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First US-Mexico border hearing to focus on fentanyl, national security

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, plans to hold the panel’s first hearing Wednesday on security at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The committee’s hearing is expected to include at least three witnesses and, according to the panel, will cover “border security, national security, and how fentanyl has impacted American lives.”

The witnesses include:

  • Brandon Dunn, co-founder of the Forever 15 Project
  • County Judge Dale Lynn Carruthers of Terrell County, Texas
  • Sheriff Mark Dannels of Cochise County, Arizona

It’s one of the first hearings House Republicans have in the works after capturing a slim majority in the chamber and electing Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) House speaker.

Republicans have attacked President Joe Biden’s administration, and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in particular, for border policies they say have led to a crisis.

Biden toured a stretch of the southern border on Jan. 9 and inspected a busy port of entry during his first trip to the region after two years in office. But it did little to satisfy critics from both sides, including immigrant advocates who accuse him of establishing cruel policies, not unlike those of his predecessor, Donald Trump.

McCarthy dismissed Biden’s visit as a “photo op,” saying on Twitter that the Republican majority would hold the administration “accountable for creating the most dangerous border crisis in American history.”

The number of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has risen dramatically during Biden’s first two years in office. There were more than 2.38 million stops during the year that ended Sept. 30, the first time the number topped 2 million, according to The Associated Press.

The Biden administration has pushed back on criticisms of immigration policy changes by urging Congress to pass a comprehensive reform package that would address longstanding issues.

The White House has accused the GOP of “playing political games and obstructing a real solution,” and called on Congress to “quit blocking the comprehensive immigration reform and border security measures President Biden proposed on his first day in office.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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