House Republicans Demand Details on Democrats' Secretive Mexico Trips
Dems accused of using mysterious Mexican trips to 'coach' migrants on entering U.S.
House Republicans are demanding that their Democratic colleagues reveal details of the secretive trips they have been making to Mexico, after at least one Democrat has been accused of "coaching" migrants on how to manipulate U.S. immigration laws when crossing the border.
GOP House Oversight Committee members are calling on Dems to provide more details about a series of trips taken to Mexico during visits to border detention facilities.
Ranking Committee member Jim Jordan (R-OH) said in a letter to Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) there were at least two committee staff trips into Mexico in August.
One of those mysterious trips across the Southern Border required Border Patrol agents to provide a special escort back into the United States.
“Although you have the authority to direct Committee staff to travel internationally on official committee business, you have not explained why you authorized this travel into Mexico or what you sought to learn through these trips,” Jordan wrote in the letter, asking why Republicans were not notified of the trips.
Jordan continued by accusing Democrats of seeking “to delegitimize the administration’s border security efforts and vilify the men and women who protect our border.”
GOP members are concerned the trips “could continue to result in misleading information about the administration’s border security efforts,” Jordan added.
In the letter, which was obtained by Fox News, Jordan specifically highlighted a report that said Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) was in attendance on one trip to Tijuana on Aug. 21.
Escobar, who is not on the Oversight Committee, has been a vocal advocate of left-wing policies on illegal immigration.
According to The Washington Examiner, staff from Escobar’s office recently coached migrants in Ciudad Juarez on how to exploit federal immigration law.
One of these "tips" includes telling would-be border crossers to pretend they cannot speak Spanish to exploit a loophole that would let them enter the U.S.
Escobar responded by calling the article “fabricated” and “fueled by xenophobia and misinformation.”
The @dcexaminer has published a fabricated story resulting in death threats against me and my staff.— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) July 8, 2019
This hit piece is fueled by xenophobia and misinformation. But guess what, guys? These attacks won’t deter me doing my job, upholding my oath, and pushing for accountability.
In the letter, Jordan asked Democrats a number of questions including what the purpose of the visit was, which individuals and groups they interacted with, why Escobar’s office was invited, and what “coaching” on immigration laws, if any, was given to migrants.
The letter marks the latest controversy over Democrats’ trips to the border.
Fox News first reported last month that the Department of Homeland Security had barred staffers from the committee from visiting Customs and Border Protection facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border during a trip after staff were allegedly disruptive and refused to follow instructions.
Sources told Fox News that DHS revoked access to CBP facilities for one visit, citing staff behavior that “interfered” with law enforcement operations — including refusing to leave one site after their scheduled window, skipping some tours and being "rude" to officers.
Democrats suggested the visit was nixed due to concerns about what staff were learning from detainees about conditions on the ground.
Cummings later wrote that his staff was blocked "after previous staff inspections revealed potentially serious ongoing problems with the treatment of children and adults in DHS custody."