Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee are looking to turn up the heat on DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in the wake of bombshell testimony from Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz that the chairman of the committee described as "earth-shattering."
Ortiz had been the main witness at the committee’s field hearing in McAllen, Texas, on Wednesday and had bucked the administration on a number of issues. Ortiz told lawmakers that he disagreed with President Biden’s call to stop wall construction, said there were policies in place that were holding agents back from doing their job, and backed agents who had falsely been accused of whipping Haitian migrants.
But the takeaway from lawmakers was Ortiz’s statement that the U.S. does not have operational control of the border – a statement that contradicted what Mayorkas told lawmakers last year – and that multiple sectors were overwhelmed by the historic migrant flows being encountered.
"In five of those nine southwest border sectors, we have seen an increase in flow and that has caused a considerable strain on our resources and really has forced the Border Patrol to move so agents and even migrants to some of the other areas," he said in response to a question about the border being secure.