House Republicans face scrutiny, demand record keeping of NGOs working with migrants at southern border

FIRST ON FOX: A group of House Republicans led by Rep. Lance Gooden (D-Texas) is calling on three non-governmental organizations working with immigrants at the southern US border to preserve documents and communications related to their operations — as they watch for investigations into their movements. Illegal immigrants to the US interior.

Gooden wrote to Reps. Tom Tiffany, R-Wis., Jake Elzey, R-Texas, and Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Catholic Charities USA, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services and Jewish Family Services of San Diego to express their concerns. about the growing role [NGOs] contributing to the dramatic increase in illegal aliens crossing the southern border.

“The Biden administration is circumventing the safety and security standards that federal agencies must enforce by allowing non-governmental organizations to host, transport, and house unauthorized aliens in the United States.” they write.

They accuse the NGOs of “violating federal laws and regulations, putting migrant and American communities at risk, and imposing unreasonable burdens on local communities.”

The Biden administration sued Arizona for building a shipping container border wall to stop illegal immigration.

The migrants were released this week by Border Patrol agents in Brownsville, Texas.

While the role of NGOs in assisting immigrants crossing the southern border predates the Biden administration, their role has gained more attention amid historic growth at the southern border, with more than 2.3 million in fiscal year 2022 alone. immigrants have encountered.

Fiscal year 2023 is already expected to exceed that number, and there are fears that it will rise even more with the end of Title 42 in the coming days, many of whom will be released – often in the care of NGOs that provide supplies and supplies to immigrants. . often assist in traveling to their destinations.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said this week Ending Title 42, which DHS says could result in as many as 14,000 immigrants a day, will require greater cooperation with NGOs.

“We’re keeping in mind that No. 42 will end early next week,” Mayorkas told The El Paso Times. “We are mindful that we need to coordinate with our international partners, not just the non-profit organizations we work closely with, and cities like El Paso along the border. we will act as soon as possible.”

But Republicans oppose using taxpayer dollars that go to NGOs to fund the movement of illegal immigrants into the US interior.

“Taxpayers should not subsidize any organization that facilitates the movement of illegal immigrants across our border,” they said in the letters. “When NGOs bring unauthorized aliens into the interior of the country, it becomes increasingly difficult for federal immigration enforcement agencies to track their whereabouts and protect our communities.”

The GOP will take over the House in January, and its leadership has said it intends to scrutinize many aspects of the Biden administration’s handling of the border crisis. Lawmakers said Wednesday that they also want the use of nongovernmental organizations to be investigated.


“In the next Congress, we will continue to investigate your organization’s role in alleviating the border crisis, your violations of federal law, and your misuse of taxpayer funds,” they said.

Specifically, they’re asking the federal government to keep the records for reimbursement.

“It is past time to investigate the corrupt network of NGOs that facilitate illegal migration and people smuggling,” Gooden said. “House Republicans plan to begin work in the next Congress to require these organizations to report their tax-exempt status and ability to operate.”

In a statement published on the website of Catholic Charities USA said that The charity, the domestic humanitarian arm of the US Catholic Church, is “deeply disturbed” by accusations of violating federal laws and fueling a surge in cross-border migration.

“These accusations are both false and untrue. Our life-saving humanitarian work does not violate federal laws and does not endanger communities,” the organization said. “The federal government is fully responsible for maintaining the U.S. border and determining who enters the country.”

The organization says its humanitarian assistance, including food, clothing and overnight shelter, is legally provided and begins only after the immigrant is released by the federal government. Without this support, the charity says, migrants could end up on the streets.


“Let’s be clear. The US immigration system is in dire need of reform; Catholic Charities and all the agencies and individuals responding to this national crisis are operating in a broken system,” the report said. “We urge all Americans to ask the administration and their representatives in Congress to act on this important issue as we have.”

The letters came a day after Gooden spoke at a Heritage Foundation event, and the think tank released new data showing that nonprofits helped carry illegal immigrants into 431 of a total of 435 congressional districts.

Mike Howell, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project, described the operation as “a mass displacement program in which the Biden administration works hand-in-hand with non-governmental organizations.”

“It affects the entire United States,” he said.

Meanwhile, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Wednesday that he would call on the state attorney general’s office to “investigate the role played by non-governmental organizations in planning and facilitating illegal crossings into Texas.”

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