NEW: Homeland Majority Releases Second Interim Report on How Secretary Mayorkas’ Open-Border Policies Have Empowered Cartels and Undermined National Security
September 7, 2023
“The cartels’ operations at the border and in communities across the country have meant more crime, more families ripped apart by addiction, and more vulnerable people exploited and abused.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security Majority, led by Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN), released its interim report on the second phase of the Committee’s comprehensive oversight investigation into the crisis at the Southwest border and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ dereliction of duty in handling the crisis. This report examines how cartels in Mexico have seized unprecedented control at the Southwest border to smuggle illegal aliens, criminals, suspected terrorists, and deadly fentanyl and other drugs into the United States, taking advantage of Mayorkas and President Joe Biden’s reckless open-border policies and their refusal to enforce immigration laws passed by Congress.
“For more than two years, the chaos at the Southwest border caused by President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas’ reckless open-borders policies have endangered the lives and livelihoods of Americans across this country while also threatening our homeland security,” Chairman Green said. “This damning report emphasizes how Secretary Mayorkas’ refusal to enforce the laws passed by Congress have given cartels a historic business opportunity, allowing them to rake in billions of dollars from historic levels of human smuggling and trafficking, as well as the trafficking of deadly drugs like fentanyl into our communities. It’s time to stop subsidizing cartel crime. This secretary’s dereliction of duty is on full display in the cartels’ unprecedented control of the Southwest border and operations inside the United States. Homeland Republicans will keep working until we provide answers and accountability on behalf of the American people.”
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The report documents how the Biden-Mayorkas policies have encouraged millions of illegal aliens to make the journey to the Southwest border, representing a historic business opportunity for the cartels, who control the land routes to the border and demand payment in order to cross into the United States. Thousands of agents have been pulled off the border-security mission to process, transport, and release these illegal aliens into the country.
The cartels continue to use mass groups of illegal aliens to overwhelm Border Patrol agents in one location, and as those agents are responding, flood other groups of aliens, as well as narcotics, through the zones agents have vacated. This tactic was confirmed to Committee staff by multiple Border Patrol agents in transcribed interviews throughout the spring and summer.
The report also documents how transnational gangs like MS-13 are taking advantage of Mayorkas’ policies, the historic number of individuals on the terror watchlist that have been apprehended illegally crossing the Southwest border on Mayorkas’ watch, the release of potential national security threats into the United States by overworked law enforcement, and the shifting of federal law enforcement from their regular duties to assisting with the crisis at the Southwest border.
In the report, the Committee states, “Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ open-borders policies have empowered and emboldened some of the most vicious, ruthless, and savage individuals and groups in the world. Whether it is transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) like the cartels and human smuggling organizations in the Western Hemisphere, potential national security threats from countries who sponsor terrorism, or those coming from major state adversaries like China and Russia, the wide-open Southwest border has given America’s enemies all over the globe an opportunity to infiltrate the homeland—an opportunity too good to pass up.”
Read the full interim report here. Read the interim report on the first phase of the investigation, covering Mayorkas’ dereliction of duty, here.
To examine cartel control of the Southwest border, the Committee held a full Committee hearing in July 2023, in which Members received confirmation that Biden and Mayorkas’ reckless open-border policies, such as ending ‘Remain in Mexico,’ refusing to finish the border wall system, implementing mass catch and release, and releasing millions of illegal aliens into the country on parole rather than detaining or removing them, have facilitated the business model of cartels and other transnational criminal groups operating at the Southwest border and increasingly throughout American communities.
In July, the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security and Enforcement, led by Chairman Clay Higgins (R-LA), held a hearing with Biden administration witnesses to examine the role of TCOs, particularly Mexican drug cartels, in trafficking illicit fentanyl into the United States. In the hearing, witnesses confirmed that TCOs in Mexico are successfully smuggling mass quantities of deadly, illicit fentanyl past Border Patrol agents and CBP officers and into the United States. Not only are cartels smuggling on land, but they are now trafficking fentanyl and other drugs using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, to do so.
In August, Chairman Green sent a letter to Mayorkas, in which he demanded answers on possible failures in intra-agency intelligence sharing following the secretary’s admission before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was unaware of cartels’ use of wristbands to track those being smuggled across the Southwest border. The letter requested any communications, intelligence products, briefings, and media reports on the topic shared internally.