Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX) laid into Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas during a Thursday hearing, repeatedly disputing his claim that the United States had “operational control” of the southern border.
Roy pressed Mayorkas on the number of illegal immigrants who were in the United States, arguing that based on the legal definition and the number of illegal immigrants who remained in the country unchecked, it was dishonest to suggest that the Biden administration had any control over the border.
.@RepChipRoy goes NUCLEAR on DHS Secretary Mayorkas when he claims that the United States has "operational control" over the southern border.
Chairman Nadler then accuses Rep. Roy of "slandering" Secretary Mayorkas. pic.twitter.com/o2L4rCqrTD
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 28, 2022
“Mr Secretary, there have been over one million individuals put into proceedings or released into the United States on your watch,” Roy began, noting that he had asked border patrol personnel whether an increase to their budget might have an impact on that number.
He went on to say that everyone he spoke to said the number of people released into the country were the direct result of the administration’s policy, not a lack of adequate funding.
Roy then turned the question to Mayorkas, asking whether he believed the number of illegal immigrants released into the country would go up or down with a budget increase.
“Would the number of people being released into the United States under current law, would it go down no matter how much you increased your budget?” he asked. “It would not, as they said. Do you agree, yes or no?”
“Congressman, if I understand your question correctly, when individuals are in the United States and they make a claim for asylum —” Mayorkas replied.
“The number would not go down, is the answer, right? Yes or no? That’s what they said, and I think you’ve just answered, it would not go down,” Roy repeated. “The only plan that you offer, the plan you just offered, is to process aliens faster and encourage more to come.”
“We know that to be true. I know it’s true, you know it’s true, cartels know it’s true, and people around the world know it’s true, and that’s why people are coming,” Roy continued.
“That’s false,” Mayorkas objected, but Roy pushed back, saying that it wasn’t false and adding, “The entirety of your plan says that.”
“The Secure Fence Act of 2006 says what?” Roy asked then. “That the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take all actions the secretary determines necessary to achieve and maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders. Will you testify under oath, right now, do we have operational control, yes or no?”
“Yes, we do,” Mayorkas replied.
“We have operational control of the border?” Roy repeated.
“Yes, we do, and Congressman, we are working to —” Mayorkas tried again.
“Listen to what — operational control defined,” Roy continued. “In this section, the term ‘operational control’ means the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband. Do you stand by your testimony that we have operational control in light of this definition?”
Mayorkas attempted a pivot to blame the problem on the previous administration, arguing that the DHS Secretary in 2020 would probably have also claimed to have operational control of the border.
“The secretary would have at least had a basis for saying that we have some sort of control of the border,” Roy shot back, clearly referencing former President Donald Trump’s more stringent immigration policies.
He went on to note that, according to Mayorkas’ office, over 40 individuals on the terror watch list had been released into the United States and were unaccounted for.
Roy concluded by showing a series of photos of Americans who had died as a result of fentanyl coming across the border illegally, and he was still showing the photos when Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) interrupted to inform him that his time had expired.
“The time of the gentleman has expired, he no longer has time to slander the secretary,” Nadler said before moving on.