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Chairman Green on Skyrocketing SW Border Encounters in August: Numbers Represent “Clear Dereliction of Duty”

September 22, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) issued the following statement today on the release of new monthly Southwest border encounter numbers by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In August, CBP recorded 232,972 encounters at the Southwest border—a 14% increase compared to last August. With one month remaining, encounters at the Southwest border in FY2023 have increased over 100% compared to all of FY2019.
“Just as former Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz and other border security professionals predicted, the slight decrease to 100,000 Border Patrol apprehensions in June—which were still well above crisis levels—has been completely reversed. Now we’re back to where we were before Title 42 expired. In fact, we are actually in a worse place, because Secretary Mayorkas implemented a host of mass parole policies encouraging people who would otherwise have no right to enter the United States to flood our legal ports of entry. What do these numbers represent if not Secretary Mayorkas’ clear dereliction of duty? 
“Secretary Mayorkas did not hesitate to spike the football in June, and given his record of misleading Congress and the American people, I fully expect he will try to pull a similar PR stunt with these numbers. But don’t be fooled—cartel business is booming, and it will continue as long as Secretary Mayorkas insists on these radical open-borders policies. No amount of spin can change the fact that the American people are suffering the worst border crisis in our nation’s history. In fact, Secretary Mayorkas’ open-borders policies are actively undermining our homeland security and jeopardizing the safety of every American. 
“His policies are increasingly putting him and President Biden on an island. The American people overwhelmingly disapprove of the Biden administration’s handling of the border. Just this week, even Democratic members of our Committee acknowledged ‘the humanitarian crisis at the border,’ and the need to ‘address the cartels’ control of the border.’
“That’s why the Committee on Homeland Security has launched a comprehensive oversight investigation into Secretary Mayorkas’ dereliction of duty in his handling of the border crisis. This investigation has demonstrated a direct connection between his policies and the chaos enveloping our border and spreading into every community in this country. We will not stop until there is full accountability. 
“This administration could end this crisis by finishing the wall, ending catch-and-release, and reimplementing Remain in Mexico. But instead, President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas are doubling down not just on failed policies, but on policies that they know are harming the people they swore to protect.”