United States Customs and Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz undercut his boss during stunning congressional testimony, contradicting embattled Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by telling lawmakers that the federal government doesn’t have “operational control” of the nation’s southern border, the site of an ongoing illegal immigration catastrophe that was dramatically worsened under the Biden administration.
On Wednesday, Ortiz appeared before the House Homeland Security Committee where his frank answers to questions from committee members raised eyebrows and confirmed the suspicions of many that despite the insistence of Mayorkas and other Democratic Party loyalists, the situation on the ground is badly deteriorating as was made evident when over a thousand migrants stormed a bridge connecting the U.S. to Mexico in El Paso earlier this week.
“No sir,” answered the CBP chief when asked by Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) who chairs the committee whether the Department of Homeland Security has “operational control” of the entire border, a shockingly honest assessment of the ongoing border crisis that flies in the face of Mayorkas’ insistence to the contrary.
(Video: The Daily Mail)
Chairman Green then went to the official definition of operational control according to the actual code which states, “the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband,” as well as a clip of Secretary Mayorkas telling Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) that the government had operational control over the border, a statement made under oath.
After being pressed by Green as to whether Mayorkas was lying, Ortiz stated that based upon the definition, there is no operational control of the border while stopping short of actually stating that his boss was a liar.
In his opening statement, Chief Ortiz defended the CBP agents who were falsely accused by Democrats and the media – including President Joe Biden – of whipping Haitian migrants in 2021, one of the many of the dastardly fibs that have been made by the regime and its toadies in the press.
“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 recalled. “I remain proud of the work of our horse patrol units and what we did in Del Rio.”
The racial arsonist in chief conjured dark images of slavery when he spoke of the migrants being “strapped” which in actuality was just the innocent twirling of the reins, but the horseback agents were subjected to a national campaign of hate and lies.
"I take responsibility. I'm president. It was horrible to see. To see people treated like they did, horses nearly running them over, people being strapped. It's outrageous. I promise you those people will pay. There will be consequences." – @POTUS pic.twitter.com/eEkACYTuXm
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@KJP46) September 24, 2021
“As the chief of the border patrol, I am ultimately responsible for all operational decisions,” Ortiz added. “To that point, and as a senior field commander during that response, I accepted and continue to accept full responsibility for the actions taken.”
Also on Wednesday, Ortiz disagreed with the Biden administration’s halting of the construction of the border wall that was championed by former President Donald J. Trump.
“I do not believe in a wall from sea to shining sea, but I do believe in infrastructure and barrier systems in concentrated areas, especially urban areas,” Ortiz told Republican Rep. Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma. “And it’s always been our practice, from 2006 when I was an agent in charge in West Texas to now. But I also don’t agree that we should tear down perfectly good barrier system to install something that is based upon requirements that we developed over the last few years.”
“Under the prior administration, we had 200-plus miles of wall appropriated and…President Biden by executive order shut that down,” Brecheen asked. “Do you disagree with his decision to shut down construction?”
“Yes, sir,” Ortiz replied.
The Department of Homeland Security said that the border security hearing “highlights the vital work the Department of Homeland Security does every day to enforce our laws, secure our border, and combat cartels and smugglers,” while noting that the testimony from Ortiz and others are evidence that “new programs, technology, and investments are making a real impact.”
“Despite inheriting a dismantled immigration system and facing unprecedented migration that is affecting nations throughout the Western Hemisphere, this administration has surged resources to the border, reducing the number of encounters between ports of entry, disrupting more smuggling operations than ever before, and interdicting more drugs in the last two years than had been stopped in the five years prior,” said a department spokesperson, according to Fox News.
“The Department welcomes input from Congress, and looks forward to working with members on legislative solutions for our broken immigration system, which Congress has not reformed for more than 40 years,” the DHS spox added.
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