The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony Tuesday from U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan during an oversight hearing expected to bring tough questions from lawmakers angry at the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Several of the committee’s Democrats, including Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Richard Durbin of Illinois and Cory Booker of New Jersey, have been among the most aggressive critics of the administration’s enforcement initiatives, from the separation of parents and children at the border to efforts to tighten asylum policies.
McAleenan is among several top border security officials who have implored lawmakers to give Homeland Security agencies more latitude to detain asylum seekers, including families with children, for the duration of their immigration proceedings, a process that could take several months or longer.
Last month CBP arrested or prevented from entering more than 62,000 migrants at the Mexico border, the highest one-month total since Trump took office.
McAleenan also is expected to face questions about negotiations with Mexico for a new agreement that would overhaul asylum rules by requiring applicants to wait outside U.S. territory while their claims are processed.
As CBP commissioner, McAleenan is in charge of about 20,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents and more than 23,000 blue-uniformed CBP officers stationed at border crossings, airports and other entry points.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Nick Miroff