Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz testified Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lacks “operational control” of the U.S.-Mexico border during a House Homeland Security Committee field hearing.
Republican committee chair Mark Green asked Ortiz if DHS had “operational control” amid an influx of illegal migrants. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered more than 2.3 million migrants in fiscal year 2022 and more than 270,000 between October and January.
“Does DHS have operational control of our entire border?” Green asked.
To which Ortiz responded: “No, sir.”
Green then played a clip of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifying that the department has “operational control” over the southern border.
“Chief Ortiz, do you think that Secretary Mayorkas is lying there?”
“Sir, when you talk about operational control, about ten years ago we used operational control as a measuring stick of our effectiveness along the southwest border. My new strategy is geared towards mission advantage,” Ortiz responded.
Green continued to press Ortiz on whether he found Mayorkas to be lying in his statement, but the border chief dodged the question.
“I didn’t see the rest of the testimony there, sir,” Ortiz said.
“It’s either ignorance or it’s lying,” Green said, adding that there’s been 1.3 million illegal migrants known to evade federal southern border authorities.
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