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Congress member or not, “you have to follow the rules” laid out by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said in response to the department barring Democratic staffers’ visit to border facilities.
“Whether you’re a member of Congress or not, if you go to the border, you have to follow the rules,” Kennedy said during Thursday’s interview on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
“If somebody follows the rules and they are a member of Congress, they should be allowed to go,” Kennedy bluntly said. “But if they don’t, they shouldn’t.”
“Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) had sent his staff to visit border facilities for ‘oversight inspections’ last week and planned to send staff again to view Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and CBP centers,” Fox News reported. “But sources [revealed] that DHS has revoked access to CBP facilities for the upcoming visit, citing staff behavior that ‘interfered’ with law enforcement operations – including refusing to leave one site after their scheduled window, skipping some tours and being ‘rude’ to officers.”
The Maryland Democrat implied it is America’s duty to provide for the needs of all who break into the country illegally – while saying nothing about the millions of U.S. citizens living in poverty without assistance, including those in his own district.
The DHS penned a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) to make it clear that the committee’s Democratic staffers were barred from visiting U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) facilities this week — although they are allowed a two-hour visit to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities at the southern border.
The DHS’ response comes after a visit last week left impressions that the staffers were “rude” to law enforcement and “repeatedly stated that they do not intend to abide by DHS guidelines.”
Here's what committee ranking member Jim Jordan, (R-Oh), had to say in a letter to Cummings on Wednesday, Democratic staff coordinated and “took direction from liberal special interests” prior to conducting interviews with those detainees. Jordan cited a meeting with representatives of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a liberal organization currently suing the Trump administration over detention facilities at the border. Jordan claimed that the SPLC gave directions to Democratic staff about what to look for an ask about during their tours, as well as suggested questions for staff to pose to detainees and DHS officials during their visit.
“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."
Rep. Jordan was referring to was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-N.Y.), who has referred to border facilities as "concentration camps on the Southern Border."