Dem staffers barred from upcoming border facilities visit after ‘rude’ and ‘disruptive’ conduct

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Illegal migrants being placed in holding facilities before being returned to Mexico … Credit: CBP.gov

Democrat staffers have deservedly earned unique recompense for their “rude” and “disruptive” behavior … at least a temporary ban from visiting certain Department of Homeland Security (DHS) border facilities.

Last week, Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings sent staff to border facilities for “oversight inspections” and they planned to again visit Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) centers this week. However, according to Fox News, DHS has put the kibosh on that plan after they revoked their access to CBP facilities for the visit.

Staffers from the House Oversight Committee, which Cummings chairs, had “interfered” with operations involving law enforcement officers. The visiting staff members had refused to leave one site after their scheduled visit, skipped some tours, and were “rude” to officers, Fox News reported.

“Due to the operational burden placed on the field by their refusal to comply with instruction during last week’s STAFFDEL [staff delegation visit], CBP pulled the trip in which more site visits were to take place at CBP and ICE facilities this week.  DHS communicated to the committee that due to their conduct, CBP could not support visits from the committee this week.” a DHS official told Fox News in an email.

The official indicated that ICE visits will be permitted this week, but with two-hour time limits.

Commenting on the move by DHS, a progressive party official claimed the ban was a result of what staffers were learning about conditions in the facilities.

Following one of the initial disruptive visits last week by the committee staff, DHS Assistant Secretary of Legislative Affairs Christine Ciccone wrote to Cummings, notifying him that due to his staff’s violations of guidelines, their planned follow-up tour could not take place.

“During discussions between Department and Committee staff, however, the Committee staff repeatedly stated that they do not intend to abide by DHS guidelines,” Ciccone wrote in the letter. “In light of this, we are unable to accommodate your staff’s visit … unless we receive a firm commitment that the Committee and its staff will comply fully with all existing guidelines and policies.”

According to the Fox report …

The night before last week’s visits, DHS officials had a “late-night” phone call with committee staff, urging them to “respect officers on the ground” as to not “disrupt business” at facilities.

But according to a CBP official, the committee’s chief counsel, who led the delegation starting in Yuma, Ariz., “refused to leave the facility after the hour-long tour,” despite previously agreeing to a 45-minute tour at each location.

“I informed him that his actions on behalf of the Committee made a huge operational impact by not communicating back to CBP his true intent and expectations for this delegation,” that official said. He noted that because of this, part of the delegation only toured Yuma and had to cancel other facilities that were previously scheduled. “This left agents in a position where they were waiting on staff to show and then they did not show at all.”

Ranking Republican Committee member Jim Jordan said that Democrat staff members crossed into Mexico “without consultation from the Department of State.” He characterized their behavior as “rude” and “dismissive” of law enforcement officials during their visit, Fox reported.

“DHS asked the Committee to abide by the instructions of DHS personnel on the ground and to respect the significant operational interests of the border facilities visited,” Jordan wrote. “Unfortunately, at your apparent direction, Democrats refused to listen to law-enforcement instructions and made demands at the facilities ‘against the express written notice DHS had provided earlier.’”

Commenting that Dem staff members “abandoned” the agreement with DHS for limited photography and detainee interactions, Jordan accused them of “wasting DHS manpower and taxpayer resources.”

“One aspect missing from your staff travel to date has been any interest in the well-being of, or resources provided to, the brave men and women who serve to secure our border,” Jordan added. “Several Border Patrol agents told us the nasty rhetoric from Democrats in Congress—one Member of this committee even likened them to Nazis—hurts morale and makes some agents reluctant to tell people what they do for a living.”

That committee member is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

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