Stefanik, Katko Request Answers From President Biden on Northern Border Staffing Crisis

April 15, 2021
Press Release
Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Congressman John Katko (R-NY-24), sent a joint letter to President Biden on the dangerous ramifications that his crisis at the US-Mexico border has caused at the US-Canada border.
 
In part, the letter reads, “The lack of effective response to the crisis on our Southern Border is threatening the operational readiness along our Northern Border. A threat that puts our communities and nation at risk. Our Northern Border Patrol Agents continue to remain understaffed and overworked and for the safety of our communities, we ask that you provide answers to these questions. We implore you to reconsider your reluctance to invest in our Southern Border security and for the safety of all Americans, revise your immigration policies that have been failing thus far.”
 
Stefanik and Katko requested the Biden Administration provide answers to the following critical questions:
 
  1. How many Border Patrol Agents are patrolling the Buffalo and Swanton Sectors compared to the numbers in 2020? 
  2. How many Border Patrol Agents are patrolling in New York's 21st and 24th Congressional Districts (including both Buffalo and Swanton Sectors)?
  3. What is the status of patrol boats on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River (which we know to be an effective tool in stopping the flow of illegal immigrants and illegal drugs into the Northern States)?
  4. For the Border Patrol Agents being reassigned from the Northern to Southern Border, what is your administration doing to protect these individuals from COVID-19 exposure before returning to their families and communities?
  5. When is your administration expecting to begin flying illegal immigrants from Southern to Northern Border states and what are you doing to prepare communities to handle this influx?
  6. What is your administration currently doing to address the staffing shortages along the Northern Border that continue to worsen under your leadership?
 
Congresswoman Stefanik also issued the following statement: “Over the past several weeks, I have heard from many whistleblowers from the US Border Patrol expressing grave concerns over the lack of manpower along our Northern Border, as agents are being transferred to clean up President Biden’s crisis in the south. The few agents that remain are forced to virtually process illegal immigrants in Texas, leaving only a handful to patrol the entire New York Border and zero to patrol our waterways. In the past year, there has been a 1000% increase in drug seizures along the Northern Border and a 30% increase in illegal firearm seizures. President Biden’s immigration, economic, humanitarian, and national security crisis at the US-Mexico border has in turn created a crisis at the US-Canada border. He must put an end to this madness, protect the American people, and prioritize the well-being of our Border Patrol Agents.”
 
Congressman Katko added, “We cannot afford to shift vital Border Patrol Agents stationed at the Northern Border to assist with the crisis at our Southern Border. This move overextends our border forces, jeopardizes our national security and the safety of our communities, and underscores the fact that the situation on the Southern Border has gotten out of control. The solution to addressing the Southern Border crisis is not to pull Northern Border Agents away from their posts, but to reinstate the commonsense border policies that President Biden rolled back.”
 
Congresswoman Stefanik is a member of the House Armed Services and House Intelligence Committees, and she serves as Co-Chair of the Northern Border Congressional Caucus. Congressman Katko is the Ranking Member on the Homeland Security Committee.
 
Read their full letterPDF icon here.