Senate Republicans slam Biden for border crisis, allege Dems won't hold a hearing on migrant surge

Republicans also alleged that Senate Democrats are not taking border security seriously enough

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Three Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) held a border security "round table" Wednesday at which they and several witnesses, including former Department of Homeland Security officials, blamed President Biden for the crisis at the southwestern border. 

"Why are we here?" Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., asked to begin the event. "Sen. Peters would not hold a hearing."

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., is the chairman of the HSGAC. The committee held a full hearing in May on unaccompanied children at the border. And two subcommittees had hearings addressing border security in April and June. But the HSGAC has not taken up the issue since then. 

Peters' office did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Wednesday. 

(From left to right) Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., hold a round table on immigration in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. (Tyler Olson/Fox News)

(From left to right) Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., hold a round table on immigration in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. (Tyler Olson/Fox News)

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Also presiding over the round table Wednesday were Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and HSGAC Ranking Member Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. Among the witnesses were former Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan and former Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan. 

Both Morgan and Homan alleged that the Biden administration – which has overseen a massive surge in border crossings under its watch – has not only failed to secure the border but has taken actions that made the situation worse. 

"We now have a president, the first president in my lifetime, that came into office and intentionally unsecured the border," Homan said. Homan added that Democrats "believe that by importing future Democratic voters they will remain in power."

The White House did not respond to a request for comment. 

President Biden, with first lady Jill Biden, speaks during a visit at Brookland Middle School in northeast Washington, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. Biden has encouraged every school district to promote vaccine and on-site clinics to protect students as they return to school amid a resurgence of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Biden, with first lady Jill Biden, speaks during a visit at Brookland Middle School in northeast Washington, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. Biden has encouraged every school district to promote vaccine and on-site clinics to protect students as they return to school amid a resurgence of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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"What happens at the southwest border does not stay at the southwest border," Morgan added, noting that not only do many migrants travel throughout the country but so do drugs and more. 

Former Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott, who was forced out by the Biden administration for political reasons earlier this year, said that people are "smuggling narcotics, criminals and terrorists" across the border "at will." 

Also present at the round  table were Sabine Durden-Coulter and Virginia Krieger, who lost children, they say, because of lax border security. 

"An illegal alien killed my only child," in a car crash, Durden-Coulter said. "He was struck by an illegal alien repeat offender felon."

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during a news conference at The National Press Club in Washington, on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during a news conference at The National Press Club in Washington, on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.  (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

"My daughter Tiffany died in 2015 from a single pill" meant to look like the commercially available Percocet but which was actually fentanyl, Krieger alleged, saying that it was likely fentanyl that came across the southwestern border. "This is a crisis that’s gone under the radar … They’re not addicted, they’re just young people who are having life problems but now they’re dying."

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Morgan, Homan and Scott also lamented the transportation of migrants from the border into the interior of the country, where many are released. And they alleged that rank-and-file Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials are losing faith in Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

"Morale, I’m being told, is at an all-time historic low among border patrol agents," Morgan said. 

Scott the senator asked who believes Mayorkas is lying about the situation on the border. All three former border officials raised a hand. 

"Okay, he has to resign," the senaor from Florida said.