Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today issued the following statement calling on Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) to cancel next week’s border-related field hearing in Sierra Vista, Arizona on Thursday, Feb. 8. The field hearing will occur during the previously scheduled Democratic Issues Conference, which is designated on the official House calendar.
Ranking Member Grijalva, whose district is in close proximity to the hearing and includes the majority of the Arizona-Mexico border and all ports of entry, made multiple requests to reschedule the hearing, including a letter to Chairman Westerman on Jan. 17, as reported by E&E. These requests were denied without sufficient rationale.
“Given the dysfunction under Republican leadership on the Committee this past year, I’m not particularly surprised Chairman Westerman has ignored my requests to reschedule this hearing. I’m not surprised he is having members fly into my district on a day when I can’t be there to participate. And I’m not surprised he is holding yet another jurisdictionally dubious, media-thirsty political stunt of a hearing to spread anti-immigrant rhetoric and dangerous invasion theory talking points.
“What does surprise me, however, is that the Chairman is proceeding with this hearing despite the repeated—and repulsive—requests of his party’s presumptive presidential nominee to leave border issues untouched until the election is over so he can use them as campaign fodder. With these MAGA marching orders in place, this field hearing clearly has no policy goal, no potential legislative solutions, and no purpose. After all, as Speaker Johnson has assured us, any meaningful border legislation is ‘dead on arrival.’
“If Mr. Westerman wants to dedicate his personal time and energy to immigrant-bashing campaign rallies for Trump and company, that’s his prerogative. But I urge him to cancel this hearing and reserve official Committee business for more legitimate policy aims.”
Additional Background Amidst ongoing Senate negotiations on legislation to address the country’s outdated immigration system and resulting humanitarian crisis, former President Trump has made several public and private statements opposing a bipartisan solution, claiming it is a good campaign issue for him. Following these statements, Speaker Mike Johnson told his Republican colleagues that any Senate border deal would “dead on arrival,” all but destroying the chances of any significant immigration-related legislation passing this year.