Barletta: Obama Administration Knew of Growing Border Crisis

Jun 24, 2014
Press Release
“Why Was the Administration Surprised?”

Click here or on image to watch Barletta questions in Homeland Security hearing

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today challenged the Obama Administration’s assertion that it was surprised by the sudden surge in unaccompanied children at the border between the U.S. and Mexico.  During a hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Barletta asked Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to explain a January employment ad posted by the federal government that solicited chaperones for unaccompanied children.

The ad, found here, solicited “escort services for unaccompanied alien children,” and was posted on January 29, 2014 on FedBizOpps.gov, a website clearing house for employment opportunities with the federal government.  The ad contained a link to a document that gave more detail of the employment opportunity, saying that there would be “approximately 65,000” of the unaccompanied children to be cared for. 

“The Department of Homeland of Homeland Security was created to stop bad things from happening before they happen,” Barletta said.  “Who knew there was going to be 65,000?  Why was the administration surprised?  Why didn’t anyone do anything to stop this in advance?”

Secretary Johnson could not explain the ad or its projected number of unaccompanied children.

“I don’t know where that estimate comes from,” Johnson said.  “I don’t know who created that 65,000 estimate.  In all likelihood we’ll probably exceed that, in the rate we’re going.  We’ve known this has been a problem since I took office six months ago.”

Barletta pressed.

“But we shouldn’t be surprised, because we saw it coming as far back as January,” Barletta said.  “Somebody did, in DHS.  I’d like to know who it is if you can find out.”

“I’m not disagreeing with you,” Johnson replied.  “We’ve known this was an issue since I took office.”

Barletta summed up his feelings by saying, “There’s nothing wrong with our immigration laws.  We just don’t enforce them.”

Barletta has long opposed amnesty and has predicted that a lax immigration policy would lead to an open invitation to breaking U.S. laws.  

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