WASHINGTON – Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, today released the following statement on President Biden’s recently announced changes to border security and immigration enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security:
“I am extremely disappointed to see the flurry of rushed Biden Administration orders to suspend programs and policies crucial to securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws.
“The Migrant Protection Protocols partnership with Mexico was an effective tool to deter illegal immigration and expedite relief for individuals who actually qualify for asylum, instead of adding them to a seemingly endless immigration court backlog for years. Instead of cancelling promising programs, the Biden Administration should instead be focused on assessing where there is room to build off existing progress.
“Similarly, pausing deportations of individuals with a final order of removal—who have had their day in court—simply does not make sense, and is a very dangerous precedent to set. The reality is that over 90 percent of interior removals this past year had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges. There should be no delay in removing these individuals.
“These recent actions will severely inhibit the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to secure our border, putting our law enforcement men and women on the front lines in an untenable situation. They will result in selective enforcement of our immigration laws, and will encourage thousands of people to embark on the dangerous journey to our border during a pandemic for a false promise.”