GOP lawmakers want briefing regarding continued National Guard presence at Capitol
A group of House Republicans is asking the Defense Department to brief them on why thousands of National Guardsmen are expected to remain in D.C. until at least March, Fox News reports.
National Guard Bureau spokesman Wayne Hall confirmed to Fox News Tuesday that National Guard members will remain in the Capitol until at least mid-March.
“As we continue to work to meet the final post-inauguration requirements, the National Guard has been requested to continue supporting federal law enforcement agencies with 7,000 members and will draw down to 5,000 through mid-March,” Hall told Fox News.
Acting Army Secretary John Whitley said at a briefing Monday that the FBI has been warned of several planned protests and potential unrest in the coming weeks that will require a Guard presence in the Capital.
“We are posturing our forces to be able to respond to those threats if they emerge,” Whitley said.
Several GOP lawmakers are criticizing the decision, saying the National Guard should be used as an absolute last resort.
12 GOP lawmakers wrote a letter to Whitley requesting a briefing regarding the decision for significant troop presence in D.C. through mid-March.
“Our intention is for the briefing to cover ongoing threats to the Capitol, justification of the decision for a significant troop presence through mid-March, and plans for troop utilization during the time period,” the letter says.
“As you know better than anyone, our National Guard men and women are deployed on short notice and pulled away from their families and jobs,” the letter continues.
“Further, the Guard has endured unprecedented stress on the force in the past year given COVID-19, social unrest, natural disasters, and ongoing overseas requirements. The National Guard should be used as an option of absolute last resort.”
The letter concludes, “We are seeking clarification and justification on behalf of the National Guard men and women that have kept us safe over the past month and year. We are seeking this threat assessment briefing as soon as reasonably possible and greatly appreciate your time and attention.”
Sen. Tom Cotton agreed, saying time it’s to send the troops home.
“The National Guard soldiers who deployed to protect the Capitol this month certainly deserve such gratitude. They deployed on short notice, leaving behind their families and jobs. Despite cold weather and uncomfortable conditions, these soldiers did their duty, in the finest traditions of the Guard,” Cotton said.
“Their presence, coupled with tough federal charges against the Capitol rioters, deterred any further violence; the presidential inauguration occurred without incident.”
“With the inauguration complete and threats receding, now it’s time, yes, to send home the troops.”
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Biden Administration to allow 40,000 asylum-seekers per month into US with mobile app
Despite chaos at the border, the Biden administration is still pursuing expansion of a smart phone app which would allow nearly 40,000 asylum-seekers to enter the United States…per month.
“Starting in June, officials will allow more migrants waiting in Mexico to secure an appointment to enter the U.S. through a government phone app known as CBP One, which the Biden administration has transformed into the main gateway to the American asylum system” reports CBS News.
Department of Homeland Security Officials said border agents are preparing to distribute approximately 1,250 appointments per day, or 38,750 per month, to migrants in Mexico. They will then present themselves at ports of entry.
CBS News reports:
The CBP One app allows migrants north of Mexico City to request an appointment to appear at a southern border port of entry, where U.S. officials generally release them with an immigration court hearing in their respective destination. Migrants can fight their deportation in court by seeking asylum.
The app-powered system has been sharply criticized by migrant advocates, who say it penalizes the most destitute migrants who don’t have smartphones or an internet connection. They have also said the app does not allocate nearly enough spots to help the tens of thousands of migrants stranded in Mexico.
However, the app has facilitated “the largest expansion of migrant processing at ports of entry along the southern border in U.S. history” adds CBS News. “Since its use began in January, more than 120,000 migrants have secured appointments to enter the U.S. through CBP One, according to unpublished government figures.”
In addition to the CBP One process and the asylum restriction, the Biden Administration has begun allowing up to 30,000 migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to fly to the U.S. directly per month if they have American sponsors. In just several months, that program received over 1.5 million applications.
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