House Democrat and GOP senator urge Biden to appoint Jeh Johnson to border czar role

House Democrat and GOP senator urge Biden to appoint Jeh Johnson to border czar role
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A House Democrat representing a border district and a GOP senator are hoping to convince President Joe Biden to appoint a former Department of Homeland Security official to lead efforts combating the crisis on the southern border.

Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina made the request in a Friday letter addressed to Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

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“With a sense of urgency regarding the escalating situation at our southern border,” they requested “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 duo specifically named Obama-era Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson as a possible appointment for the position, though they acknowledged in a press conference that they hadn't discussed the idea with him.

He “carries an exceptional bipartisan reputation for pragmatic approaches to complex border security and immigration challenges,” they said about the former secretary, who served from 2003-2017. Both DHS facilities and personnel “are overwhelmed by the growing surge of migrants, many of whom are unaccompanied children,” they added.

Graham and Cuellar added that they'd be OK with Biden appointing a different person with similar credentials.

Since the start of fiscal year 2021, illegal immigrant encounters are up 362% from the same time last year, and border authorities have seized enough fentanyl to kill 1.9 billion people. Authorities have encountered a total of 1.12 million people unlawfully trying to enter the United States from Mexico, which is more than the 459,000 in all of 2020 and 977,000 in 2019.

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The number of attempted illegal crossings has risen every month since March of last year, topping 70,000 in January when former President Donald Trump left office. It surpassed 178,000 in April as Biden eased border policies and has continued to grow until approximately 190,000 people attempted crossing in June, the most seen in more than 21 years.

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Tags: News, Border, Border Crisis, Jeh Johnson, Lindsey Graham, Joe Biden

Original Author: Mike Brest

Original Location: House Democrat and GOP senator urge Biden to appoint Jeh Johnson to border czar role

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