Washington, D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA), Rep. Robert A. Brady (D-PA), Rep. Susan A. Davis (D-CA), Rep. James R. Langevin (D-RI), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA), Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Rep. Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU), Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA), Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Rep. Marc A. Veasey (D-TX), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), Rep. Salud O. Carbajal (D-CA), Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-MD), Rep. Stephanie N. Murphy (D-FL), Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), Rep. Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY), and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) sent a letter to the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee calling on Republicans to task the Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee with conducting oversight of President Trump’s plans to house migrants on military bases. The letter can be found at this link, and its contents read as follows:

The Honorable Mac Thornberry                                


House Armed Services Committee                           

U.S. House of Representatives                                  

Washington, DC 20515                                             

Dear Chairman Thornberry:

We write to express concern over the Administration’s handling of unaccompanied minors, migrant families, and those seeking asylum in the United States. While the Committee on Armed Services does not maintain jurisdiction over immigration matters, the Department of Defense has been tasked with providing temporary housing for up to 32,000 unaccompanied minors and migrant families at military installations. In addition, the Department has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Justice to provide military lawyers to assist civilian federal prosecutors in immigration-related proceedings.

The Committee on Armed Services has valid equities in the Administration’s tasking of the Department of Defense in its handling of these issues, given the Department’s broad support to several outside agencies including the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Homeland Security. Therefore, we request that the Committee conduct focused oversight, to include open hearings, to examine the support that the Department of Defense has provided or will provide to other Federal agencies on border and immigration-related matters. Normally, an issue of this magnitude should be handled at the full committee level, but given the intensity of conference and the need for immediate oversight, we feel the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation (O&I) is uniquely postured to conduct a robust investigation into these matters.

An earnest subcommittee effort would afford Members the opportunity to hear from the Department of Defense and to derive answers to the following critical questions:


1)    What forms of assistance to other Federal agencies related to unaccompanied minors, migrant families, and those seeking asylum in the United States have been requested of or tasked to the Department of Defense?

2)    How has the Department of Defense, including the military departments, assessed these requests or tasks and how have determinations been made for accommodating or fulfilling such requests or tasks?

3)    What funding accounts and legal and regulatory authorities is the Department of Defense using to provide support until such support is reimbursed under sections 1535 and 1536 of Title 31, United States Code? 

The use of military infrastructure, real property, and personnel for functions outside of core Department of Defense mission areas, warrants Congressional oversight from this Committee. With these pressing concerns in mind, we request that that you promptly initiate an O&I Subcommittee investigation, and we look forward to your response.  Thank you for your kind attention.


Adam Smith

Ranking Member, House Armed Services Committee

Seth Moulton

Ranking Member, House Armed Services Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee

Robert A. Brady

Susan A. Davis

James R. Langevin

Rick Larsen

Jim Cooper

Madeleine Z. Bordallo

Joe Courtney

Niki Tsongas

John Garamendi

Jackie Speier

Marc A. Veasey

Tulsi Gabbard

Beto O’Rourke

Donald Norcross

Ruben Gallego

Colleen Hanabusa

Carol Shea-Porter

Jacky Rosen

A. Donald McEachin

Salud O. Carbajal

Anthony G. Brown

Stephanie N. Murphy

Ro Khanna

Tom O’Halleran

Thomas R. Suozzi

Jimmy Panetta

cc: The Honorable Vicky Hartzler, Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations