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Press Release

Field Hearing Highlights Border Crisis, Exposes Destruction of Federal Lands

SIERRA VISTA, ARIZ. , February 8, 2024 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
  • NFPL Subcommittee

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and Subcommittee on Federal Lands Chairman Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) hosted a field hearing near the United States/Mexico border to further expose Biden's border crisis and its devastating effects on federal lands and local communities.

"Biden's border crisis has touched every corner of the country, but seeing it here at ground zero in Arizona is a sobering reminder of how local communities and public lands bear the brunt of the president's failures. Today, we had the opportunity to hear from folks on the front lines of this crisis, including ranchers, border patrol representatives, farmers and local elected officials who face the harsh reality of an open border daily. House Republicans are committed to hearing these voices that have been ignored by the Biden administration and advancing real solutions that protect American communities and lands."House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)

"Having seen the piles of trash on our federal borderlands firsthand, it’s clear that illegal immigration is causing environmental damage to our federal lands. While the Biden administration turns a blind eye to the environmental consequences of illegal immigration, Republicans on the Federal Lands Subcommittee will secure our border and conserve our public lands for future generations." - Subcommittee on Federal Lands Chairman Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.)

"The crisis at our southern border is not just a national security issue, it also affects the health of our public lands which are being treated like a landfill. The Biden Administration has tried again and again to lock up our public lands and is now using our Federal border lands as an open door for migrants. In my position as Chairman of the Western Caucus, I am working daily to ensure we are protecting our resources while actively managing our lands." - Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.)


The Biden administration’s ongoing and repeated failures to secure America's southern border has created a confluence of security, environmental and humanitarian crises as record numbers of migrants pour across the border daily.

In Arizona, the site of today's hearing, more than 80 percent of southern border land is federally owned. Recent migrant waves have exceeded historical trends and put an incredible strain on Arizona law enforcement. The chaos along the southern border has inflicted considerable damage upon local landscapes, specifically federal lands. Each immigrant leaves behind an average of six to eight pounds of trash per person, per crossing, including human waste, medical products, abandoned vehicles and plastic. 

The House Committee on Natural Resources has been actively working to investigate and conduct oversight of the Biden administration's border policies, notably, the decision to house migrants at a national park in New York. The committee has also sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to demand more information about the role he played in the process. 

Today's hearing came after members received a briefing from local law enforcement and went to a border crossing site to see the issues firsthand. To learn more, click here.