U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz To Retire
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS - MAY 05: U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz attends a press conference on May 5, 2023 in Brownsville, Texas. Mayorkas was joined by U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, U.S. Border Patrol Acting Deputy Commissioner Benjamine "Carry" Huffman and Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol Chief Gloria Chavez to speak about the immigration and the Trump-era expulsion policy Title 42 that is set to end next week.
Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz will retire from his career as a federal officer after serving in the U.S. government for three decades.

Ortiz made the official announcement in an email sent to staff on Tuesday.

“After a 32-year Border Patrol career spanning multiple Sectors, HQ tours, and overseas assignments in Afghanistan, I have decided to retire from federal service on June 30th,” he wrote. “I have proudly served in the Armed Forces and across this country and enjoyed every opportunity I have had to work for and on behalf of the American people.”

Ortiz wrote that he can retire “at ease, knowing we have a tremendous uniformed and professional workforce, strong relationships with our union partners, and outstanding leaders who will continue to tirelessly advocate for you each day.”

“Throughout the years, my level of commitment to the mission and our great nation has never wavered,” he added. “Serving as your Chief has been one of the greatest honors and privileges I have had and please know I will always champion this agency, its mission, and the people who make the Border Patrol everything that it is.”

The announcement comes after years of the unrelenting border crisis that President Joe Biden unleashed on the U.S. southern border with a reversal of Trump-era policies that encouraged millions of migrants to enter the U.S. illegally.

Ortiz testified to Congress earlier this year that the Department of Homeland Security does not have operational control of the U.S. southern border under 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) questioning 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 that operational control used to be how officials measured whether or not they were being successful. He said that 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.

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