Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had a contentious meeting with border patrol agents, according to leaked audio.
President Joe Biden has overseen the largest influx of migrants from the southern border in decades, with 178,840 illegal crossings occurring in December 2021 alone — a level higher than the December totals from 2020, 2019, and 2018 combined.
On Wednesday, Mayorkas was forced to acknowledge before Yuma Sector agents that the border is “worse now than it, frankly, has been in at least 20 years, if not ever,” according to meeting audio obtained by Townhall reporter Julio Rosas.
“The job has not gotten any easier over the last few months and it was very, very difficult throughout 2021,” Mayorkas said. “I know apprehending families and kids is not what you signed up to do. And now we got a composition that is changing even more with Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, and the like, it just gets more difficult.”
“I know the policies of this administration are not particularly popular with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but that’s the reality and let’s see what we can do within that framework,” he continued.
According to Rosas, one agent ended up turning his back on Mayorkas:
An agent pressed Mayorkas on how DHS can reconcile saying border security is the main mission for Border Patrol, yet agents are unable to patrol the border due to the policies the Biden administration has in place. Border Patrol agents are being utilized to process the thousands of illegal immigrants.
Mayorkas said he appreciated “the candor” and explained he is working to ensure agents have the personnel, funding, and equipment they need to do their job. The agent replied they have been hearing that answer for years. According to sources present at the meeting and the audio recording, the agent who asked the question then turned his back on Mayorkas.
“Let me just say, you can turn your back on me but I won’t turn my back on you,” Mayorkas responded — at which point the agent said Mayorkas turned his back on the agents first.
Another agent noted that it has been “demoralizing” to see politicians “demonize” agents; Mayorkas reportedly responded that he understood the feeling of being demonized, as he and his family have experienced threats.
According to Rosas, meeting attendees said that Mayorkas was visibly upset.
Beyond the national security concerns raised by high levels of illegal immigration, President Biden has also overseen a surge in fentanyl imports. Between October 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021, the amount of fentanyl intercepted by federal law enforcement has increased to 11,201 pounds, up from 4,791 pounds the previous fiscal year.
In December 2021, a United States Drug Enforcement Administration investigation showed a “direct link between fentanyl-related overdose deaths and criminal drug networks in Mexico.”
“Mexican criminal drug networks are harnessing the perfect drug trafficking tool: social media applications that are available on every smartphone,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said. “They are using these platforms to flood our country with fentanyl. The ease with which drug dealers can operate on social media and other popular smartphone apps is fueling our Nation’s unprecedented overdose epidemic.”