Border patrol head admits DHS not in operational control of border

 March 16, 2023

Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz admitted during House testimony on Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security is not in operational control of the border because it cannot prevent all attempts by migrants to cross the border illegally. 

House Homeland Security Chair Mark Green (R-TN) asked Ortiz whether the current operation of the agency at the border met the definition for operational control from 2006, when it was originally crafted.

Green presented that definition on a poster to Ortiz, which included being able to prevent all "unlawful entries."

“Based upon the definition you have, sir, up there, no,” Ortiz replied.

Exposing border failures

Ortiz's testimony contradicts DHS Secretary Alexandro Mayorkas's testimony in 2022 that DHS did have operational control of the border.

This is part of why Republicans want to impeach Mayorkas, because he is not being honest about conditions on the border and has not acted to secure it.

The House Homeland Security Committee is investigating “the direct link between President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas’ reckless border policies and the unprecedented crisis at our Southwest border,” and Ortiz's testimony is part of that inquiry.

The hearing took place in McAllen, Texas, and House Democrats boycotted it.

Challenges and crisis

The current border situation “represents challenges, and in some areas, a crisis situation,” Ortiz further said.

“Now, unlike in previous surges, we are seeing traffic including large groups, spread across multiple locations, instead of just one or two specific sectors,” Ortiz said, according to Roll Call. “This places tremendous strain on Border Patrol resources and our operational posture.”

Ortiz also said the agency was short-staffed, with only 19,000 agents when it should have 22,000.

He also reported that 1.5 million "gotaways" have made it across the border without being stopped since Biden took office, along with 4.5 million that were encountered by Border Patrol in some way. These numbers are astronomical compared to previous administrations.

The endgame

It's pretty clear that Mayorkas and Biden are failing miserably on the border, leaving Border Patrol agents like Ortiz to deal with an unprecedented wave of illegal immigrants without the resources they need to do so.

By the time Republicans are able to stop it, though, there will be millions more illegal immigrants living in the U.S. that Democrats will fight hard to legalize in order to grow their voter base. Whether Democrats deliberately flooded the border or just decided to take advantage of it, they're playing a long game and won't stop until they get what they want.

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