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Republican lawmakers invite Committee Democrats to join border trip

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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) announced Wednesday that the Committee Republicans intend to travel to the southern border to hear directly from individuals affected by the border crisis.

In a letter to Chairman Jerry Nadler, the Republican Representatives asked the Committee Democrats to join them on the trip to the border.

“The Judiciary Committee—the committee with jurisdiction over our nation’s immigration laws and programs—cannot ignore this crisis. Because Democrats refuse to act, we write to notify you that Committee Republicans intend to travel to the southern border in the coming weeks,” Jordan and McClintock wrote.

“Because you refuse to convene a hearing to address this crisis—or, in fact, convene any full committee hearing—Republican Members are compelled to take matters into our own hands. We will therefore plan to use Committee funds to
travel to the southern border to observe firsthand what Democrats refuse to acknowledge and hear directly from those affected by the Biden border crisis. We welcome any Democrat colleagues on the Committee to join us.”

“The Biden border crisis is real and unfortunately getting worse. The Committee cannot continue to sit idly by and allow our nation’s borders to be erased. This crisis demands the Committee’s attention. The American people deserve far better than for Committee Democrats to ignore this threat to our national security, condone the worsening humanitarian crisis, and allow the Biden Administration to radically rewrite our immigration policies,” the letter concluded.

This letter comes one day after Sara A. Carter released shocking information from a Border Patrol whistleblower exposing “inhumane” conditions inside Texas migrant facilities.

Lawmakers are calling for immediate action from the Biden administration to alleviate the severe overcrowding and unsafe conditions of the migrants facilities.

Nadler’s team didn’t immediately respond to this reporter’s request for comment.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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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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