House Judiciary Committee hears emotional, angry testimony in first round of border hearings

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Border security and the flood of deadly fentanyl into the U.S. were the focus of Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearings on the migrant crisis — the first in a planned series of hearings on the record-shattering influx of migrants into the U.S. under the Joe Biden administration. 

Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) opened the hearings titled “Biden’s Border Crisis -Part 1” with an accusation that the Biden administration is intentionally fueling the migrant surge and has no “operational control of the border.” 

“Month and month after month we have set records for migrants coming into the country,” Jordan said in his opening remarks, noting that, since President Biden took office, more than 4.5 million migrants have crossed the border illegally, at least 1.7 million of whom had been released into American communities.

“Frankly, I think it’s intentional. I don’t know how anyone with common sense or logic can reach any other conclusion. It seems deliberate, it seems premeditated, it seems intentional,” the Ohio Congressman continued, adding: “Make no mistake, the Biden administration is carrying out its plan.

“We all heard Secretary Mayorkas sit in front of this committee and [say], ‘We are executing our plan on the border. And we all heard President Biden say we’re trying to make it easier for people to get here. Well, they’re certainly succeeding in that,” Jordan continued. “The worst part is that none of this had to happen. Under President Trump, the border was secure, under President Biden there is no border — and Americans are paying the price.”


Lawmakers heard testimony from two Texas county judges, an Arizona sheriff, and from Brandon Dunn, co-founder of the Forever 15 Project, a nonprofit fentanyl poisoning awareness group. 

Dunn openly wept throughout his testimony as he described the devastating loss of his 15-year-old son, Noah, to fentanyl poisoning last August.

“In our activism work, we’ve come across several families who’ve lost their children to illicit fentanyl,” he said. “In the five months since Noah’s passing, we’ve met 28 other families who’ve lost children to illicit fentanyl, including children as young as 13.

“For us, this isn’t a political issue. It’s an issue of [the] safety of our children and the people of America,” he said.

According to a recent Center Square report, children under 14 are dying from fentanyl poisoning at a faster-growing rate than any other age group.


Cochise County, Arizona Sheriff Mark Dannels testified that foreign nationals arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border routinely say that they came to the U.S. “because of President Biden.” 

“[T]he majority of people we talk to, the majority of migrants that have been smuggled, which I call modern-day slavery what they’re doing to these people, they tell us the reason they’re here is because of President Biden and a welcoming sign.”

Dannels, a sheriff with 38 years of experience at the border, said his small community has been forced to pay millions in annual detention costs to hold human smugglers captured by his officers.

“Border-related bookings, detention costs counting the year 2022 was $4.3 million, absorbed by my local and state taxpayers,” Dannels said, adding that, “in a rural community, that’s a huge impact.” 

Dannels called the current state of the southern border “the ugliest I’ve experienced.”

He also testified that the Biden administration’s lack of border policy enforcement has resulted in a spike in “aggravated acts toward law enforcement” and has forced officers to spend nearly half of their time dealing with border crimes, as opposed to regular policing work.

“We have tried to reach out to Biden. He is the first president not to meet with sheriffs,” Dannels continued, adding that there is an “absence of federal government” at America’s border. 

“It was better under President [Donald] Trump,” Dannels said. “This is the worst I’ve seen.”


Democrats on the Judiciary panel sought to portray the hearing as a Republican effort to perpetuate racism.

“The first hearing will showcase the racist tendencies of the extreme MAGA Republican wing of the party that seeks to close the border to refugees from places like Cuba and Venezuela,” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), a ranking member of the committee, said ahead of Wednesday’s hearing. “It almost makes me miss their usual obsession with conspiracy theories and the FBI.” 

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) suggested that the fentanyl crisis had nothing to do with the porous southern border.

“If we want to talk about some of the fentanyl facts, 96% of the fentanyl seized in the last fiscal year was seized at ports of entry,” he said, as opposed to confiscations that occurred during illegal crossings. The California Democrat argued that “86% of the convictions around fentanyl coming across our border were convictions of U.S. persons.”

“So we should talk about fentanyl, we should go after China, but this – this is chaos, what I’m seeing from my Republican colleagues,” he added.

This article was partially informed by The Daily Signal, The Center Square, The New York Post, and Breitbart reports.