Ruppersberger Issues Statement in Advance of Border Patrol Oversight Hearing
(WASHINGTON, DC) — Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, an Appropriator who serves on the Homeland Security Subcommittee, issued the following statement in advance of today’s oversight hearing on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), where Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost will testify. The hearing will be broadcast live at 2 p.m.
“Like many of my constituents, I remain extremely concerned about the conditions at Border Patrol facilities, the abhorrent conduct of some agents and the grossly inhumane treatment of migrants in government custody. I recently visited the border and saw some of these conditions first-hand. At its core, this is an issue of volume. In fact, until very recently, we have continued to see an increase in migrants trying to enter the United States despite these horrific conditions and draconian policies like family separation.
Obviously, CBP is not currently equipped to handle this volume. The emergency supplemental bill passed earlier this month was a good start, but we must increase funding for food, adequate bedding and medical care. I plan to ask Chief Provost if CBP would be open to allowing third-party organizations such as the Red Cross to assist with humanitarian needs.
I strongly believe we must dedicate more resources to address crime, drugs and corruption in countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. We need to invest in more federal judges to reduce the courts backlog and move immigrants out of detention facilities as quickly as possible and reduce the volume that is currently overwhelming CBP.
Finally, I plan to ask Chief Provost what her plan is to restore the credibility and reputation of her agency in light of the racist, misogynistic and utterly unprofessional behavior of some of her agents. As a former prosecutor and County Executive, I have worked with law enforcement for decades. Never before have I seen such a lack of professionalism and disregard for human suffering.
I hope this is the first of what will become regular oversight hearings to ensure we address not only the historic numbers of asylum-seekers, but also the treatment of people in the care of the U.S. government.”