Speaking in a meeting of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reforml, Mica said he was, "astonished that out of the half million illegal immigrants caught by the Border Patrol in 1994, over 91,000 of them were convicted criminals." He also expressed "outrage" over the type and frequency of violence in Mexico and was "very concerned" that it appears to be spreading into U.S. border states and beyond.
Originally the House Committee was called to order by committee Chairman, U.S. Congressman Jason E. Chaffetz, R-Utah, in part to debate closing three U.S. consulates. Mica used the opportunity to upsell the propose to the committee and call for a total closure.
"There has to be consequences. How many consulates do we have? I count about nine in Mexico. Is that right? I think we should close every one of those consulates immediately. Put the properties up for sale," Mica said. "I think you have to have consequences for actions. The place is out of control."
Under sharp questioning from the Committee, Robert Harris director of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Joint Task Force confirmed Mica's concerns saying that their has been a "notable rise of criminal aliens crossing the border."
While acknowledging that the increasing violence could be traced to the number of criminals, Harris thought closing consulates altogether would impair U.S. interests.
Responding to q question from U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright from Pennsylvania, Harris said, "U.S. deployment in Mexico" was "critically important."
"In terms of my business, our relationship with Mexico and our ability to protect and promote U.S. interests consulates are critically important to border security," Harris said.