The Biden administration on Tuesday denied several Republican lawmakers access to a Drug Enforcement Administration border facility in El Paso, Texas.
A delegation of 12 GOP members of Congress were physically restricted from entering the El Paso Intelligence Center during a visit to the southern border, Fox News reported. The lawmakers have reportedly attempted to gain access to the facility for weeks and been rebuffed by Biden’s government.
The GOP lawmakers accused the Biden administration of interfering with their “constitutional duty to have oversight over these facilities that are paid for by taxpayer dollars.”
“All I can say is, I don’t know what they have to hide,” Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) said. “For some reason, we were not allowed in. I can only imagine what is it that they want to hide and not show the very representatives of the American people that have oversight over this facility that fund it and that authorize it. What don’t they want us to see?”
“This is not something we surprised them with,” Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.) added. “We’ve been trying to get in there for a couple of weeks and it’s coming from the top. It’s coming from the White House. They don’t want us to see what it is. You can make a conjecture about why they won’t let us in there. In my opinion, they have data they are gathering at this intelligence center which clearly indicates that our open borders are actually a more serious than the average American understands right now.”
A third lawmaker complained that Biden is preventing Republicans from learning about the government’s efforts to battle drug cartels.
“I would have liked to have the opportunity to visit with the FBI and the agents there to learn more about what the drug cartels are doing and what strategy we’re employing to stop them,” Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) said, “but we were denied the opportunity.”
A DEA official stationed at the El Paso facility told Fox News there was an increase in drug smugglers crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in March and indicated agents are concerned that recent trends will continue.
“In the first five months we’ve seized more than the entire year for those for 2019 and 2020, so that’s concerning for us and that’s all drugs across the board, that is methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin and cocaine. The only drug is marijuana, we haven’t seized quite that much,” said DEA special agent Kyle Williamson, who leads the El Paso Division.