House Republicans Accuse Biden of Playing ‘Political Game’ Over Border Crisis

February 12, 2021 Updated: February 16, 2021

A group of more than 50 House Republicans have accused President Joe Biden of treating the U.S.-Mexico border as a “political game” after he signed a flurry of executive orders that dismantled the Trump administration’s border security measures.

In a letter (pdf) to the president Tuesday, the group of 51 Republicans led by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), suggested the president is being blinded by “ideology” as they warned of an escalating “crisis” of illegal migration at the southern border.

On his first day in office, Biden signed executive orders and issued memos to temporarily suspend deportations of illegal aliens, reverse former President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from terror-prone countries, halt border wall construction, stop adding people to the “Remain in Mexico” program, preserve and fortify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and release a sweeping immigration package to Congress that includes amnesty for millions of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.

The attorneys general of Arizona and Texas have sued Biden over a memo from the administration that ordered a freeze on the majority of deportations for 100 days. A federal judge temporarily blocked the order on Jan. 26.

The Biden administration has also proposed a plan to legalize about 11 million illegal aliens living in the United States, something he vowed during his campaign.

“It is concerning to see your administration perceives our border security issues as a political game instead of the very serious threat open borders provide to Americans and the migrants seeking to come here,” the letter states.

It cites data from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that shows a rise in attempts to cross the southern border illegally, including in areas such as Arizona that “went completely dead” under the Trump administration.

“CBP hasn’t seen numbers like this since the height of the immigration crisis in the summer of 2019,” the lawmakers said. “CBP has already encountered over 200,000 illegal migrants since October and numbers are rising. For context, in the first three months of fiscal year 2020, CBP encountered 128,347.”

ICE officers detain a man
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers detain a man during an operation in Escondido, Calif., on July 8, 2019. (Gregory Bull/AP Photo)

The chief deputy in Pinal County, Arizona—a 90-minute drive away from Mexico—told Townhall last week that the situation on the United States’ southern border is worsening following the change of administration and its policies.

Chief Deputy Sheriff Matthew Thomas said that the crisis at the border had begun to reemerge at around the end of 2020 because the human and drug trafficking cartels expected Biden to have a “hands-off” attitude with regard to the border situation.

“Despite these rising numbers, on your first day as president, you signed multiple executive orders (EO) aimed at dismantling the security of our borders—rescinding policies from the Trump administration that were working as intended to halt the flow of illegal migration,” the House Republicans wrote.

“We are once again on the brink of a huge humanitarian crisis, endangering the lives of migrants and law enforcement officers at the hands of the violent cartels that your administration has further empowered,” the letter says.

The letter requests that the president directs DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to brief House lawmakers on the “rising illegal immigration crisis.”

The lawmakers also urged Biden not to rescind the public health order Title 42—a policy used by the Trump administration that allows migrants to be swiftly returned—warning that if he does so, the “daily illegal flow will become catastrophic overnight.”

“This is not a political game—we implore you not let ideology blind your Administration to the need to secure the border, to defend Americans, and to prevent another cartel-empowering humanitarian crisis,” the lawmakers added.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.