Commentary: 12 GOP Lawmakers Physically Restricted From Viewing Border Facility by Biden Administration


Politicians who don’t have anything to hide about how they’re handling the ongoing border crisis don’t get physical when keeping opposition lawmakers from examining their border facilities.

Given what we know about the Biden administration, are we at all surprised it apparently decided to block a delegation of Republican lawmakers from visiting a migrant intelligence facility run by the Drug Enforcement Agency?

According to a report from journalist Sara A. Carter, 12 GOP congressmen were restrained from entering the El Paso Intelligence Center in Texas on Tuesday.

This was despite the fact that the congressmen had been requesting access to the facility for weeks, she said on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Tuesday.

While Carter told host Sean Hannity the lawmakers were supposed to have the “constitutional duty” to “have oversight over these facilities that are paid for by taxpayer dollars,” they were denied entry.

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“All I can say is, Sara, I don’t know what they have to hide,” Texas Rep. Brian Babin, who led the delegation, told Carter. “I can only imagine, but for some reason, we were not allowed in. I can only imagine what is it that they wanted 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. Why don’t they want us to see it?”

Furthermore, according to California Rep. Mike Garcia, this wasn’t an unplanned trip — something like the GOP’s version of one of those Mike Wallace sidewalk ambush interviews on “60 Minutes.”

“This isn’t something we surprised them with,” Garcia said. “We didn’t ask them one day before or two days before. 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 in there. They don’t want us seeing what it is.

“You can make a conjecture about why they won’t let us in there. In my opinion, and I won’t prejudge it, but my opinion is they have data that they’re gathering at this intelligence center which is clearly that our open borders are actually a more serious problem than the average American understands right now.”

A DEA agent who talked with Fox News separately intimated that might not be a bad guess.

“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,” said Kyle Williamson, DEA special agent in charge for the El Paso Division.

“The only drug is marijuana, we haven’t seized quite that much.”

Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri pointed out to Carter that the facility was the “intelligence operation for this region.”

“I would have liked to have had the opportunity to visit with the FBI, to visit with the agents there at the fusion center, to learn more about what the drug cartels are doing and what strategy we’re employing to stop them,” she said.

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“But we were denied to have that opportunity.”

This doesn’t happen in a vacuum, alas. Since the border crisis began nearly concurrently with President Joe Biden taking office, any sort of oversight from GOP sources has been physically resisted.

In March, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was filming at a crowded Customs and Border Protection facility in Donna, Texas, as part of a GOP delegation when an individual he said was a Biden administration staffer attempted to physically obstruct him from capturing footage of the conditions.

“Please give dignity to the people,” she repeatedly said in footage shared by Cruz.

“How far is Joe Biden going to stop the American people from seeing inside the Donna CBP facility?” he tweeted.

“Biden sent a political operative from DC to block our cameras and even threatened another senator to obstruct legitimate congressional oversight.”

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso also described Biden administration officials ordering the GOP delegation to delete photos and videos.

“You’ve seen the video coming out of all of these kids crammed together under the foil blankets, huddling together,” he told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo.

“We were told to delete the pictures. No one did,” he added.

“They are crammed in like sardines, and this is what the Biden administration is trying to hide from the American public, which is why we took video and the Biden administration tried to stop us.”

Journalists would also criticize the Biden administration for refusing to give them access to detention facilities as the border crisis began to escalate.

As we found out in Donna and at many of the other facilities the Biden administration is running, the reason journalists were being kept from examining them had nothing to do with the dignity of those who were there.

In this case, given the nature of the El Paso facility, even that flimsy excuse doesn’t hold water.

The assumption people can make, when a fact is being hidden from them, is that the truth is a lot worse than they’re being told or would normally surmise.

Given what we already know about the border crisis, one fears whatever the Biden administration wants to keep from view inside the El Paso Intelligence Center must be uncommonly bad.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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