Chairman Green in the Washington Examiner: “Secretary Mayorkas Refuses to Secure the Border, But the House Homeland Security Committee Has a Plan”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) penned an op-ed in the Washington Examiner on the unprecedented crisis at our Southwest Border orchestrated by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ refusal to enforce our nation’s laws and the House Republican solution, led by this Committee, that will address this crisis, support the crucial mission of our Border Patrol agents, and defend our nation’s sovereign borders. Read the full op-ed below.
Secretary Mayorkas refuses to secure the border, but the House Homeland Security Committee has a plan
By Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security Mark Green (R-TN)
Our country is facing one of the greatest threats to U.S. homeland security in our history, and the mass devastation communities all across the country are facing rests squarely on the shoulders of Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. He has failed to fulfill his duties as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and as a result, people are suffering.
In just two years of the Biden administration’s failed leadership, our southwest border has experienced a staggering 4.8 million encounters , which is more than a 147% increase from Donald Trump’s entire presidency.
Even Obama Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson acknowledged that more than 1,000 crossings per day indicates a loss of operational control. Under Mayorkas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is encountering upward of 8,000 immigrants every day. It’s no surprise that human smuggling has become a $13 billion business for criminal cartels in Mexico.
This crisis is no longer a distant reality for millions of people in America. It’s in their backyards, for some, literally. Ranchers, farmers, and property owners who live near the southwest border are continually confronted with immigrants, human traffickers, and drug cartels trespassing on their property.
In fact, a Texas landowner told Homeland Security Committee Republicans that one rancher on the southwest border faced upward of $200,000 in property damage caused by illegal border trespassers, and the growing danger has led to many farmers and ranchers moving their primary residence off their own land.
For other people, the consequences of this border crisis have made their way into their homes. In 2021, a record number of our sons’ and daughters ’ lives were taken by opioid overdoses, the majority of which were caused by illicit fentanyl poisoning. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Mexican transnational criminal organizations are the greatest drug trafficking threat to the public.
These cartels have gained operational control of our southwest border and a significant portion of the U.S. drug market by establishing diverse transportation routes and advanced communications capabilities throughout the United States. Currently, most of our nation’s illicit fentanyl is smuggled across our border by cartels.
Due to Mayorkas’s dereliction of duty, nearly 100 people on the terrorist watchlist were apprehended attempting to cross our southwest border between ports of entry illegally last fiscal year, more than the previous five fiscal years combined. With known ‘gotaways’ at over 1.3 million and counting under this administration, there is no telling how many suspected terrorists could be slipping through the cracks undetected and undeterred, making their way into the interior of the U.S.
Yet last year, Mayorkas boldly claimed before the Homeland Security Committee and before the public that the border was “ secure ” and he has maintained “ operational control .” Mayorkas is either incompetent or lying. We learned as much from Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz during our field hearing this month when he confirmed for me that the U.S. does not have operational control of our southwest border .
While Mayorkas may lie, the numbers do not. The operational control Mayorkas claimed before Congress was never actually there and certainly is not there now.
Since the very beginning, the Biden administration has failed to enforce the laws of our country and instead worked to end commonsense border enforcement strategies — including Title 42, “Remain in Mexico,” and the construction of the border wall — and return to dangerous catch-and-release policies.
While arrests of illegal aliens by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement doubled last year compared to 2021, deportations remained historically low for the second year in a row.
Rather than secure the border, the Biden administration has relocated immigrants to other locations across the country, including Tennessee , in order to cover up the mayhem at the border. This reckless policy has caught local law enforcement off guard, placed a significant strain on community resources, and only further incentivized illegal immigration.
For the last two years, the public has been ignored by the Democratic leadership in Washington, but not anymore. Last week, our committee left Washington to meet those on the precipice of this crisis where they are — at our southwest border.
During our first field hearing in Pharr, Texas, we clearly outlined how the crisis at the southwest border was orchestrated by Mayorkas himself. His blatant refusal to enforce the laws of our country and eradication of policies that secured our sovereign borders are the cause of this crisis — pure and simple.
We look forward to leading the House Republican solution to address the unprecedented crisis at our southwest border. We are working diligently to develop thoughtful legislation that supports our Border Patrol agents and secures our sovereign borders. This legislation will reflect a deep understanding of the ins and outs of the dire problems at the border and the policy changes required to address this crisis effectively. There are no quick fixes, and we intend to propose legislation that offers long-term, workable solutions.
Inaction is not an option. The Biden-Mayorkas border crisis has turned every state into a border state. Our legislation will make clear that our sovereign borders are not a mere suggestion; they are defended, and they are protected. This border crisis is the single most immediate threat to our homeland security. It cannot be ignored or shoved under the rug.
While President Joe Biden and Mayorkas refuse to address this crisis, the House Homeland Security Committee is just getting started.