April 26th, 2022

By Kelly Laco

A group of Republican House members traveled to the Texas-Mexico border and detailed the “emotional anguish” Border Patrol agents incur due to the rampant human trafficking and drug smuggling, while urging Democrats and President Biden to take action before Title 42 ends on May 23.

The group, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., toured the border Monday with agents who he said are “pushed to their limits.” They pleaded to Biden and other House Democrats to extend Title 42, a public health order set to expire in 30 days that has been used since March 2020 to quickly expel a majority of migrants at the border due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We welcome and want to ask the Democrats to join us,” the Republican leader urged. The Republicans are pushing for their Democratic colleagues to sign a discharge petition to bring a bill to the floor to force a vote on maintaining Title 42, which requires the support of 218, or the majority, of House members.

“We just need a handful of Democrats to join to bring the bill up for a vote. So if you believe Title 42 shouldn’t be lifted, don’t say it in a press release, say it in an action that can make a difference,” said McCarthy.

The trip by the lawmakers coincided with the recent death of a Texas national guard specialist, who drowned while trying to save the lives of migrants making the trek from Mexico.

Texas Army National Guard Specialist Bishop E. Evans, 22, went missing near Eagle Pass Friday while attempting to rescue two migrants who “appeared to be drowning while crossing the river from Mexico into the U.S.,” according to the Texas Military Department. His body was found Monday.

Evans “did not die in vain,” the members said, praising his heroism and quick action and offering condolences to his grandmother.

House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said that the boat border patrol captains who led their tour of the river were the ones who recovered the body of Evans earlier in the day.

“Think about the emotional turmoil, the emotional anguish that these border patrol agents are going through every day, in addition to the National Guard and their families. Our hearts break. House Republicans are unified in securing the border and providing the support we need to our border patrol in our communities in south Texas and across our country,” Stefanik said.

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