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Oklahoma attorney general testifies before federal lawmakers on border security

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond (second from left) is sworn in before the House Homeland Security Committee on Jan. 10, 2024
Oklahoma Attorney General's office
Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond (second from left) is sworn in before the House Homeland Security Committee on Jan. 10, 2024

Oklahoma’s top law enforcement officer testified before national lawmakers Wednesday.

Attorney General Gentner Drummond spoke at the first of what’s expected to be a series of impeachment hearings aimed at Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Drummond said Mayorkas deserves to be impeached over the border crisis, claiming crimes by illegal immigrants are costing Oklahoma taxpayers more than $750 million annually.

“Criminal illegal immigrants are not content with growing only black market marijuana. They also produce and distribute fentanyl, and they engage in sex trafficking, and labor trafficking,” said Drummond.

Drummond used several examples throughout his testimony, including the murder of four Chinese citizens on Nov. 22, 2022 on a marijuana farm operating with an illegally obtained license.

Drummond also said that the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is housing 500 violent illegal immigrants, and noted his office is involved in 50 “complex, multi jurisdictional” cases involving crimes committed by undocumented people.

Republicans on the impeachment panel supported Drummond, while Democrats pushed back. Democratic Rep. Robert Menendez of New Jersey questioned Drummond on why in his written testimony he used a single source: the Federation for American Immigration Reform. FAIR has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Drummond said he was not aware that FAIR reportedly has “ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) called the impeachment pursuit “shameful and fraudulent.” She urged lawmakers to hammer out effective policy.

“Let’s work with these attorneys general to solve the real problem,” said Lee.

Drummond testified with attorneys general from Montana and Missouri, who also supported impeachment.

Under the Biden administration, a record number of immigrants have crossed the southern border. Most recently, the president has appealed to Mexico to help stem the surge.

Before joining Public Radio Tulsa, Elizabeth Caldwell was a freelance reporter and a teacher
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