Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz testified to Congress on Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security does not have operational control of the U.S. southern border under President Joe Biden, a claim that is directly at odds with a statement from DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Ortiz made the remarks during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing in McAllen, Texas, in response to a question from Chairman Mark Green about security on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Does DHS have operational control of our entire border?” Green asked.
“No sir,” Ortiz responded.
Behind Green was a poster board that showed that “operational control,” as defined by U.S. law, is “the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics and other contraband.”
Green then played a video during the hearing showing Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) question Mayorkas last year over whether the U.S. had operational control of the southern border. “Yes, we do,” Mayorkas claimed. “Yes, we do.”
Green then asked Ortiz whether he thought Mayorkas was lying, to which Ortiz responded by saying that operational control used to be how officials measured whether or not they were being successful. He said that now their new strategy was “geared towards mission advantage.”
Ortiz again confirmed that DHS does not have operational control of the southern border, but, when pressed over whether Mayorkas was lying, Ortiz politely tried to sidestep the question in an apparent effort to not say anything negative about his boss.
🚨🚨: Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz just told @RepMarkGreen that DHS *does not* have operational control of the southern border.
This is huge, because Secretary Mayorkas recently said DHS did have operational control. Huge admission. pic.twitter.com/rDezfonqST
— John Cooper (@thejcoop) March 15, 2023
The hearing comes as the administration has seen a historic flood of millions of illegal immigrants pouring into the U.S. under its watch which is largely occurring because Biden’s policies are acting as magnets for the migrants and cartel smugglers.
The New York Times reported last year that the Mexican drug cartels went from making $500 million a year from human smuggling in 2018 to making $13 billion from human smuggling in 2022, a 2,500% increase.