GOP Reps. demand Biden admin provide ‘true cost’ of border crisis to taxpayers

Colby McCoy, DCNF

Republican representatives demanded the total cost taxpayers’ will have to pay towards the border crisis in a letter to President Joe Biden’s administration Tuesday.

House Budget Committee Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri and House Homeland Security Committee Leader John Katko of New York wrote a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) about the increasing financial burden the migrant surge will have on American taxpayers. The representatives said the administration will eventually ask Congress and taxpayers to bail them out of the ongoing border crisis.

“It is clear to us that the time is fast approaching where the Biden administration will ask Congress, and the American taxpayer, to authorize the use of billions of federal dollars to bail them out of the mess of an unsecured border and a mass influx of illegal immigration,” the representatives wrote.

The representatives wrote that the Biden administration’s policies have enabled an increase in illegal immigration and the cost of the policy-driven surge is unclear.

“While it is evident that President Biden’s immigration policies have encountered historic levels of migration to the border, exacerbating the national security, humanitarian, and public health crisis, what remains unclear is the true cost-both current and future-of responding to this policy-driven crisis,” the letter said.

The federal government has redirected resources from agent payroll and other operating budgets as a result of the border crisis, according to an April 19 White House press briefing, the letter said. Smith and Katko said that American taxpayers will shoulder the cost for non-profits providing assistance at the border, a processing facility in Donna, Texas, migrant transportation between facilities and services for unaccompanied minors.

The letter demanded that the Biden administration provide the federal costs tied to the border crisis and asked if there will further requests for additional funding to handle the surge. The representatives also questioned the sums of money granted to Central American countries under the pretense that aid will “prevent migrants and asylum seekers from entering the country illegally.”

The number of immigrants arriving at the border has increased by 400 percent since March 2020, the letter said. The representatives requested that the OMB provide answers to their questions by May 3.

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