Congressional Recess Brings Lots of Letters And Obstruction
By Jennifer G. Hickey | April 18, 2019
Although Congress is currently on a two-week recess, Democrats were busy pressing the Trump administration on aspects of immigration they believe will serve their interests. The political playmaking began on Monday when the chairmen of the House Judiciary, Oversight and Homeland Security committees launched an inquiry of administration plans to send illegal immigrants to largely-Democrat-controlled sanctuary cities.
The proposal was put forth by President Trump in an April 12 tweet in which he said that illegal immigrations who cannot be detained due to current law “will be, subject to Homeland Security, given to Sanctuary Cities and States!”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the plan remains an option on the table, but did not indicate whether it remains a proposal under serious consideration.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. sent a letter stating their interest in any emails and other documents related to what they called a “bizarre and unlawful attempt to score political points” by May 3. The request was directed to White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of the Homeland Security Department and covers all relevant documents from Nov. 1, 2018, through Monday, April 15.
Two days later, Nadler and Cummings fired off another letter – this time asking for White House senior advisor Stephen Miller to appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee regarding several aspects of immigration policy.
The Democrats said Miller has until April 24 to respond to their offer to “make your case to the Committee and the American people” about “intentionally separating immigrant children from their parents” as a means of deterrence, transferring asylum seekers to sanctuary cities, and “firing top Administration officials who refuse orders to violate the law.”
While House Democrats are trying to bury the administration in document requests, a group of Senate Democrats moved this week to ensure Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents remain overburdened and underfunded.
Twenty senators, including Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey, sent a letter urging the Senate Appropriations Committee chairman and ranking member to restrict funding to the Department of Homeland Security, including the administration’s request for money to hire more ICE agents.
The group of senators said they would not support “the appropriation of funds that would expand this administration’s unnecessarily cruel immigration enforcement policies, its inhumane immigrant detention systems, or its efforts to build the president’s vanity projects.”
The April 15 letter, released by Sen. Harris’ office, also rejected any funding construction of a border wall and demanded a decrease in funding for detention beds at federal facilities.
Even when the number of family units apprehended at the border has increased 600 percent, including 53,000 in March alone, Democrats appear to be unwilling to doing anything to stop it. In fact, this week’s actions expose their determination to obstruct the Administration at every turn.