Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas was pushed into a corner at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. He was asked about the testimony of Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz who said to the House Homeland Security Committee that DHS does not have operational control of the southern border.
Mayorkas has previously testified that DHS did have operational control but also said that he did not use the definition that is in the Secure Fence Act of 2006 because no Homeland Security secretary has ever had operational control.
Mayorkas tried to use that same tactic this week saying he did not use the definition in the Secure Fence Act.
“Number one, we are intensely focused on securing the border. Number two, we are equally focus on enforcing our laws to achieve that result…With respect to the definition of operational control, I do not use the definition that appears in the Secure Fence Act and the Secure Fence Act provides statuetorally that operational control is defined as preventing all unlawful entries into the United States. By that definition, no administration has ever had operational control,” Mayorkas said.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked him if the plan DHS is currently carrying out was working at reducing the historically high number of illegal crossings.
The secretary replied that the DHS is working within the boundaries of a “broken” immigration system.
House Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (R-TN) recently pointed much of the blame for the ongoing crisis on Mayorkas for carrying out policies that have resulted in the surge in illegal immigration.
“They aren’t detaining because Mayorkas knows that detention is deterrence. And so they’re just processing people in, paroling them right away and sending them into our country. And the phone calls go back to those countries of origin, telling their friends and families, ‘come on, the door is wide open,'” Green said.
Sec. Mayorkas is asked about Border Patrol Chief Ortiz testifying DHS does not have operational control of the southern border.
Mayorkas previously stated DHS does have control but now says he does not use the legislative definition bc no admin has ever had operational control. pic.twitter.com/y6Xki33ULs
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) March 28, 2023