WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, plans to hold the panel’s first hearing Wednesday on security at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The committee’s hearing is expected to include at least three witnesses and, according to the panel, will cover “border security, national security, and how fentanyl has impacted American lives.”
The witnesses include:
- Brandon Dunn, co-founder of the Forever 15 Project: Dunn and his wife, Janel Rodriguez, lost their 15-year-old son, Noah, to a fentanyl overdose in August. The Forever 15 Project‘s mission is to “spread awareness and to provide resources for those who are at risk or who know someone at risk and to honor those who have been lost.”
- County Judge Dale Lynn Carruthers of Terrell County, Texas: Carruthers has been outspoken about border issues. She switched parties — becoming a Republican — shortly after Joe Biden was elected president. In an interview with The Texas Tribune, Carruthers said the Democratic Party’s stance on immigration has shifted many in her community to the GOP. “Seeing the lack of support from the federal government has really impacted the community and they’re looking and leaning towards the Republican Party,” Carruthers said.
- Sheriff Mark Dannels of Cochise County, Arizona: Dannels criticized Vice President Kamala Harris for not addressing the record number of migrants arriving at the southern border when she visited Arizona to tout new a power transmission line from Dannel’s state to California. “You come to a border state where you have border community needs,” Dannels told FOX10 Phoenix. “We are addressing border issues every day, the tragedies of it, the sadness of it, and we can’t get our vice president to even acknowledge it while she is in our state, or while she is in Washington, D.C.”
The hearing, which is dubbed “Biden’s Border Crisis — Part One,” is one of the first hearings House Republicans have in the works after capturing a slim majority in the chamber and electing Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., House speaker.
Republicans have attacked the Biden administration, and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in particular, for border policies they say have led to a crisis.
Biden toured a stretch of the southern border on Jan. 9 and inspected a busy port of entry during his first trip to the region after two years in office. But it did little to satisfy critics from both sides, including immigrant advocates who accuse him of establishing cruel policies, not unlike those of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
McCarthy dismissed Biden’s visit as a “photo op,” saying on Twitter that the Republican majority would hold the administration “accountable for creating the most dangerous border crisis in American history.”
The number of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has risen dramatically during Biden’s first two years in office. There were more than 2.38 million stops during the year that ended Sept. 30, the first time the number topped 2 million, according to The Associated Press.
The Biden administration has pushed back on criticisms of immigration policy changes by urging Congress to pass a comprehensive reform package that would address longstanding issues.
The White House has accused the GOP of “playing political games and obstructing a real solution,” and called on Congress to “quit blocking the comprehensive immigration reform and border security measures President Biden proposed on his first day in office.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.