Rep. Laurel Lee (R-Fla.) said Tuesday that U.S. Border Patrol agents under President Biden’s administration are “working as travel agents.”
“We have brave men and women of Border Patrol who are down there, ready, willing and able who want to enforce our laws, who want to fight for our country, and instead as you point out, they’re being assigned tasks like passing out blankets and working as travel agents to just bring people into this country,” Lee said in a Fox News interview.
Lee’s comments come after U.S. Customs and Border Protection released data last week reporting close to a quarter of a million migrant encounters at the southern border in November.
The agency reported 242,418 migrant encounters that month, up from October’s 240,986 recorded encounters, but down from September’s record of 269,735 encounters.
“CBP continues to execute its important mission to protect the American people, safeguard our borders, and enhance the nation’s economic prosperity by implementing operational plans, surging personnel and decompressing areas along the southwest border while processing and vetting migrants who are encountered humanely, safely, and efficiently, consistent with our laws,” Troy A. Miller, a senior official for the CBP, said in a Friday statement on the data.
Miller said earlier last week, prior to the data’s release, that “the encounter levels we are currently seeing across the southwest border are presenting a serious challenge to the men and women of [Customs and Border Protection].”
Republicans have been critical of Biden’s handling of the southern border. In an op-ed for The Hill earlier this month, Lee placed blame on the president and Department and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for the “unprecedented and unsustainable” number of border encounters seen this year and said they had “failed our Border Patrol agents and other DHS law enforcement.”
The Senate worked in recent weeks to reach a deal on border security that would unlock additional aid for Ukraine and Israel. Last week, however, the chamber adjourned until 2024 without an agreement.
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