A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that was scheduled for Thursday will be postponed, committee chair Senator Dick Durbin said as the Mayorkas department struggles to cope with a crush of migrants flooding the southern border.
Mayorkas tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week and is forced to self-quarantine, which prevented him from testifying in person at Thursday’s hearing.
“We are rescheduling,” said Durbin, D-Ill., When asked about Wednesday’s hearing. “He offered to go virtual, but the other party said they preferred to have it in person.”
Republicans likely planned to grill Mayorkas during the television hearing on the border situation which the GOP says is a crisis putting Americans at risk.
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According to customs and border protection data, federal authorities have met more than 100,000 migrants at the southern border every month for whom there are data since February. In July and August, the meetings exceeded 200,000.
Democrats argue that Mayorkas and other Biden border officials are doing their best in an untenable border situation left to them by former President Donald Trump. They insist the border is not open and note that many migrants are being deported under a COVID-19 health ordinance.
The Biden administration is also under fire over recent reports of night flights from border towns within the United States on planes under contract with the United States government. The New York Post this week reported midnight migrant flights from border towns to Westchester County, New York.
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It came a month after Fox News reported migrant flights not only to New York, but also to destinations like Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Yakima, Washington and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Many of these migrants are eventually released in these areas, including from Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) facilities. frontier.
“Here we are talking about the first flights,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in response to the thefts documented by the New York Post, which included migrant children but not adults as did the thefts reported by Fox News. “It is our legal responsibility to safely care for unaccompanied children until they can quickly be reunited with an approved parent or sponsor.”
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Republicans will still be able to grill at least one Biden official on Thursday. Attorney General Merrick Garland will testify before the House Judiciary Committee. He is likely to face questions about a note he released this month asking the FBI to investigate threats against school boards.
Fox News’s Peter Doocy and Kellianne Jones contributed to this report.