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FIRST ON FOX: Reps. James Comer, R-Ky., and Elise Stefanik, R-NY, are pushing Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for answers of the use of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the southern border to facilitate the “mass release” of migrants into the U.S.
Comer, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, and Stefanik, the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, write to Mayorkas requesting information about the use of NGOs as part of its response to the crisis at the southern border.
“The Biden administration’s plan for dealing with historic levels of illegal border crossings amounts to a directive to components to simply release — with little to no consequence –more aliens, more quickly into the United States,” they write, in a letter obtained by Fox News Digital. “To carry out this task, the Biden administration increasingly relies on non-governmental organizations including those who may be receiving taxpayer funding from various federal or state sources.”
“We write to conduct oversight into the relationship between DHS and [NGOs] who are facilitating those releases, as well as the use of taxpayer money to subsidize these activities,” they say. “American taxpayers deserve to know where their money is going and how it is being used.”
The Biden administration has been dealing with enormous amounts of migrant encounters at the southern border since shortly after taking office. Recently, there have been more than 200,000 encounters a month amid a historic spring and summer surge.
While the Biden administration has blamed root causes like poverty, violence and climate change in Central America, Republicans have accused the administration of encouraging the surge with its policies of releasing illegal immigrants into the U.S. to await their asylum hearings — rather than expelling them to Mexico.
While DHS has said it does not fund travel of migrants into the U.S., those released will often be referred to NGOs, who will in turn organize help and transport for migrants to get to their destinations where friends or family may be.
While this NGO role is not unique to the Biden administration, the Republicans say they believe that in the current crisis “NGOs have been used as a tool to enable the mass release of hundreds of thousands of illegal border crossers into the United States.”
They note remarks by Mayorkas in which he has said the agency is “bolstering the capacity of NGOs” to receive migrants, with coordination with federal agencies such as FEMA, which they believe suggests that NGOs are getting taxpayer money.
The lawmakers are requesting documents and communications regarding the use and any taxpayer funding of NGOs, a list of NGOs being used, and assessments related to their capacity to receive migrants.
“President Biden’s radical open borders policies have created the worst border crisis in American history,” Comer said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Hundreds of thousands of illegal border crossers are being released into the United States and the Biden Administration is relying heavily on nongovernmental organizations to do their bidding. We need to know who the Biden Administration is contracting with and how taxpayer dollars are being used to subsidize this war on the rule of law.”
Stefanik, meanwhile, accused President Biden of “incentivizing illegal immigration.”
“By facilitating the release and transportation of immigrants who came to this country illegally with taxpayer dollars, he has shown there are no consequences to breaking the law,” she said. “Make no mistake, Joe Biden has made every state a border state, and we have seen evidence of subsidized flights of migrants to New York State. House Republicans are working to reveal the truth and laying the groundwork for full oversight in a Republican majority.”
The push comes just days after Customs and Border Protection revealed that there were more than 207,000 migrant encounters at the border in June, compared to just over 189,000 in June last year. Of those encountered, 79,652 migrants were released into the U.S.