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Democratic Rep Joins Lindsey Graham in Call to Take Border Out of Kamala Harris’ Hands: ‘Something Has to Change’

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South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar joined together to urge the Biden administration to appoint former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, or a similar leader, as they declared “something has to change.”

“To solve the growing problem, we request a special executive appointment for border issues to ensure sufficient federal resources are allocated to overburdened U.S. border communities, and to recommend changes to our immigration policies as we work to regain control of the border,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The letter also noted the important connection between illegal immigration and the spread of COVID-19.


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“In  Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, where [Customs and Border Protection] had over 20,000 enforcement encounters last week, Border Patrol agents are testing positive for COVID-19 at alarming rates.

“Widespread reports from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (‘ICE’) officials have confirmed they are beyond departmental capacity, requiring the release of approximately 50,000 migrants into U.S. communities without any court order.”

To address the matter, the lawmakers suggested appointing Johnson to the new leadership role.

“Therefore, we request that you immediately create a special executive position vested with the authority to implement federal policies which prioritize the health and safety of U.S. communities at the southern border,” they requested.

“Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson carries an exceptional bipartisan reputation for pragmatic approaches to complex border security and immigration challenges.”

Graham and Cueller also held a news conference on Friday to discuss the issue.

The lawmakers planned to “discuss COVID-19 and the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and the recent surge of COVID-19 amongst immigrants and border agents.”


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“Something has to change, because the border communities are having a very difficult time right now,” Cuellar said in an interview Thursday, according to The Washington Post.

“There is this feeling of a green light at the border.”

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More than one million illegal immigrants reportedly crossed the nation’s southern border during the first six months of 2021, with increased numbers since Vice President Kamala Harris was appointed to address the root issues of migration.

The total already surpasses the number of immigrants crossing the southern border during all of 2020.


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