Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz has admitted to the House Homeland Security Committee that the United States does not have operational control of its entire border. That’s in direct contradiction to statements by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Katelyn Caralle reports for The Daily Mail:
Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz directly contradicted Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday by telling Congress that the federal government does not have operational control of the border.
Mayorkas, who Republicans want to impeach, has repeatedly said that the administration has control at the southern border, despite a two-year crisis with record-breaking numbers of illegal crossings every month since President Joe Biden took office.
The testimony from Ortiz before the House Homeland Security panel comes just days after a group of at least 1,000 migrants attempted to rush the El Paso, Texas port of entry directly across from Juarez, Mexico.
Ortiz also took responsibility for the September 2021 controversy surrounding images of horseback border agents using whips to corral migrants at the border – and reiterated the importance of the horseback unit.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green pointedly asked Ortiz during a hearing Wednesday: ‘Does DHS have operational control of our entire border?’
‘No, sir,’ Ortiz replied.
Operation Control is the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States at any border, according to the Secure Fence Act of 2007.
Republicans claim that the southern border crisis is by design, claiming that Biden, Mayorkas and the Democrats do not want to enforce immigration laws and want to nix the idea that the U.S. has secure borders.
During his opening statement, Ortiz backed the agents who were falsely accused by Democrats, including President Biden, of whipping Haitian migrants during an encounter at the border in 2021.
‘As a former horse patrol agent, I can attest to how vital horse patrol units are in responding to remote and harsh locations. Last year’s mass migration event in Del Rio was chaotic. We have over 20,000 people show up in one place in a short period of time,’ Ortiz recollected.
‘I remain proud of the work of our horse patrol units and what we did in Del Rio,’ he added.
‘As the chief of the border patrol, I am ultimately responsible for all operational decisions,’ Ortiz said. ‘To that point, and as a senior field commander during that response, I accepted and continue to accept full responsibility for the actions taken.’
Images emerged in 2021 showing horse-back agents wielding reins as they tried to corral migrants when a caravan arrived in Del Rio, Texas. Democrats, progressive and immigration activists immediately jumped on the misleading and damning images, claiming that these agents were whipping migrants.
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