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BREAKING: Reps. Arrington, Babin to lead Texas border trip at the end of the month

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Republican Reps. Jodey Arrington (TX-19) and Brian Babin (TX-36) are leading a congressional trip to the border at the end of the month to assess what they see as ‘Biden’s border crisis,’ this reporter has learned.

The Congressional Delegation will travel to three different destinations between March 29th-31st to see the border from land, air, and sea in McAllen, Laredo, and Carizzo Springs, Texas. They will also be joined by former Commissioner of U.S. Border Patrol Mark Morgan and former Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan as well as over a dozen Texas House members.

National Border Patrol Council Vice President Chris Cabrera recently told Sara Carter on “Hannity” that there are an estimated 700-1,000 migrants crossing the Texas border daily and that it will continue with the current immigration policies.

Since Biden took office, he has taken a number of executive actions to reverse many of the Trump administration policies that the Republican lawmakers deem a success. For instance, he halted the construction of the border wall, ended the ‘Remain in Mexico policy,’ and instituted a 100-day moratorium on deportations.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday that migrants awaiting the adjudication of their asylum claims in Mexico’s largest migrant camp in Matamoros have been processed. The United Nations Refugee Agency said late last month that they had begun processing around 750 people at the camp and ensured that proper health protocols were implemented.

Babin, who is also a Chair of the House Border Caucus, told this reporter Tuesday that Biden’s policies have led to an “absolute catastrophe” at the border. Moreover, he said, “Instead of stepping up, securing our border, and putting the safety of Americans, and migrants, first, President Biden is doing what the Democrats do best – blaming Donald Trump.”

RELATED:‘Absolute catastrophe’: Babin slams Mayorkas for defending Biden admin border policies

And last month, Arrington sent a letter to President Biden urging the President to uphold Title 42 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at the border. In Brownsville, TX, for example, 210 migrants have tested positive for the virus since January 25, according to local reports. It didn’t start or end there. In fact, in June 2020, CNN reported that COVID-19-positive people were crossing the border for medical treatment, overwhelming health care personnel and resources in states like California and Texas.

“With all the efforts the Trump Administration, and now your Administration, have taken to test, prevent, and treat our nation’s citizens and slow the spread of COVID-19, repealing Title 42 would be illogical and indefensible,” Arrington wrote in the February letter. “In fact, your Administration requires American citizens to produce proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon returning to the US after traveling to another country.”

He added, “It would be ludicrous to require American citizens to present a negative COVID test upon reentry while simultaneously inviting illegal immigrants to enter our country with no testing requirement or regard for our rule of law.”

This congressional delegation remains concerned about the surge in migration and hopes to return to Washington with legislative solutions to what they recognize as a ‘crisis.’

Follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer

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Report: Denver area migrants cost $340 million to shelter, educate

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A report by the free-market Common Sense Institute found the more than 42,000 migrants who have arrived in Denver over the last year and a half have cost the region as much as $340 million. The city of Denver, local school districts, and the region’s health-care system have spent between $216 million and $340 million combined to shelter, feed, clothe, and educate the migrants, and to provide them with emergency medical care.

National Review explains the report builds off a previous report from March that conservatively found that the migrants had cost the region at least $170 million. “Costs are never localized,” said DJ Summers, the institute’s research director. “They expand outward.”

Democratic leaders are being blamed for their welcoming posture toward immigrants generally, and their sanctuary-city policies, which curtail law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration agents. Since late December 2022, at least 42,269 migrants — or “newcomers” as Denver leaders call them — have arrived in the city, adds National Review.

The Common Sense Institute report found that the migrant crisis has also hit local emergency rooms hard with extensive expenses. Since December 2022, migrants have made more than 16,000 visits to metro emergency departments. At an estimated cost of about $3,000 per visit, that has resulted in nearly $48 million in uncompensated care.

Summers said those costs are “stressing existing health care organizations,” but they also indirectly hit residents in their pocketbooks through increased insurance prices.

Metro school districts have endured the biggest financial hit — estimated between $98 million and $222 million — according to the Common Sense Institute report. The large range in costs is due to the difficulties researchers had identifying exactly how many new foreign students are tied to the migrant crisis.

The researchers found that since December 2022, 15,725 foreign students have enrolled in local schools. Of those, 6,929 have come from the five countries most closely identified with the migrant crisis — Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

On average, it costs a little over $14,000 to educate a student for a year in a Denver-area public school, but Summers said migrant students likely cost more.

“They have transportation needs that are different, they have acculturation needs that are going to be different, language assistance needs that are going to be different,” he said. “Many of them might need to get up to speed in curriculum. They might need outside tutoring.”

Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers approved $24 million in state funding to help school districts statewide plug budget holes related to the migrant students.

Summers said the updated Common Sense Institute tally is likely still missing some costs related to the ongoing migrant crisis.

“There are definitely additional costs. We just don’t have a great way to measure them just yet,” he said, noting legal fees, crime, and unreported business and nonprofit expenses.

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