during this visit have 
    reinforced that view.
        My decision to cosponsor legislation that was introduced by 
    Warren Davidson from Ohio to authorize the use of military 
    force to ensure that, Sheriff, you have those resources that 
    are needed to secure this border and make sure that the cartels 
    do not continue their march into this country, into this 
    community, and into our neighborhoods and our homes, we will 
    make sure that you have those resources, sir.
        Thank you.
        We did see some things that just show and demonstrate the 
    brazenness of what is transpiring here in this community when 
    it comes to the cartels.
        On the drive down to the border, to San Luis crossing, we 
    had in our convoy cars that slowed down, that entered, that 
    forced their way into our line of vans. I didn't think anything 
    of it. I thought someone was trying to exit. I couldn't figure 
    it out. It was only today, after, we realized that they were 
    cartel members who were infiltrating our caravan to try and 
    figure out what we were doing, what we were looking at.
        Just being able to have that close reinforced just what a 
    security crisis this is on this side of the border.
        Sheriff, I've heard of cartel violence erupting similar to 
    the cartel violence that's erupting across the border from Yuma 
    in Texas, leading to members of the cartel actually escaping 
    into the United States and asking for asylum. Have you ever 
    seen that happen?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Yes, sir. Thank you for that question.
        Yes, Yuma has seen it. Cochise County has seen it. Texas 
    has seen it.
        Mr. Cline. That is shocking and just goes to show just how 
    porous the border has become, how abused it is, when cartel 
    members themselves are creating the violence that's happening 
    and then trying to escape the violence by taking advantage of 
    the very laws that are protecting the citizens and enabling 
    them. The lack of the enforcement by the Biden Administration 
    is enabling them to take advantage of those laws.
        Mr. Lines, I want to followup on a conversation we had a 
    little bit earlier. My eyes have been opened to the breadth and 
    depth of the impact of this porous border and this lack of 
    enforcement by the Biden Administration on society in Yuma, but 
    also across this country on districts like mine.
        We talked about the impact on hospitals. We went to the 
    hospital. We saw the NICU. We saw the emergency room. We know 
    that there's a finite number of beds, and that when there's a 
    bed being occupied by someone here illegally, there's a bed not 
    available to someone here legally, someone who is a resident of 
    Yuma.
        We talked about the food banks and the agriculture. We met 
    with farmers. We listened to them talk about the impact of 
    people, thousands of people crossing their fields, and just one 
    incident taking away a whole entire set of acreage from being 
    able to be harvested.
        What other areas are we talking about here where this open 
    border is having such an impact? Talk about the schools, talk 
    about transportation, other areas.
        Mr. Lines. Everything that you discussed has been a 
    challenge.
        Most recently, I had a call from an ESL teacher who said 
    that she had a significant number of students being enrolled 
    into her classes that did not speak either English or Spanish, 
    and many of them Eastern European or Central Asian. So, there 
    is a concern that we will continue to see that type of influx.
        For the most part, people have not been taking up residency 
    in Yuma. So, it was surprising to me that an ESL teacher was 
    calling me to say, ``I now have a new challenge here in my 
    classroom,'' and it wasn't something that she expected to 
    confront.
        Mr. Cline. In terms of housing--
        Mr. Lines. Oh.
        [Applause.]
        Mr. Lines. Well, the sheriff can speak specifically to the 
    jail. I appreciate everything that he's done as a county 
    supervisor, and we work hand in hand.
        His Federal reimbursement is at 10 percent. So, when he has 
    cross-deputized the Border Patrol officers to go and assist, 
    because the U.S. Attorney General won't prosecute, he then is 
    faced with those challenges, and it's up to the county to make 
    him whole.
        Sheriff, do you want to talk a little bit more about that?
        Mr. Cline. Well, let me just--
        Mr. Lines. OK. Or, Mr. Cline, sorry about that.
        Mr. Cline. Let me just wrap up and say, I've been a 
    prosecutor, I've used the ICE detainer process to have illegals 
    who have committed crimes in Harrisonburg deported and made 
    sure that the community is kept safe.
        I've talked to troopers who pull over vans on Interstate 81 
    in my district who encounter the human trafficking that crosses 
    the border here in Yuma. I see the criminal aspect of it in my 
    district.
        Never have my eyes been opened to the impact on healthcare, 
    education, housing, food, and agriculture that this porous 
    border is having. I'm going to go home with this information to 
    ensure that we fight even harder to secure this border so that 
    the people of Yuma are protected, but the people of the Sixth 
    Congressional District are protected. We stand with Yuma, and 
    we stand with our citizens.
        Thank you all for being here today.
        Mr. Lines. Thank you, Mr. Cline.
        [Applause.]
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman.
        The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Van Drew, is recognized 
    for five minutes.
        Mr. Van Drew. Thank you, Chair.
        As I was sitting up here, first, great testimony all 
    around, it really is, if you think about what these gentlemen 
    and ladies are saying.
        I was thinking of how tired of it I am, how worn out of it 
    I am, how tired I am of the President lying. I know people 
    don't like to say it that way. I'm a little rough around the 
    edges. I don't care. He doesn't tell the truth.
        [Applause.]
        I'm tired of Secretary Mayorkas even worse, because with 
    the President you can kind of tell when he's lying. He gets 
    that weird look in his face, which is most of the time. 
    Mayorkas will look you dead in the face.
        I used to be on the Homeland Security Committee. We 
    interviewed him I think three times. Every time I would ask 
    him, ``Is there anything going on, on the border, is anything 
    wrong, are there any problems, anything we should do?'' he 
    said, ``We fully have it under control.''
        Then not long after I would go to the border, and you would 
    find that you actually watched the people illegally crossing 
    and getting through. He just wouldn't face the facts. He 
    wouldn't tell the truth.
        I'm tired, to be honest with you, of Congress people--and 
    I'm not always partisan, I'm not, but it happens to be on the 
    other side of the aisle--not fulfilling their constitutional 
    responsibility.
        They owe it to you to be here today. They owe it to America 
    to debate these issues. They owe it to America to prove why 
    what they've done is a good thing. You know why they're not 
    here? Because they can't prove it, because they can't show it, 
    because they know it's bad.
        To the gentlemen over there, both Mr. Bishop--all you guys 
    actually said it. This is more. This is more than just Yuma. 
    It's a big deal in Yuma. I know that. This is the United States 
    of America under attack. We're losing our country.
        If you think about it--
        [Applause.]
        I don't want to digress, because we only have a certain 
    amount of time and there's a couple of questions I want to ask. 
    Think what's going on. There's all this stuff at the border, 
    all over our border--which is now all over the country, by the 
    way.
        I tell the folks in New Jersey, they say, ``Gee, you're 
    going all the way to Arizona.'' Because guess what? It's in New 
    Jersey, too. People are dying of fentanyl. Guess what happens? 
    It comes through the border. It's in Michigan. It's in New 
    England. It's everywhere. It's everywhere because of what these 
    people did to a situation that we had fully under control.
        I agree that you have those hearings, you have hearings for 
    impeachment. I'm there. I'm voting for it. I've cosponsored it 
    with you. I'm proud to do it because I really believe we have a 
    case where somebody--Mayorkas--has committed treason, has 
    broken the rule of law, and deserves not to be there anymore. 
    What he's done is too bad.
        [Applause.]
        What we pay in taxes. Do you know how much this costs us? 
    Billions upon billions of dollars. What we're doing to our 
    kids, with our safety. You don't really have the words to say.
        It's easy to fix. It was pretty much fixed. Get the fence 
    up everywhere. Get the electronics that are needed up. Get the 
    Remain in Mexico policy back. Get the immediate returns of 
    illegals that do make it through right back to where they came 
    from.
        Get agreements made with Mexico. If they don't want to 
    listen to the agreements, you make it clear, like it's been 
    done in the past, that you're going to be in a lot of trouble 
    trade-wise if you don't, so you better do it.
        We can do this. We're the most powerful nation still. We're 
    working at demeaning ourselves, but we are still the most 
    powerful nation on the face of the Earth.
        [Applause.]
        So, it's time to stop it. It's time for us to move on. It's 
    time for us to get back. It's time for us to bring our America 
    home.
        So, Supervisor Jonathan Lines: Cartels. Let's just really 
    quickly just make clear. I want people to understand. They make 
    a relationship. It's almost like a contract with the people 
    that they get across the border, which are a lot of them.
        Once they get across the border, they get them fixed up to 
    go to a particular area in the United States, and then they own 
    them. Then they push the fentanyl on your kids and my kids, 
    whether it's in New Jersey, New York, or Arizona. Is that 
    correct?
        Mr. Lines. Yes, sir.
        Mr. Van Drew. Spreading--how do I say this? We're spreading 
    all this throughout the area. I know we know the answer to 
    this. Has it gotten worse in the last two years? It's a stupid 
    question, but I'm going to ask it anyhow.
        Mr. Lines. There's no question that's stupid, right, just 
    the unasked question.
        Mr. Van Drew, it has exceeded anything that we could have 
    ever imagined.
        Mr. Van Drew. Exactly.
        Mr. Lines. We've had more than 600,000 people come through 
    Yuma since this administration took office.
        Mr. Van Drew. So, we get this administration in. They make 
    you just do a lot of paperwork. We don't protect our people. We 
    don't protect our Americans. Things have gotten worse. Costs to 
    the hospital.
        Again, I know you said it, but I want everybody to really 
    think about this. Is anybody helping?
        Dr. Trenschel. No.
        Mr. Van Drew. No, Doctor, they're not.
        Dr. Trenschel. No, they're not.
        Mr. Van Drew. You know what? When you go in with your 
    maternity and your maternity patients, guess what? It's the 
    job, and they're doing a good job, of health professionals and 
    nurses. They have to take care of the people that are sickest 
    first. That's just the Hippocratic Oath. They've got to take 
    care of those people.
        Guess who's waiting with their children? Guess who's 
    waiting with their families? Guess who's paying for all of it? 
    You know the answer.
        Am I correct, Doctor?
        Dr. Trenschel. Yes, you are.
        Mr. Van Drew. Am I correct that your nurses had to go out 
    and buy safety seats for these people because we used so many 
    in the last big tranche of folks that came over? They went out, 
    and the hospital had to pay for them, and they had to go 
    everywhere in the area to buy safety seats because they didn't 
    have any. Is that true?
        Dr. Trenschel. Yes, that's true.
        Mr. Van Drew. Is it true that when we spoke today to a food 
    bank, that she told us that some of the people, believe it or 
    not, that were illegals and had come over expressed 
    dissatisfaction with the food? Is that true?
        Mr. Lines. Yes, that's--
        Mr. Van Drew. I'm not making this stuff up, right?
        Mr. Lines. Yes, Mr. Van Drew, that's--
        Mr. Van Drew. I'm so tired and worn out of it, and so are 
    you. We're tired of it.
        Twenty-six million you're in the hole, right?
        Dr. Trenschel. That's correct.
        Mr. Van Drew. Who's going to pay for that?
        Dr. Trenschel. We are.
        Mr. Van Drew. I'm looking at you. Americans.
        So, it is time to change. It is time we had a real 
    Secretary that did a real job. It's time we had, I'm sorry, a 
    real President.
        It's time we have Congressmen--guess what? These guys will 
    go into any meeting no matter how much of a disadvantage you 
    think you are to really talk the issues.
        When you believe in something, when it's in your heart, 
    when you know it's right, you're going to stand up and you're 
    going to fight for it.
        They can't. Because you know what they know? At the end of 
    the day, they're hurting our American people, and they're 
    hurting America, and it has to come to an end.
        I thank you guys so much for what you did.
        Sheriff, thank you for what you do. I know you guys put 
    your lives on the line all the time. People are dying. People 
    are getting hurt. This isn't just some imaginary things like 
    we're told when we go back to Washington, and we will do 
    everything that we can.
        Dammit, I hope we have those impeachment hearings.
        Thank you, Chair.
        [Applause.]
        Chair Jordan. Thank you.
        The gentleman from Alabama is recognized for five minutes.
        Mr. Moore. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        In Alabama recently, I was told that in Birmingham we 
    seized enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman, and child in 
    my entire State.
        So, I tell everybody this. This may be affecting border 
    communities, but it's a crisis for our entire Nation, and so 
    we're going to try to address it.
        Sheriff, this is my third trip down, and so I want to talk 
    a little bit. Some things that just kind of stuck out when I 
    was asking the agents along the border that kind of concerned 
    me and really kind of, as I talk about it, is something that 
    kind of--it strikes a chord with a lot of people.
        You were saying earlier that the price that you're seeing 
    now to come across the southern border, it's ranging from 
    6,000-15,000. Is that correct?
        Sheriff Wilmot. In Yuma County, yes, sir.
        Mr. Moore. Now, who's getting that money, Sheriff?
        Sheriff Wilmot. The cartels.
        Mr. Moore. The cartels.
        Of course, when we talk about inflation, the money we 
    print, everything has gone up. A few years ago, I heard it was 
    $4,000 just south of the southern border and then the Triangle 
    Nations further south.
        We had a price for Syria of up to $20,000. Are you seeing 
    some high prices from other countries around the globe as well?
        Sheriff Wilmot. That's my understanding, yes, sir, when 
    you're looking at Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and 
    Russia. Russia has been an increase where I think Border Patrol 
    roughly 70 a day was the number that they were encountering 
    just from Russia.
        Mr. Moore. What's the price on a Russian now coming across 
    the border?
        Sheriff Wilmot. I wouldn't think that it would be that 
    much, yes, sir.
        Mr. Moore. I would imagine. I don't know. I haven't heard 
    the Russian price.
        We actually seized some Chinese nationals, the sheriff's 
    department in Texas, and it was $80,000 each.
        Folks, they're not coming here to do us any favors, just so 
    you know.
        Sheriff, my question now. You said that--so we got a price. 
    What about if somebody--have you guys heard--and maybe other 
    law enforcement officers would know, too--what if they don't 
    have the money to pay the cartel? What are the options then?
        Sheriff Wilmot. So, the option is that they're--it's 
    indentured servitude, slavery. They're going to be sent to a 
    certain location. I've found pieces of paper down on the border 
    that list the location that they're ordered to go to, and 
    that's where they will work off their debt, depending on what 
    you're capable of doing.
        Mr. Moore. Wait, wait, wait, now, Sheriff. So, you're 
    telling me that Biden's policies on the southern border are 
    actually creating American--are slaves from around the globe. 
    Is that correct?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Correct.
        Mr. Moore. Wow.
        So, the Democrats who accuse us of all the awful things 
    that we do, they're actually enforcing polices now that are 
    creating slaves in this country?
        Sheriff Wilmot. It's lending to that right now.
        Mr. Moore. So, not only are they creating slaves, but I 
    also heard when I was on the border, and I found this rather 
    intriguing, if somebody was coming across the border and they 
    actually didn't have the money and they didn't want to be an 
    indentured servant, is it true that they can backpack now 
    heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine and pay that passage? Is that an 
    option as well?
        Sheriff Wilmot. That is an option.
        Mr. Moore. So, the Democrats' policies--two things now. So, 
    they're creating slaves and drug mules. Is that where we're 
    going with this? No wonder they don't want to come talk about 
    it, right?
        So, now that we've got this issue of slaves and drug mules, 
    I want to change over to a little something I saw. This is 
    troubling to me.
        I went to Fort Bliss, the emergency intake center--you guys 
    heard of this? Fort Bliss, to handle all the unaccompanied 
    minors coming to this country.
        As I was there, the admiral is running it, and I'm like, 
    ``Sir, why don't we send these kids''--these are unaccompanied 
    minors now--``back to their home country, back to their town?'' 
    the admiral said, ``Well, they don't know where they came 
    from.''
        So, these kids are from--I saw one, I know he's probably no 
    more than five, and I saw some probably--the average was 16-17-
    year-olds. So, they're saying these kids, these unaccompanied 
    minors, do not know where they came from.
        I said, ``Well, where are we going to send them to?''
        ``Oh, we're going to send them to a Google address in the 
    United States of America.'' Then we don't background check the 
    people we're sending them to.
        So, one of my friends here, I remember earlier, hit on 
    this. We are actually, with taxpayer dollars, are now 
    trafficking children, and we're paying to get them there on 
    American taxpayer dollars and putting them in God knows what 
    and God knows where.
        So, the thing that really--I think Andy Biggs has mentioned 
    this--is we've lost 20,000 children. Mayorkas said himself in a 
    hearing he does not know where 20,000 of these children are. 
    That's just staggering to me.
        So, Sheriff, is it mostly heroin and cocaine now and 
    fentanyl, or is it just mostly fentanyl?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Unfortunately, for Arizona and California 
    right now we're the worst and the top as far as fentanyl, and 
    below that is methamphetamine.
        To address your other comment, what you're looking at is a 
    ploy by the cartels marketing in a way to work with Mayorkas on 
    the reunification policy that he put into place. So, if you 
    send your child across as a child that's by themselves, then 
    you can be reunified when you come at a later date and time.
        So, the cartels are exploiting every policy that this 
    administration has put into play.
        Mr. Moore. It's almost like they're better at the game than 
    we are, right? I mean, they know before we know what's 
    happening.
        I know that they're talking about the new rules that the 
    Biden Administration wants to enforce, and basically that just 
    adds another step.
        My understanding--last night I was talking to one of the 
    border agents--is once the illegals, when they cross into the 
    country, they want that MTA, that motion to appear in court. Is 
    that correct?
        Now, Mr. Lines, could you tell me for sure, when they get 
    this MTA, does that automatically qualify them for benefits?
        Mr. Lines. Yes, it does.
        Mr. Moore. So, you're telling me they come into the 
    country, they turn themselves in, and then they get the MTA, 
    and they are qualified for benefits from the American taxpayer?
        Mr. Lines. Yes, sir.
        Mr. Moore. Do we have any idea how much those benefits run 
    or any idea? Have you heard that, Mr. Lines?
        Mr. Lines. Up to $800 a month.
        Mr. Moore. Eight hundred a month.
        So, I understand, too, we give them a cell phone.
        Mr. Lines. Yes, they do.
        Mr. Moore. Have you heard that we actually give them a cell 
    phone? My kids would probably rather come across the border, 
    honestly, sometimes.
        [Laughter.]
        Mr. Lines. Yes, sir.
        Mr. Moore. So, we give them a cell phone that they can jail 
    break and use it however they want. My understanding--go ahead, 
    Lines. I'm waiting. I want to hear what you've got to say.
        Mr. Lines. No, no. Well, it's just they give them the phone 
    so that they know where they're at, but we have a 95 percent 
    failure rate to appear for those motions.
        Mr. Moore. So, you mean they take our phones, but they 
    don't take our phone calls? Is that what you're telling me is 
    going on?
        Mr. Lines. Yes, sir. It's the worst date.
        Mr. Moore. Man, that does sound like my kids.
        Mr. Lines. Yes.
        Mr. Moore. Now, Doc, one last thing and then we'll get off 
    and I'll give Mr. Jordan--I didn't have a timer over here, Jim. 
    Am I over time?
        Chair Jordan. You're definitely over time.
        Mr. Lines. The benefits continue, Mr. Moore.
        Mr. Moore. I'm definitely over time.
        Mr. Lines. The benefits continue.
        Mr. Moore. The Chair has said I'm definitely over time.
        Chair Jordan. You can ask your last question.
        Mr. Moore. Last question, Doc.
        So, 100 percent of the immigrants, when you deliver the 
    children, you have to give them car seats, I understand. So, 
    because the Federal Government requires you. Isn't there some 
    rule that says that you can't send a child away from a hospital 
    without a car seat?
        Dr. Trenschel. Correct. CMS rule. We cannot do that.
        Mr. Moore. So, we're buying all the car seats as we send 
    them on their way and paying for all the healthcare, and you're 
    $26 million in debt, basically.
        Dr. Trenschel. Correct.
        Mr. Moore. Very good.
        Thank you for your time. I appreciate it.
        I yield back, Mr. Chair.
        [Applause.]
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman.
        The gentleman from Texas is recognized for five minutes, 
    Mr. Nehls.
        Mr. Nehls. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
        I would like to thank Dr. Trenschel and Mr. Lines for your 
    leadership in this community. You're doing a great job going to 
    visit that hospital.
        My oldest daughter just graduated from Texas Tech. She's 
    now a NICU nurse in Houston, Texas. You guys are doing a great 
    job over there.
        Of course, Sheriff Wilmot, it's good to see you. I see 
    Sheriff Lamb there and all the other sheriffs. Thank you for 
    your service.
        Some of you know that I served in law enforcement for 30 
    years. I was a sheriff in Fort Bend County, Texas, for eight 
    years before I decided to run for the swamp. I will never 
    forget; I will never forget where I came from. I am with you. I 
    support the Thin Blue Line.
        [Applause.]
        Sheriff Wilmot, in our first hearing, we had a hearing a 
    couple weeks ago some of my colleagues mentioned on the Biden 
    border crisis, we had a Democrat witness there. He was the El 
    Paso County judge. He testified, and I quote,
    
            There is no invasion of migrants in our community. Nor are 
            there hordes of undocumented immigrants committing crimes 
            against citizens or causing havoc in our community.
    
        I was able to quickly, quickly discredit his testimony by 
    producing numerous, numerous articles of crime in his community 
    as a result of this invasion.
        Then I also did a quick search, Sheriff, of crime here in 
    Yuma. I point out one here, a former gang member arrested by 
    border agents in Yuma. This guy was a gang member, convicted 
    felon, been arrested by border agents in Yuma, an illegal 
    immigrant, was arrested for entering the U.S. from Mexico. He's 
    25 years old. Was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in 
    Santa Barbara, California.
        Served three years now, served three years in prison, which 
    was enhanced for being a criminal street gang. After completing 
    his sentence, he was removed from the U.S., and he will be 
    prosecuted for reentry. So, this guy's coming back. No problem. 
    He can just come back.
        I highlight this guy here. He's the alleged migrant killer 
    arrested after a four-month run. Sheriff, you mentioned this 
    guy in some of your testimony. He killed, I guess, somebody on 
    his way up here.
        Folks, you don't want this guy to be your neighbor. You 
    don't want this guy in your neighborhood at all.
        Just another guy. This was here on January 17, 2023. You 
    arrested him four months later. At the Yuma County Detention 
    Facility for second degree murder after having been arrested by 
    border agents for trying to come back, to try to come back into 
    the U.S.
        This child molester here, he was caught hiding in the 
    brush. Again, February 17, 2022. He was a child abuser, 
    convicted child abuser from Honduras. You arrested him, took 
    him to Yuma here for processing, looked at his record. 
    Montgomery County, Maryland, circuit convicted Vargas in 
    December 2009, first- and second-degree child abuse for 
    fracturing the skull of a newborn while babysitting for his 
    girlfriend.
        He got seven years, served seven of the 25 years in 
    Maryland, before being placed on supervisory probation. Removed 
    to Honduras in 2018, and now here he is coming back.
        This just goes on and on, 1,400 border crossers charged 
    with coming back, reentry. It just goes on.
        Sheriff, I want to ask you the same question I asked our 
    former witness. Are the aliens crossing illegally committing 
    crimes across this country?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Absolutely.
        Mr. Nehls. Joe Biden, are you listening?
        Mayorkas, are you listening to the sheriffs?
        Sheriff Wilmot. No, they are not.
        Mr. Nehls. Sheriff, you have--in some of your written 
    testimony--
        [Applause.]
        Sheriff Wilmot. Sorry.
        Mr. Nehls. In some of your written testimony, Sheriff, you 
    talk a little bit about the rising crime due to Biden's border 
    crisis. How has it impacted your agency with response times and 
    resources?
        I mean, my guys are chasing criminals all over my county in 
    the whole southwest Houston area.
        How has it affected your ability to keep these people in 
    your community safe?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Thank you for the question, sir.
        In regard to our response times, when we have to respond 
    out and do a rescue out in the desert, which is about 40-50 
    miles away from civilization, that ties up our resources from 
    doing their normal service delivery to the community that we 
    serve.
        When we're processing the crime scenes out in the desert, 
    when we're investigating the calls of the thefts, burglaries, 
    rapers, and the delayed rapes and robberies that happen to some 
    of the immigrants coming to the border that we have to handle, 
    it taxes your resources and otherwise takes away our ability to 
    do proactive enforcement versus reactive.
        Mr. Nehls. What we all know in this room, what we all have 
    witnessed under Former President Donald J. Trump, the greatest 
    President in my lifetime, that border crossings were down--
        [Applause.]
        Yes, yes. Border crossing were down, and our country was 
    proud to uphold the rule of law.
        When you look at our United States Constitution, and you 
    see that it's the Federal Government's responsibility to secure 
    our southern borders--we could talk about it. I sent a letter 
    to Biden calling him to invoke that Guarantee Clause.
        If you don't understand, if you look at Article IV, Section 
    4, there's an ``invasion clause,'' folks, and I'll just read 
    it.
    
            The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union 
            a Republic Form of Government and shall protect each of them 
            against invasion.
    
        We are being invaded, yes?
        [Applause.]
        Article I, Section 10 states, self-defense clause, reserves 
    to the States the sovereign power to repel an invasion and 
    defend their citizenry from the overwhelming and imminent 
    danger.
        Your attorney general is doing a hell of a job. Our 
    attorney general is doing well as well in Texas trying to 
    invoke it.
        Let's just say this. The American people are the victims 
    here. We are the victims. We must take the fight to the 
    cartels, to the enemy, and we must use extreme prejudice to 
    eliminate them off the face of the Earth.
        I yield back.
        [Applause.]
        Chair Jordan. The gentleman from South Carolina is 
    recognized, Mr. Fry.
        Mr. Fry. Thank you, Mr. Chair. It's good to be here. I 
    appreciate you, Chair, holding this hearing right here at the 
    center of our border crisis.
        To the good people of Yuma, thank you for having us. Thank 
    you for showing us. I'm a freshman. So, this has been 
    incredibly eye opening for me.
        Mr. Chair, I remember our first, my first committee hearing 
    this year, the first one ever, when the ranking member said 
    that we were imagining a border crisis.
        My first question to the good people of Yuma: Are you 
    imagining a border crisis?
        Is the border secure here in Yuma?
        Has the border gotten worse under President Biden?
        Final question: Do you think this administration has 
    faithfully executed their obligation to secure that border?
        We got a ``hell no.''
        Thank you to the panel.
        From the short time we've been here in Yuma, one thing is 
    very crystal clear to me, and it's that President Biden's open 
    door, open border policy is an abject failure to the people of 
    this country. We have seen firsthand the prioritization by this 
    administration of illegal immigrants over the people of 
    America.
        Illegal immigration, obviously, you know this here in Yuma 
    more than anyone else, it deprives your community of safety in 
    your homes and in your community of healthcare. It costs the 
    taxpayers billions of dollars. It destroys property, farmers, 
    where you are at. It destroys families through fentanyl 
    poisoning.
        Congressional Democrats should be here, Mr. Chair. It's 
    actually a shame that we were ``imagining'' a border crisis. 
    Everything that we've seen, thus far, proves exactly that we 
    are not, that you see it.
        Of course, in my home State of South Carolina, as has been 
    talked about, we are a border State. Myrtle Beach is not just 
    famous for its beaches and Chinese spy balloons. It also has 
    record fentanyl overdoses that happen year after year.
        The first question to the sheriff.
        What Federal policies were in place under the prior 
    administration that really helped, in your opinion, secure that 
    border?
        Sheriff Wilmot. I thank you for that question, because I 
    also told Secretary Mayorkas the same thing.
        The Operation Streamline was the most successful program 
    that we ever had, and that was 100 percent prosecution for 
    anybody that entered this country between the port of entry and 
    denied them the access.
        Mr. Fry. Would you say that the Biden Administration has 
    been able to control the cartels in two years?
        Sheriff Wilmot. No, sir.
        Mr. Fry. What policies do you think promote or enable the 
    cartels to act more freely across the border or even in our 
    country?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Well, when they removed the migrant 
    protection protocols that were put into place, plus Operation 
    Streamline, and they got away from any kind of prosecution at 
    all, that just enabled the cartels to do what they're doing 
    today, and they continue to escalate in their capabilities.
        Mr. Fry. Mr. Lines, you tweeted back in January that the 
    border was 100 percent not secure, that it was wide open. Do 
    you believe that still to be the case?
        Mr. Lines. Yes, sir.
        Mr. Fry. OK.
        In both you and the sheriff's experience, what are you 
    seeing from real world impacts that you're hearing from people 
    out here in the community that are happening from a crime 
    perspective or a cartel perspective in their homes or 
    neighborhoods?
        Mr. Lines. We've had some home invasions. Those were few 
    and far between just because border patrol has been able to 
    interdict.
        Yesterday morning one of the farmers you heard from this 
    morning testified that his daughter was returning home from 
    feeding her 4H project and was almost hit by a van full of 
    people being smuggled across the border.
        So, we continue to see those types of instances. He's had 
    two of those experiences in the last six months.
        One of the things that--and I apologize, but I should have 
    addressed when Mr. Cline asked, but it's been a negative impact 
    in our community, is the ability of 911 services to respond 
    adequately, and that's been a severe challenge.
        I met with the first responders from every group in Yuma, 
    and they shared with me their concern or the ability to be able 
    to respond when they continue to receive a high volume of 911 
    calls from the border.
        Now, not all those people were actually looking for medical 
    assistance. They were simply tired of waiting to be processed 
    because they had somewhere to go and someplace to be.
        So, that has affected the people of this community, and I 
    was absolutely blown away to hear them tell me that. They do 
    not care about the value of life, and that is something 
    directly related to the cartels.
        Mr. Fry. Sheriff, what instances have you heard from the 
    residents here in Yuma of crime or cartel activity? Talk about 
    that. Have you heard these similar instances?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Absolutely, sir, and you can refer to my 
    document that I submitted as well.
        My jail already this last year had over 55 individuals 
    booked into custody that had entered this country illegally and 
    committed sexual exploitation of minors. They're trespassing. 
    The smuggling of narcotics not only for use but for sale and 
    trade. That's the majority of what I have in my jail right now 
    for those kinds of offenses.
        Mr. Lines. Mr. Fry, over at Amberly's Place, our youngest 
    victim coming in for a sexual assault was 10 years old. The 
    challenge is that we don't know in which country it occurred 
    and by whom. So, we're able to collect the data, but because of 
    jurisdictional challenges, there's no one to prosecute. So, a 
    10 year old was violated by someone under cartel control or by 
    the cartel itself.
        Just here, at Morelos Dam, Congressman Biggs and I have had 
    the opportunity to walk around and pick up Plan B, and that was 
    an area commonly referred to as the rape tree. So many people 
    coming across were victims of the cartel where they exacted 
    that last price and denied them their dignity.
        Mr. Fry. Thank you to the panel for being here.
        Mr. Chair, I yield back.
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman.
        The gentlelady from Wyoming is recognized for five minutes, 
    Ms. Hageman.
        Ms. Hageman. Thank you.
        Others have asked you questions. There have been some 
    excellent questions today. You've provided some incredibly 
    helpful testimony.
        I'd like to take a little bit different approach. I want 
    you to know that I think that maybe you believe here in Yuma 
    and along the border that you've been forgotten and that we 
    don't care. But you haven't, we do care, and it's why we're 
    here.
        We read the statistics. We see the film on the 5 o'clock 
    news. We hear about the fentanyl deaths. We have some awareness 
    of the human trafficking across our borders and spreading 
    across our country.
        Reading about it is fundamentally different than being here 
    and seeing it for ourselves and in talking to you about what 
    you've been experiencing.
        I want you to know that everyone on this Committee has 
    heard you, they are listening, and they want to represent you. 
    They want to represent your voices. They want to hear what you 
    have to say.
        I want to thank this entire community for your candor. I 
    want to thank you for your willingness to talk to us and engage 
    with us and to show us what you're dealing with.
        I want to thank your growers and producers for providing us 
    with fresh and healthy food and for creating the beautiful Eden 
    and oasis carved out of the surrounding desert.
        Thank you to our law enforcement, our sheriffs, our Border 
    Patrol, and our police officers. Thank you to our local 
    business owners and community leaders for what you do.
        Again, I want to be your voice, and to do that, I'm going 
    to read to you some of the notes that I have taken just in the 
    last day or so in visiting with the folks that we've had the 
    opportunity to talk to.
        Now, you've heard some of this information, but I want to 
    make it very, very clear: These are not Republican talking 
    points. These are not an effort to just attack the Biden 
    Administration for the sake of attacking the Biden 
    Administration. These are my notes of my conversation with your 
    fellow citizens.
        As we've already talked about, there's $26 million in 
    uncompensated care for illegal immigrants in just one year. 
    There is no payer source for those fees. The folks that come 
    here are sick, not all of them, but a lot of them. They have 
    hypertension, they need dialysis, they need heart surgery, and 
    they need intensive care.
        Twenty-five percent of illegal babies that are born here 
    end up in NICU because they don't have any prenatal care.
        We have to assure that we give a safe discharge, is what 
    our medical professionals told us, which means that they have 
    to provide wheelchairs and walkers and transportation. They may 
    have to make contact with a family member.
        None of the NGO's that are working with the Biden 
    Administration to further this agenda have offered to pay these 
    costs, and the Feds have refused.
        You cannot discharge a baby without a car seat, and so 
    basically the hospital has been out purchasing car seats 
    throughout the entire surrounding area. Many of these babies 
    have brothers and sisters that also need car seats. So, they 
    may end up buying two and three car seats for the same family.
        The hospital has essentially had to set up a hotel upstairs 
    because they can't discharge the patients. They had one baby in 
    NICU for almost two months. So, the mother had to live there as 
    well.
        There are lots of signs of abuse with the female migrants 
    that are coming across. It is a Federal law that the facility 
    treats everyone who comes to the hospital. In other words, the 
    Federal Government requires you to provide care but refuses to 
    pay you for it, the ultimate in an unfunded mandate.
        You've had illegal immigrants in ICU for over 30 days, some 
    as long as 90 days. You've had to transfer residents to other 
    places, as there have been times when there aren't enough ICU 
    beds because the illegals are taking them. It takes two to 
    three times the amount of resources to take care of an illegal 
    as it does a resident.
        One woman at the hospital very compassionately noted that a 
    loss of one person to fentanyl is one too many. In other words, 
    they're very compassionate about what you're dealing with. The 
    illegals, the increase in illegal immigration has coincided 
    with an increase in fentanyl overdoses.
        When Trump was President, there were 810 people seeking 
    asylum in 2020. In 2021, it had gone up to 110,000, and in 
    2022, it was 310,000. That's just in the Yuma Sector alone.
        These people are processed here and then they're sent to 
    communities throughout the entire country as the cartels are 
    telling them where they must go to pay back what they have to 
    pay to be brought across to the United States. The CBP has 
    essentially become a concierge service for illegal immigrants.
        You have aliens from over 100 different countries entering 
    this area. The cartels are controlling all aspects of the 
    border. They earned $3.2 billion last year in human 
    trafficking.
        The Biden Administration is jeopardizing our food supply 
    and our food security, and they're prioritizing illegal aliens 
    over and above American citizens and legal immigrants.
        These are real life facts told to us and as expressed by 
    real life citizens from this very community. Again, I will say 
    it: You're not forgotten.
        We will never make life better in foreign countries by 
    destroying the United States of America.
        [Applause.]
        We will never make foreign leaders do a better job of 
    taking care of their poor or prosecuting their criminals by 
    sending them across the border illegally.
        We must protect our borders, we must recognize that 
    citizenship matters, and we must enforce the law.
        Mr. Chair, I yield back.
        [Applause.]
        Chair Jordan. Thank you. The gentlelady yields back.
        The gentleman from California, Mr. Kiley, is recognized for 
    five minutes.
        Mr. Kiley. Good afternoon.
        Sheriff, could you please summarize the ways that the 
    cartels are involved in illegal border crossings?
        Sheriff Wilmot. So, you have the Jalisco New Generation in 
    Baja California, then you have the Sinaloa Cartel in Sonora, 
    Mexico, on our very southern border.
        So, the Jalisco New Generation, theirs is the movement of 
    bodies that are coming across the river corridor, so they are 
    the ones that are coordinating. They actually have contacts in 
    different countries that have been identified as being the 
    travel agents, for lack of a better term, to get the people 
    here and to be able to control that coming across.
        So, right now, between midnight and 4 a.m., 40 at a time 
    come across down by the river corridor.
        So, the Sinaloa Cartel, they are the ones that are doing 
    the narcotics side of it. So, they coordinate between those 
    that can afford and cannot afford to be able to pay the price, 
    and they utilize those people to smuggle the narcotics in, 
    whether it's on a vehicle through the port of entry or whether 
    it's through the remote deserts of our county.
        Mr. Kiley. Thank you.
        So, would it be fair to say that the relaxation of border 
    policies has redounded to the benefit of the cartels?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Oh, absolutely.
        Mr. Kiley. I mean, just to be blunt, it's been a bonanza 
    for them, right? It's expanded their business opportunities for 
    their criminal enterprises, has it not?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Absolutely. They have scouts that are in 
    our mountains. So, they can watch Border Patrol's actions out 
    in a remote part of our desert. So, they can coordinate the 
    loads getting through, whether they're human or narcotics.
        Mr. Kiley. So, we know who is benefiting. So, then we have 
    to ask: Who is paying the price?
        Well, first, of course, is the victims of fentanyl. In 
    2020, Border Patrol seized 4,800 pounds; 2021, it was 11,200; 
    2022 fiscal year, it was 14,700; and in just the first four 
    months for the 2023 fiscal year, 12,500.
        I have a chart here showing basically a quadrupling in 
    overdoses here in Yuma just over the course of a few years. Of 
    course, this is not a localized matter. Throughout the country, 
    fentanyl poisoning is now the leading cause of death for young 
    people, more than car accidents, more than suicides, more than 
    anything.
        Sheriff, is it your opinion that fewer Americans would be 
    dying of fentanyl poisoning if the border was as secure as it 
    was at the start of this administration?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Absolutely.
        Mr. Kiley. In addition to the victims of fentanyl, we then 
    have the victims of human trafficking as well.
        Supervisor, I believe we discussed earlier some evidence 
    that you've seen of the increases and the impact of human 
    trafficking here in Yuma?
        Mr. Lines. Yes. So, in the first three months, we've seen a 
    350 percent uptake in human trafficking, people who have come 
    forward seeking assistance on their own who have declared that 
    they have been trafficked. If nine were willing to do it, I'm 
    sure that there are many more out there looking to free 
    themselves of that bondage.
        Mr. Kiley. Sheriff, is it your opinion that fewer people 
    would be suffering through the horror of human trafficking if 
    the border was as secure as it was at the start of this 
    administration?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Absolutely.
        Mr. Kiley. Then we have the migrants themselves. In 2022, 
    856 died attempting to cross the border. That was 300 more than 
    it was in 2021 and three times as many as it was just in 2020.
        Sheriff, is it your opinion that fewer migrants would be 
    dying crossing the border if the border was as secure as it was 
    at the start of this administration?
        Sheriff Wilmot. Yes, sir.
        Mr. Kiley. So, there you have it. We have a set of policies 
    that has been a bonanza for the cartels, for foreign criminal 
    organizations, and this windfall is being underwritten by pain 
    and suffering and death.
        That's why this is not a partisan issue. Usually we have to 
    weigh costs and benefits, we have to adjudicate competing 
    values. Here it's just bad all the way around. It's negative on 
    both sides of the ledger.
        So, how does this make any sense? Well, it really only 
    makes sense when you look at it from a political perspective.
        We had a set of border policies that were working. Everyone 
    here will tell you that. This administration came into office, 
    and to make a political statement, not only reversed those 
    policies, but swung the pendulum radically in the other 
    direction, exploding whatever bipartisan consensus there was on 
    this issue and ushering in a crisis unlike we have seen in 
    American history.
        So, I'm not interested in criticizing our colleagues on the 
    other side of the dais for not being here. I want to encourage 
    them to come here, talk to the supervisor, the sheriff, and the 
    hospital, see what we have seen.
        I want to work with anyone who is interested in getting 
    this crisis under control. That includes the President, who I 
    implore to accept responsibility, to admit his policies have 
    failed, to find a new Secretary of Homeland Security. Let's all 
    work together to replace pro-cartel policies with pro-America 
    policies.
        [Applause.]
        Chair Jordan. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman yields 
    back.
        Mr. Lines, who benefits? That seems to me to be the 
    fundamental question, right? Who benefits?
        We talked earlier. On January 20, 2021, the first day, 
    President Biden says no more wall, no more Remain in Mexico, no 
    more detain and deport.two years ago this was the safest border 
    county in the country. Today we have what's been described here 
    in the last two hours.
        Sheriff Wilmot. Yes, sir.
        Chair Jordan. So, it sort of raises the fundamental, who 
    benefits from this border that's no longer a border, from this 
    open border chaos on our southern border? Who benefits from 
    that?
        Does our healthcare system benefit, Mr. Lines?
        Mr. Lines. No, sir. No. Directly benefiting the cartels.
        Chair Jordan. Does our law enforcement benefit, Sheriff 
    Wilmot?
        Sheriff Wilmot. No, sir.
        Chair Jordan. How about first responders, Supervisor? Does 
    first responders, does that benefit--
        Mr. Lines. No, sir.
        Chair Jordan. How about the taxpayers? Do the taxpayers?
        How about the growers and ranchers and farmers that we 
    heard from earlier? Do they benefit from this chaotic policy 
    that was put in place on day one?
        How about the legal residents? How about the citizens? Do 
    they benefit?
        Mr. Lines. No.
        Chair Jordan. That's the takeaway here. How about now, who 
    does benefit, though?
        Do the cartels benefit, Supervisor Lines?
        Mr. Lines. Yes, sir, 100 percent.
        Chair Jordan. Do the drug dealers benefit?
        Mr. Lines. One hundred percent.
        Chair Jordan. Yes, and the scary thing is, the sad thing 
    is, too, the people--many times the people who are being 
    trafficked across, they don't really benefit either. Things 
    that happen to women, things that happen to kids, we've talked 
    about that.
        So, this is the crazy thing. This brings us back to what my 
    colleague and friend from Florida said earlier in today's 
    hearing. I don't think they're going to change. I don't think 
    Joe Biden is going to change. Because any administration that 
    puts in policies that harm the citizens, law enforcement, 
    taxpayers, farmers, ranchers, and everyone, it seems, and only 
    benefit the bad guys, the cartels and drug dealers, I don't 
    know that they're going to change without a fight.
        Mr. Lines. Mr. Chair, I think that it's good to remember 
    the source of all fentanyl, and that's being shipped directly 
    from China to the cartels to come and poison the people of the 
    United States.
        Chair Jordan. Yep. Yep.
        I would just add this to it as well, and this is in your 
    testimony, Supervisor. In your testimony, you were asked, I 
    believe by Mr. Gaetz, I think you said Secretary Mayorkas lied 
    to your face. That was your testimony here today under oath, 
    here today you took the oath when we swore you in, you said the 
    Secretary.
        So, if you have an administration that you pay for, your 
    tax dollars pay for the Federal Government, they come here, 
    they promise to work with local government, work with the local 
    community to better the situation and then don't deliver on 
    their promise, the only way we're going to fix this is a fight.
        The way our system works, the way our system works is when 
    you have split government, you have to do it on the 
    appropriations bills. We are going to have to attach on the 
    appropriations bills: Hey, look, if you don't start enforcing 
    the law, as Mr. McClintock pointed out, if you don't start 
    enforcing the law, we're not going to fund certain things. Not 
    our law enforcement, not Border Patrol, we need that, but other 
    things. We're going to have to do that if we're going to remedy 
    this situation.
        Mr. Lines. Yes, sir.
        Chair Jordan. That's how bad it is. That's how serious it 
    is.
        We came here today to just underscore and hear from people 
    who have been living it now for two long years, to hear from 
    you all so we can go back and tell our colleagues: Look, we're 
    going to have to fight. We're going to have to fight for the 
    good people of Yuma County, the good law enforcement folks in 
    Arizona, people providing healthcare, the mayor of this great 
    town, and, as our other members have pointed out, folks all 
    over the country, because every county is now impacted by five 
    million illegal migrants coming into our country in the past 
    two years. That's what we pledge to do.
        So, I want to thank you all for being here today.
        We're going to close with the gentleman who represents this 
    fine community for five minutes, who has been a good friend of 
    mine in Congress for a number of years, who does an outstanding 
    job at serving the folks of his great district here in Arizona.
        Mr. Gosar is recognized for five minutes.
        [Applause.]
        Mr. Gosar. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Thank you.
        So, I'm going to hit two things. I'm going to try to hit 
    this a little differently.
        It's been alluded to by some of my colleagues. Ben Franklin 
    was asked: ``What kind of government did you give us? A 
    republic, if you can keep it.''
        What is key to a republic? The rule of law, accountability, 
    and defined, defensible borders.
        Now, let's take an example of one of those republics that 
    fell: Rome. They actually invited the conquered to conquer. 
    Now, think about that. Think about that.
        The reason I bring that up is that we've been bamboozled by 
    the other side in the press that there's only 10 or 11 million 
    illegals in this country. That's not true. The Ivy League study 
    in 2014, 2015 that showed there was between 33 and 36 million. 
    You add another six million that has come across during this 
    tenure, you're over 40 million illegals.
        Now, why do I bring that up? Well, in a population of 360 
    million, maybe 10 million doesn't really make much of a 
    difference, but when it's 40 or 50 million, they're changing 
    culture. That's where this is going, changing culture.
        Now, the other thing is, is I keep hearing over and over 
    again: What could you do about it?
        As has been alluded, we're one of the three stools. Well, 
    there's the power of the purse. The Chair actually just brought 
    this up. That fight's coming. That was part of the fight that 
    the 20 held out for, to get that rule change.
        [Applause.]
        Mr. Gosar. It's even better than that. We have an 
    opportunity that if they were never authorized by Congress, 
    that we can defund them. This is going to be so much fun. Can 
    you say ATF? Can you say OPT?
        So, now, we take the fight to them. Why is this important? 
    Because we have to have that power of the purse.
        That also means that we have to get rid of the national 
    emergency on COVID. It seems kind of strange that I'm bringing 
    this up, but when you're under a national emergency, the 
    Executive Branch has 120 additional powers, and one of them is 
    to move money around. So, let me share with you an example.
        Congress in its wisdom a five-years ago authorized $2.some 
    billion to go to COVID testing. It disappeared. It was rerouted 
    by the administration for illegal immigration housing.
        Now, let's step back. This last fall, there was an omnibus 
    bill of $1.7 trillion passed, and it was passed intentionally 
    under the COVID national emergency. That means that simply not 
    one of those dollars that Congress has obliged to send has to 
    be spent that way, not that it will.
        I hope I'm sharing with you that they can get a lot more 
    latitude. So, that power of the purse has to return. OK.
        We also have to do our job. In the national emergency, 
    would you be surprised to find out that once upon--once a 
    declaration of a national emergency occurs, that Congress, 
    must/shall, no later than six months later, convene to decide 
    whether to continue that national emergency or kill it.
        I dropped that bill twice. Ms. Pelosi killed it twice.
        So, the magic about this is that once you start the 
    process, it has to go through. It's a privileged motion. So, 
    we've actually enabled our Senate minority to actually take 
    this up, because we've already passed it out of the House. So, 
    play smarter, not harder.
        The appropriations process is going to be the big fight. 
    You have a debt ceiling and you have these appropriations. 
    Finding these programs, rules, agencies that are not authorized 
    by Congress is a good step in the right direction. Because we 
    have to get back the levity of equal justice under the law.
        We've been asleep at the wheel for a long period of time, 
    folks. We saw this in the Obama Administration, the Fast and 
    Furious, Benghazi, the IRS, countless. Who's paid the penalty 
    for it? Nobody's paid the penalty for it.
        That they can do this to a President. They throw everything 
    at him, and not one thing has been found on the guy. That's one 
    of the founding principles that's failing now in our Republic.
        So, trust is a series of promises kept. I hope that you'll 
    look at us, and when appropriations season comes, they told us 
    they were going to march up there. They were going to get the 
    power of the purse, because maybe we could earn your trust 
    again.
        I'm going to end, because I'm a person of accountability. I 
    do animes, I take full responsibility for those things. So, I 
    believe that there has to be a personal touch to this. So, let 
    me go through the roster of who's not here:
        Mr. Nadler from New York, Ms. Lofgren from California, Ms. 
    Jackson Lee from Texas, Mr. Cohen from Tennessee, Mr. Johnson 
    from Georgia, Mr. Schiff from California, Mr. Cicilline from 
    Rhode Island, Mr. Swalwell from California, Mr. Lieu from 
    California, Ms. Jayapal from Washington, Mr. Correa from 
    California, Ms. McBath from Georgia, Ms. Dean from 
    Pennsylvania, Ms. Escobar from Texas, Ms. Ross from North 
    Carolina, Ms. Bush from Missouri, and Mr. Ivey from Maryland.
        Until we start putting names and holding people 
    accountable, we are not going to get anywhere close to our 
    goal. We, the people.
        Thank you, gentlemen. I thank you, Chair, for the privilege 
    of sitting in and charging in your parade.
        Chair Jordan. Thank you. The gentleman yields back. Thank 
    you, Paul.
        [Applause.]
        I would just close, I'll remind everyone it's a great 
    country. My favorite scripture Verse 2, Timothy 4:7. Paul is 
    the old guy giving advice to the young guy Timothy, and he says 
    what? Fight the good fight, finish the course, keep the faith.
        I tell people I love that verse because of the action in 
    it. It's not a sissy, wimpy verse, it's an American verse. 
    Words of actions. Americans aren't timid people. We are people 
    who get the job done. We fight, we finish, we keep faith with 
    the principles that made our country special.
        That verse characterizes this community, and we have so 
    appreciated your hospitality over the last 24 hours. The mayor, 
    the supervisor, hospital administrator, sheriff, and everyone 
    else we've had a chance to visit with, the Border Patrol 
    agents, law enforcement, first responders, all the folks we've 
    got a chance to visit with.
        You are living that verse here, and we appreciate it, and 
    we owe you that same kind of commitment in the U.S. Congress. 
    You pay our salary. We're supposed to fight for you. Your two 
    guys from Arizona are definitely doing that. The rest of us 
    need to do the same, and we pledge to you that we will. We 
    understand how serious this situation is.
        I'll finish with this final story. I share this all the 
    time because it had an impact on my wife and me. This is 
    probably 10-12 years ago. We live north of Dayton, Ohio, near 
    the town of Urbana, and about 12 years ago we had some good 
    friends of ours in Dayton said, are you guys free for dinner. 
    It was the summertime of the year. They said, ``yes, well, come 
    down, we're going to meet us down here at our place in the 
    Dayton area, we're going to go out to dinner.'' They said, 
    ``before we go to dinner, we're going to tour the Wright 
    brothers' home,'' and we said, ``great. We like history, we 
    like, seeing that. We live in the house we raised our family, 
    it was built in 1837, and we liked old things and history,'' 
    and said, ``sure.''
        So, we go down there. We pay the lady at the door with the 
    historical society, like, $5, and they take you on the tour of 
    this home, and you learn all kinds of neat things about these 
    two amazing Americans.
        You learn about the bicycle shop, you learn about the 
    things they tinkered and built and the stuff they did and all 
    the things they were into, and it's a fascinating tour.
        The tour ends in Wilbur Wright's bedroom, and they tell you 
    a few more things about this particular Wright brother. Then 
    they finish the tour by showing you two pictures.
        First picture they hold up was that very first flight, 
    1903, and this thing they called a plane in Kitty Hawk, North 
    Carolina. When you see that picture, your first thought was, 
    wow, how did that thing get off the ground? How did that 
    contraption fly? The truth is, it barely did. It flew like a 
    hundred feet, got like 10-12 feet off the ground. They show you 
    that picture, and you're like, OK, that's kind of neat, because 
    you sort of remember that from when they taught you that in 
    school, 7th or 8th grade, whenever you learned that. You're 
    like, OK, that's kind of neat.
        They put that picture down, and then they hold up a second 
    picture--1947, Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier in a 
    jet. I was like, wow, that I didn't know. I must not have been 
    paying attention that day in school or something. I didn't know 
    that.
        I'm thinking, that's amazing, in 44 years, we go from two 
    guys flying a hundred feet in this jalopy contraption of a 
    thing they called a plane to another great American breaking 
    the sound barrier in a jet. It's amazing. They put that picture 
    down. That was the end of the tour.
        Polly and I start walking out, and as we're walking out, I 
    thought, wait a minute, wait a minute, why did they stop there? 
    I represent Wapakoneta, Ohio, hometown of Neil Armstrong, who 
    22 years later stepped on the moon.
        Think about it. Sixty-six years, we go from two guys flying 
    a hundred feet, to another American stepping on the moon. One 
    lifetime. One lifetime, this country did that. I would argue, 
    no other country is capable of doing that, only this Nation, 
    the greatest country ever.
        You can't fault people for wanting to come here. They just 
    got to do it legally, and that's what we're going to fight for 
    and make sure the law is enforced.
        Thank you all very much. Our Committee is adjourned.
        [Whereupon, at 6:10 p.m., the Committee was adjourned.]

    Transcript: THE BIDEN BORDER CRISIS: PART III

    Not available upon printing of this article.

    Witnesses

    • Ms. Teresa KennySupervisor, Town of Orangetown, New YorkKenny Bio [PDF 61KB]Kenny Testimony [PDF 568KB]Kenny Truth in Testimony [PDF 869KB]
    • Mrs. Tammy NoblesRealtor, Norfolk, VirginiaNobles Bio [PDF 89KB]Nobles Testimony [PDF 118KB]Nobles Truth in Testimony [PDF 296KB]
    • Mr. Rodney ScottDistinguished Senior Fellow for Border Security, Texas Public Policy FoundationScott Bio [PDF 599KB]Scott Testimony [PDF 449KB]Scott Truth in Testimony [PDF 325KB]
    • Mr. Mark HetfieldCEO, HIASHetfield Bio [PDF 4MB]Hetfield Testimony [PDF 874KB]Hetfield Truth in Testimony [PDF 508KB]

    Supporting Documentation

    • Article titled, “What Everyone – Except the U.S. – Has Learned About Immigration”, submitted for the Record by Mr. Correa of CA [PDF 136KB]
    • Statement from the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, submitted for the Record by Ms. Jayapal of WA [PDF 1MB]
    • Statement from the National Immigration Forum, submitted for the Record by Ms. Jayapal of WA [PDF 585KB]
    • Statement from the Church World Service, submitted for the Record by Ms. Jayapal of WA [PDF 111KB]
    • Article from TIME titled, “How the Biden Administration Plans to Deal with the Looming Border Crisis”, submitted for the Record by Ms. Jackson Lee of TX [PDF 1MB]
    • Hearing statement, submitted for the Record by Ms. Jackson Lee of TX [PDF 1MB]
    • Article from CNN titled, “Biden Admin to Send 1,500 Troops to Southern Border for Support Roles Ahead of Expected Migrant Surge”, submitted for the Record by Ms. Jackson Lee of TX [PDF 1MB]
    • Email regarding HHS Case File, submitted for the Record by Ms. Jayapal of WA [PDF 962KB]
    • Slides showing Tweets from different House Republicans, submitted for the Record by Mr. Nadler of NY [PDF 388KB]
    • article titled, “Border Crossings Down, but Many Migrants Released to U.S. to Ease Crowding”, submitted for the Record by Mr. Biggs of AZ [PDF 117KB]
    • New York Times article titled, “Biden Opens a New Back Door on Immigration”, submitted for the Record by Mr. Biggs of AZ [PDF 224KB]
    • Breitbart article titled, “Human Smuggler Drops Pre-School-Age Child over California Border Wall”, submitted for the Record by Mr. Biggs of AZ [PDF 113KB]
    • Breitbart article titled, “Georgia Democrat Slams Party for Favoring Migrants over Americans”, submitted for the Record by Mr. Biggs of AZ [PDF 165KB]