After United States Customs and Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz contradicted his boss, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, by telling a House committee the federal government doesn’t have “operational control” of the southern border, Rep. Chip Roy recalled Mayorkas’ patronizing tone when Roy asked him the same question.
Asked by Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, “Does THS have operation control of our entire border,” Ortiz answered succinctly, “No, sir.” Green then pointed out the actual definition of operational control per the U.S. Code: “The prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.”
Roy fired off a tweet at Mayorkas, snapping, “I recall I asked you that question under oath… and you smirked and said yes.”
CC: @SecMayorkas (I recall I asked you that question under oath… and you smirked and said “yes.”) https://t.co/ISTc4ySq6W
— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) March 16, 2023
Roy was referencing his blistering grilling of Mayorkas back in April 2022.
“There have been over one million plus individuals put into proceedings or released into the United States on your watch,” Roy began. “I’ve asked multiple Border Patrol personnel, not the union, mind you, that if we double, triple, quadruple that CPB budget, would that one million release go down, and they categorically said no, it would go up. Do you agree? Yes or no.”
“The only plan that you offered is to process aliens faster and encourage more to come,” Roy continued. “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.”
“That’s false,” Mayorkas declared.
“It’s not false,” Roy retorted. “Will you testify under oath right now, do we have operational control, yes or no.”
“Yes, we do,” Mayorkas answered.
Roy then cited the U.S. Code’s definition of operational control. Mayorkas then said his predecessors in 2019 and 2020 would have agreed there was operational control.
Roy fired back, “The Secretary would at least have had a basis for saying we had some sort of control of the border. But the fact is that we currently have people flowing across the border including dangerous narcotics and dangerous members of terrorists which your own agency sent a letter to my office after eight months, we were sent a letter saying there were 42 people on the terrorist watch list that are in the United States.”
“As you just said to Mr. (Jim) Jordan, you don’t even know where the hell they are! That’s what you’re saying is operational control?” Roy blasted.