Mayorkas' Uses His Magical Math Once Again...

By Jennifer Wentworth | Wednesday, 17 April 2024 10:15 PM
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In a recent hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asserted that the U.S.-Mexico border is as secure as it can be given the resources and funding available. This statement comes amidst allegations that Mayorkas had previously admitted to over 85% of migrants apprehended at the southern border being released into the U.S., a claim he denies.

Mayorkas, made his first appearance before the committee since his impeachment. The 64-year-old Secretary was impeached by House Republicans in February for providing what they deemed as misleading testimony about U.S. border security and failing to enforce immigration law since President Biden took office in January 2021.

According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics, more than 9 million migrants have been apprehended illegally crossing into the U.S. since then, with over 7.5 million of those encounters occurring on the southern border. This figure does not include an additional 1.8 million known "gotaways" who were not apprehended upon entering the country.

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National Border Patrol Council president Brandon Judd confirmed that he was present during a January meeting where Mayorkas allegedly stated that "higher than 85%" of those migrants are later released into the U.S.. This claim was also corroborated by three Border Patrol sources present at the meeting, as reported by Fox News.

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However, Mayorkas denies recalling such an exchange, assuring Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.) that the security of the southern border is their highest priority. This comes amidst a record-breaking backlog of over 3 million court hearings for asylum seekers, with some scheduling appearances as far in advance as 2035 and many not showing up to subsequent hearings after obtaining work permits.

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Judd accused Mayorkas of dereliction of duty for failing to deport those who do not appear for their follow-up immigration hearings. "Once they've been ordered [to be] deported, they must be removed — and he's not doing that," Judd said.

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CBP data reveals that at least 159 migrants encountered at ports of entry nationwide, and another 76 caught between those ports since October 1 have suspected ties to terrorism. Recent reports have revealed how these potentially dangerous border crossers are being released into the country.

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When asked by Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) whether people on the U.S. terror watchlist were still "at large" or had been apprehended, Mayorkas refused to answer directly. Instead, he reiterated that the safety and security of the American people is their highest priority.

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Mayorkas also faced criticism during the budget hearing for reducing beds in detention spaces for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and not deploying enough Border Patrol agents to apprehend migrants. Homeland Security Committee chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.), who led the drive to impeach Mayorkas, accused the Secretary of doubling down on his actions and directives.

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Despite pressure from House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Republicans to hold Mayorkas accountable, Senate Democrats are expected to dismiss the secretary’s trial. Johnson described the border situation under the Biden administration as a catastrophe and called for Mayorkas' removal from office.

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Democrats, including Homeland Security Committee ranking member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), have dismissed the impeachment push as a "partisan stunt." They have joined with Biden and Mayorkas to call for the passage of a $118 billion bipartisan border security bill that Republicans rejected in February. The Senate legislation failed to gain enough procedural votes under bipartisan opposition, with congressional Republicans leading the charge against it and former President Donald Trump decrying it as a "great gift to the Democrats."

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