White House lying about border deals with Central American countries, Rep. Issa says
Leadership at border would ‘help everybody understand’ problems, how to fix them: Former acting ICE director
Former acting ICE director Ron Vitiello argues that leadership engagement at the border would help people understand how the crisis started, and how to fix it.
EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the Biden administration’s announcement that three Central American countries agreed to temporarily increase their border security is “the biggest foreign policy lie since Iran-Contra” in an interview with Fox News.
“The administration is trying to take credit for something that simply didn’t happen,” the congressman told Fox.
“We’ve secured agreements for them to put more troops on their own border. Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala have all agreed to do this. That not only is going to prevent the traffickers, and the smugglers, and cartels that take advantage of the kids on their way here, but also to protect those children,” Special Assistant to the President for Immigration for the Domestic Policy Council Tyler Moran said Monday in an MSNBC interview.
But all three Central American countries have since pushed back on that depiction, and Issa is demanding answers.
HARRIS TO TRAVEL TO GUATEMALA, MEXICO AMID CRITICISM OVER BORDER CRISIS
The Guatemalan government denied there was any signed agreement with the United States to place troops at the border to stop migrants.
“The Guatemalan government has undertaken protection and security actions at the border since last year, on its own initiative, it is a constitutional mandate,” said presidential spokeswoman Patricia Letona. “In the context of the pandemic, the protection of the borders has become a fundamental aim for the containment of the virus.”
Guatemalan troops have been responsible for breaking up the last several attempted migrant caravans.
Mexico announced in March that it was deploying National Guard members and immigration agents to its southern border, and it has maintained more personnel at its southern border since Trump threatened tariffs on Mexican imports in 2019.
People surround a car as it arrives carrying food donations at a makeshift camp for migrants seeking asylum in the United States at the border crossing Friday, March 12, 2021, in Tijuana, Mexico. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
On Monday, Mexico’s Foreign Affairs ministry said, “Mexico will maintain the existing deployment of federal forces in the its border area, with the objective of enforcing its own immigration legislation, to attend to migrants, mainly unaccompanied minors, and to combat the trafficking of people.”
Honduras Foreign Affairs Minister Lisandro Rosales said Monday that Honduras maintains a multinational force at its border with Guatemala that works closely with that government on not only immigration, but also organized crime and other illegal activity.
But “there was no commitment on the part of the Honduran delegation to put soldiers on the border, even though there is a clear commitment by the Honduran government to avoid this kind of migration that generates death and mourning for Honduran families,” Rosales said.
Honduras Defense Secretary Fredy Santiago Díaz Zelaya, who was part of a Honduran delegation that met with U.S. officials in Washington last week, said later that the military was studying the possibility of sending more troops to the border to assist in migration control.
He said the military always works under a plan and that planning would determine how many troops would assist national police and immigration authorities at the border.
“We need to do a correct analysis of the situation, increase troops if it’s necessary,” Díaz Zelaya told local press. He said Honduras would do so “in response to this request that comes from the great nation to the north (the United States) to be able to help on the issue of immigration.”
Issa said the White House is trying to give the appearance that they’re stemming the border crisis without actually accomplishing anything. If Biden were serious about the border crisis, he would reimpose the Remain-in-Mexico policy, the congressman argued.
When asked if he has confidence in Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, replied: “No.”
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Issa said he would send a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to demand a hearing on the topic.
Fox News’ inquiry to the White House was not returned at the time of publication.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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