(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The House Judiciary Committee travelled to Arizona this week to examine the situation on the border and hold a hearing about what should be done—but Democrats stayed home, calling the trip a “stunt.”
At Thursday’s hearing—held at Yuma, Arizona’s city hall—committee chair Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said the Democrats could have learned a lot by participating.
“It’s a shame not one Democratic member would join us on this trip, despite having weeks of notice. It’s a shame but not surprising. In fact, Democrats have called this a stunt. This is no stunt,” Jordan said.
Jordan said he and the other committee Republicans toured the border Wednesday night to examine the unfinished border wall. He added there were about 200 illegal crossings that night.
“What we learned from them, what we saw last night on the border—it’s disappointing they’re not here,” he said.
According to recent data from Customs and Border Patrol, U.S. border encounters have increased from about 400,000 per year in the 2010s to 1.6 million in 2021 and 2.2 million last year—marking new record highs.
At Thursday’s hearing, Yuma Regional Medical Center CEO Dr. Robert Trenschel testified about how that influx is overwhelming his hospital.
“Our hospital saw an increase in the number of migrants seeking care beginning in the late fall and early winter of 2021,” he said. “Some migrants come to us with minor ailments but many of them come in with significant disease. We have had migrant patients on dialysis, cardiac catheterization and in need of heart surgery. Many are very sick.”
Trenschel said his hospital spent some $26 million on treating illegal migrants last year. This doesn’t include payments for hotel rooms, taxis and car seats, he said.
“While this is a huge number that we have validated the point is that any number is not acceptable. It is an unsustainable model to have a hospital like ours bear the entire burden of paying for migrant health care,” he said. “No business or service can survive on-going large-scale expense without any offsetting revenue.”
Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines also testified at the hearing, telling committee members that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas lied to him when visiting the border last year.
According to Lines, Mayorkas promised to fix nine out of the 11 gaps in Yuma’s border infrastructure—but to date, he hasn’t fixed any.
This baffled committee member Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who said this is all the more reason to impeach Mayorkas.
“If he’ll lie to Mr. Lines and the community here, he’ll lie to us,” Gaetz said.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.