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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Media Highlights of Homeland Security Republicans’ Bombshell Border Hearing

March 18, 2023

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Media Highlights of Homeland Security Republicans’ Bombshell Border Hearing

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, the House Committee on Homeland Security hosted a bombshell field hearing in Pharr, Texas, unequivocally placing the blame for our historic border crisis at the feet of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas. In the hearing, the Members received confirmation from U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz and other crucial witnesses that our Southwest border is not “secure,” and they do not have “operational control”—all because of Secretary Mayorkas and President Biden’s refusal to enforce the laws on the books.

Here is what the media is saying:

WATCH: Fox News’ America Reports:
“Members of the committee also asked Border Patrol Chief Ortiz what his thoughts are as to what is the root cause of this issue. He appeared to admit at certain times that it was the new policies the Biden Administration came into office with. In terms of being more welcoming to migrants at the border and reversing the Trump policies. The chief also said he needs a lot more agents out in the field. […] Last time the Democrats and the Judiciary Committee held a field hearing it was in the Yuma Sector. Democrats said you’re not talking to any federal official, this is a dog and pony show, we’re not showing up. You have the Chief of the Border Patrol there and they’re still not showing up. The U.S. Border Chief is there, and no Democrats showed up.”

WATCH: KRGV ABC 5 Rio Grande Valley:
“Facing criticism of the White House and his parent agency, DHS, Ortiz says his agency needs deterrents and protocols. […] During this hearing Ortiz split with the White House policies, expressing his own recommendations. ‘We tore down perfectly good infrastructure in some areas that we should’ve just left alone – Del Rio was a good example of that.’ […] Also invited to attend and speak, though not a Member of the Committee, local Representative Monica De La Cruz.”

WATCH: Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight:
“Joe Biden’s DHS Secretary told us repeatedly the border is completely secure. Now, the Chief of the Border Patrol just contradicted that. […] It is a quadruple blow to the Biden administration, because Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz defied DHS Secretary Alejandro Ortiz and President Biden. […] Chief Ortiz also said the border is not secure, he defended horseback agents, who President Biden accused of whipping Haitian migrants, and then he offered a final spike in the heart by simultaneously coming after this administration and supporting the previous administration, saying it was a mistake to stop building the wall.”

TOWNHALL: Mark Green Exposes Alejandro Mayorkas With One Question to Border Patrol Chief 
“Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-TN) began his line of questioning during Wednesday’s field hearing about the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border by asking Chief of the Border Patrol Raul Ortiz if the U.S. has operational control of the border. “Does DHS have operational control of our entire border?” Green asked. “No, sir,” Ortiz responded. Green then played video of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifying to Congress the U.S. does have operational control of the border. Afterwards, Green asked Ortiz if Mayorkas was lying, which Ortiz did not answer directly. Green even provided the definition of “operational control” to Ortiz and while he agreed the U.S. does not have operational control of the border, he would not say if Mayorkas was lying.”


FOX NEWS: Border Patrol chief says DHS doesn’t have operational control of US border
“The head of the U.S. Border Patrol on Wednesday told lawmakers the agency does not have operational control of the U.S. southern border — as he also said that migration levels were at ‘crisis’ levels in parts of the border. […] The hearing is being held “to examine the direct link between President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas’ reckless border policies and the unprecedented crisis at our Southwest border” and is one of a number of hearings and visits being held at the border itself after Republicans have promised to hold in-person border hearings.”

THE DAILY SIGNAL: We Are Under Siege,’ Texas Sheriff Says of Border Crisis
“Kinney County, Texas, is “under siege by illegal aliens and smugglers,” Sheriff Brad Coe testified Wednesday during a House committee hearing. ‘The number of migrants seen on game cameras … , we’re averaging between 160 and 180 people per night that are going through the county unchallenged,’ Coe said during the Homeland Security Committee’s hearing in McAllen, Texas. ‘That comes out to roughly 60,000 people entered through my county this year,’ Coe added during the hearing, which committee Democrats refused to attend. […] In fiscal year 2022, Chris Cabrera, vice president of the union called the National Border Patrol Council, testified that about a million illegal aliens were ‘released into this country under either a notice to appear or paroled.’”


CNNBorder chief disputes DHS has ‘operational control’ of the entire US southern border
“US Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz on Wednesday said the US does not have ‘operational control’ of the southern border, contradicting a stance previously taken by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Mayorkas has previously maintained in testimony before lawmakers that the department has operational control of the border, though he’s been more ambiguous in interviews, citing the statutory definition and saying he’s trying to ‘achieve it.’ Mayorkas has often served as the focus of Republicans’ criticism of the Biden administration’s handling of border security.”

WASHINGTON FREE BEACON: Democrats Boycott Congressional Trip to Texas Border
“All minority party members decided to skip the hearing despite having chosen their own witness to attend the panel, claiming Republicans planned to “politicize” the event. [….] President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who is in charge of mitigating the border crisis, both made trips to Arizona in December and January, respectively, but chose not to visit the southern border. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee last month boycotted a field hearing in Arizona meant to address the fentanyl epidemic and humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. More than 5.5 million migrants have crossed the southern border since Biden took office. Many officials attribute the country’s fentanyl epidemic to the crisis at the border.”


AMERICAN MILITARY NEWS: Video: Border Patrol chief testifies DHS does not have ‘operational control’ over US border
“When Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) asked Ortiz during a congressional hearing if the Department of Homeland Security has “operational control of our entire border,” Ortiz replied, “No, sir.” The admission came Wednesday during a House Homeland Security Committee meeting and contradicted a recent statement by Ortiz’s superior, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. […] The diverging answers from the nation’s top border officials comes amid record migration across the southern border, with Customs and Border Protection reporting migrant encounters there at rates not seen in 20 years, as reported by Pew Research Center.”

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Border chief contradicts DHS Secretary Mayorkas in Congressional testimony
“U. S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz testified Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t have operational control of the border and Mexican cartels control perimeters along it. […] When asked by Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., “Does DHS have operational control of the entire southwest border?” Ortiz replied, “No sir.” His testimony was consistent with testimony he gave last August in a Florida lawsuit when he said there was “currently a crisis” at the border. Ortiz’s testimony conflicted with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ testimony before Congress last April. When asked by Texas Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, if he would testify under oath “do we have operational control [of the border] yes or no?” Mayorkas replied, “Yes we do.”

FOX NEWS: Homeland Republicans to turn up the heat on Mayorkas after Border Patrol chief’s ‘earth-shattering’ testimony
“Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee are looking to turn up the heat on DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in the wake of bombshell testimony from Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz that the chairman of the committee described as “earth-shattering.” […] Ortiz told lawmakers that he disagreed with President Biden’s call to stop wall construction, said there were policies in place that were holding agents back from doing their job, and backed agents who had falsely been accused of whipping Haitian migrants. But the takeaway from lawmakers was Ortiz’s statement that the U.S. does not have operational control of the border – a statement that contradicted what Mayorkas told lawmakers last year – and that multiple sectors were overwhelmed by the historic migrant flows being encountered.” 


NEWS NATION NOW: Border Patrol understaffed and struggling: Texas officials
“The hearing was held to examine if there is a link between Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas‘ border policies and an increase in undocumented migrants crossing the southern border, according to the committee. U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz testified that the border has seen more than 9,000 migrant encounters so far this year. He also testified that he is worried about the well-being of Border Patrol agents, saying that 17 CBP agents died by suicide in 2022.”

ONE AMERICA NEWS NETWORK: Border Hearing In Texas With GOP House Reps
“Representative Mark Green (R-Tenn.), the chair of the committee, blamed the current administration for violating laws that were written by Congress and signed by former President Donald Trump. United States Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz testified before the committee early on Wednesday, refuting much of what Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has stated. Ortiz testified that the border in that area has seen over 9,000 migrant encounters this year. He went on to further express his concerns for his officers by pointing out that in 2022, 17 CBP officers had died by suicide. He also testified that the government does not have operational control over the border, contrary to what Secretary Mayorkas has previously claimed.”

FOX NEWS: Homeland Dems booked travel, called witnesses before pulling out of border hearing, Republicans say
“Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee said they would attend Wednesday morning’s in-person field hearing at the southern border — even going so far as to book their travel and call a witness — before pulling out of the hearing earlier this week, a GOP spokesperson tells Fox News.[…] Border crossings have skyrocketed under the Biden administration, with more than 1.7 million migrant crossings in FY 2021 and 2.3 million in FY 2022. FY 2023 is on track to outpace those numbers […] The controversy echoes a similar spat last month when the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing in-person in Yuma, Arizona only for Democrats to also pull out of that one as well — decrying it as a stunt. Democrats on that committee also claimed that they had not been consulted on the hearing — a claim that Republicans said was false.”


WASHINGTON TIMES: Border Patrol chief pleads for more agents, disagrees with Biden halting border wall construction
“Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz delivered a devastating picture of the border on Wednesday, telling lawmakers that a majority of sectors along the U.S.-Mexico boundaries are not secure and saying it was a mistake to stop wall construction. Chief Ortiz pleaded for Congress to give him more agents and asked for new tools to deliver “consequences” to migrants. He named the kinds of policies that the Trump administration had in place by 2020 but were erased by President Biden. Chief Ortiz revealed that some 385,000 illegal immigrants are known to have evaded Border Patrol agents so far this fiscal year, and he said up to 20% more have sneaked into the U.S. completely undetected.”

THE DAILY CALLER: Border Patrol Chief Says DHS Doesn’t Have ‘Operational Control’ Of The Southern Border
“Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz testified Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lacks “operational control” of the U.S.-Mexico border during a House Homeland Security Committee field hearing. Republican committee chair Mark Green asked Ortiz if DHS had “operational control” amid an influx of illegal migrants. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered more than 2.3 million migrants in fiscal year 2022 and more than 270,000 between October and January.”