House Republicans Hold Border Hearing In Yuma

House Republicans serving on the Judiciary Committee held a Thursday hearing in Yuma, Arizona, to examine the ongoing border crisis between the United States and Mexico. The hearing marked the first of its kind with the new GOP majority. However, none of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee attended the official hearing, which took place in a chamber packed with local residents and sheriffs from across the state.

The committee heard the testimony of Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines, Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot, and Yuma Regional Medical Center President Dr. Robert Trenschel regarding how surging illegal migration and drug trafficking have strained the resources of the border town.

Trenschel explained that hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants had entered the Yuma sector, with many requiring some medical care, resulting in more than $26 million in unpaid bills unrecovered by the Yuma Regional Medical Center. He explained that the lost revenue would have been enough to pay the salary and benefits of 212 bedside nurses.

“It is an unsustainable model to have a hospital like ours bear the entire burden of paying for migrant health care. No business or service can survive ongoing large-scale expense without any offsetting revenue,” Dr. Trenschel said.

Sheriff Wilmot testified that Mexican drug cartels are operating more brazenly than ever just across the border from his jurisdiction in Mexico and inside of Arizona. He cited the increased cash flow feeding the cartels from the thousands of people paying them to enter the United States illegally.

The sheriff also said Border Patrol apprehensions of illegal migrants in the area have increased from 40 to over 1,000 a day during the Biden administration. He added the county has had to spend tens of thousands of dollars to lease portable toilets to stop migrants from defecating in crops.

Lines told the committee that numbers he has been provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials show that the Border Patrol is now seizing 48% of fentanyl being smuggled into the country between the ports of entry. That is significant since most of the fentanyl previously being seized was at a port of entry.

The large crowd gave what was likely its most enthusiastic response when Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said he supports a House vote on articles of impeachment against Joe Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Those articles were introduced shortly after the election of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) last month as the new Congress got down to work. The testimony received at the Yuma hearing is certain to strengthen the GOP’s case for Mayorkas’ impeachment.

Committee members also visited the unfinished border wall that was abandoned after Biden assumed office.