Border Patrol Chief Torches Mayorkas and Biden on the Border
At a House Homeland Security Committee hearing held in McAllen, Texas, BorderPatrol Chief Raul Ortiz contradicted claims by the White House and his direct boss, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, that we have operational control of our southern border. In response to a question posed by Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.), “Does DHS have operational control of our entire border?” Ortiz replied, “No sir.”
Operational control is a statutorily defined term meaning “the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics and other contraband.” Not only did Ortiz concede that that is not the case, he made it clear that under the Biden administration, meeting the legal requirement of operational control is not even a goal of this administration. “About ten years ago, we used operational control as a measuring stick of our effectiveness along the southwest border. My new strategy is geared towards mission advantage,” he told the committee. “Mission advantage” is an entirely made-up term that has no legal definition.
The March 15 hearing at one of the epicenters of the Biden Border Crisis was boycotted by every Democratic member of the committee. Nevertheless, it elicited vital information from Ortiz (and others who testified under oath). There were many more important revelations Ortiz made during his testimony.
Scrapping the border wall was a mistake. Regarding the Biden administration’s decision to halt construction of additional border wall already paid for by U.S. taxpayers, Rep. Josh Brecheen (R-Okla.) asked, “Do you disagree with [the president’] decision to shut down construction?” Once again, Ortiz dissented from the administration’s position, adding that, in his opinion, the wall is a “helpful” tool to secure the border. Chief Ortiz also voiced disagreement with decisions made in Washington to remove parts of the wall, objecting to the fact that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “tore down a perfectly good infrastructure system in some areas that we should have just left alone” in places like Del Rio, Texas.
CBP is under-counting “gotaways”. CBP officially places the number of people who were detected entering the country illegally in the past two years, but who were not apprehended (because agents are tied up processing the people they do encounter), at about 1.4 million. Ortiz told the committee that the actual number of gotaways is likely 10 to 20 percent greater than the official tally, which could mean as many as 1.7 million people, whom we know nothing about, eluded capture and are in the country.
The border crisis and the fentanyl crisis are directly related. The same criminal cartels that are moving millions of illegal aliens across the border are also in the business of smuggling lethal fentanyl into the United States. Ortiz noted, “What we’ve seen this fiscal year is a 101% increase in fentanyl seizures in between the ports of entry.” The cartels, which increasingly seem to be the ones with ‘mission advantage’ at the border, are not just ruthless criminals. They are also shrewd businesspeople, and if seizures have doubled in the last year, it is fair to assume that many more times that amount is successfully getting through.
The focus is on processing migrants, not stopping them. Ortiz conceded that under the Biden administration, CBP is being turned into a “processing enterprise” rather than an enforcement agency. Instead of preventing people from violating our immigration laws, the goal is to process and release violators as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Ortiz’s remarkable testimony confirms just about everything FAIR has been saying about the Biden- Mayorkas policies. Those in charge are in direct violation of their sworn oaths to uphold the laws of our nation and, instead, are working to subvert those laws.