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Democrat staffers from the House Oversight Committee have been banned by the Department of Homeland Security from visiting border detention facilities following “disruptive” behavior on the part of the staffers at previous trips to the border centers.
Last week, everyone’s favorite Rep. Elijah Cummings sent staff on a trip to border detention facilities to perform “oversight inspections,” but allegedly, these staffers refused to comply with instructions from DHS, acted against officials, and were “rude” to officers on-site.
So, as a result, these staffers have been barred from visiting the border centers as they previously planned to do this week!
Kudos to the DHS for forcing them to face the consequences of their behavior!
Fox News has more on this:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has barred Democratic staffers from the House Oversight Committee from visiting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a planned trip this week after committee staff allegedly were “disruptive” and refused to follow instructions during their last trip, Fox News has learned.
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.
But sources told Fox News 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. A DHS official said that ICE visits will still be allowed this week, but with a two-hour time limit. One of those visits took place on Tuesday.
“Due to the operational burden placed on the field by their refusal to comply with instruction during last week’s STAFFDEL [staff delegation visit], CBP pulled the trip in which more site visits were to take place at CBP and ICE facilities this week,” a senior DHS official told Fox News in an email Wednesday. “DHS communicated to the committee that due to their conduct, CBP could not support visits from the committee this week.”
A Democratic source suggested the visit is being nixed due to concerns about what staff were learning from detainees about conditions on the ground.
That's not how the agency described it. Last week, following a visit to one of the first facilities on the committee staff's itinerary, DHS Assistant Secretary of Legislative Affairs Christine Ciccone wrote to Cummings, notifying him that due to his staff’s violations of guidelines, their planned follow-up tour could not be accommodated.
“During discussions between Department and Committee staff, however, the Committee staff repeatedly stated that they do not intend to abide by DHS guidelines,” Ciccone wrote in the letter obtained by Fox News. “In light of this, we are unable to accommodate your staff’s visit … unless we receive a firm commitment that the Committee and its staff will comply fully with all existing guidelines and policies.”
She added that the staff’s attempts to “conduct interviews and take photographs” without limitations are “a significant deviation” from DHS policy and “could jeopardize” the department’s ability to meet legal obligations.
The night before last week's visits, DHS officials had a “late-night” phone call with committee staff, urging them to “respect officers on the ground” as to not “disrupt business” at facilities.
But according to a CBP official, the committee's chief counsel, who led the delegation starting in Yuma, Ariz., "refused to leave the facility after the hour-long tour," despite previously agreeing to a 45-minute tour at each location.