Heated exchange on the Hill after Gaetz suggests Mayorkas get off his a** and do something

During a tense Congressional hearing on Thursday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Rep. Matt Gaetz got into it over the DHS’ inability to control the influx of illegal aliens and prevent their later commission of further crimes in the country.

The exchange occurred during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, which has already seen some sparring over the likely loss of “operational control” of the border upon Biden’s proposed revocation of Title 42. On Thursday, however, Mayorkas was grilled by Gaetz (R-Fla.) over whether he agreed that the DHS under his leadership has a historically low deportation rate.

“By decreasing by 48% the number of criminals you arrest, by deporting 63% fewer convicted criminals, you have the lowest deportation rate in the history of the department, right?”

“Your data, that you cite, is misleading,” Mayorkas replied.

That’s when Gaetz really got going.

“No, it’s your data,” he said.

“This is actually what your own agency is reporting, so do you think this might just be the case that one reason that we will encounter the highest number of illegal immigrations in our nation’s history, this month and next month, because everybody knows that even if they come here, even if they go through the removal procedures, even if a judge issues a final order, you still think there might be more due process, and you have no plan to remove them,” the Florida Republican continued.

“And then when I ask you what the plan is, you say ‘oh well, resources, I’ve got to make finite decisions,” Gaetz said. “I go back to my first question: how many ICE agents to remove the 1.2 million?”

“Uh, Congressman,” Mayorkas stammered, “I’d be pleased to provide you with a resourcing data, subsequent to this hearing, if I may…”

“And I think it’s telling,” Gaetz interrupted, “I think it’s telling that you’ve got plans for pronouns, and you got plans for misinformation, but when it comes to the plan to remove the people that have had due process, you don’t have one at all. Now 800,000 people have encountered your CBP agents, and those folks have been released into the country. Like, some of those people are going to commit crimes, aren’t they?”

After some hedging by Mayorkas, Gaetz asked the question again: “Will some of the 800,000 commit crimes, yes or no?”

“Uh, undoubtedly,” Mayorkas finally replied.

It was a response that set Gaetz off.

“Undoubtedly,” he said. “And so the Americans who are the victims of the crimes for the people that you release into the country are collateral damage that you are willing to accept in order to have our border function as a turnstile. And you’re willing to accept that collateral damage?”

“Congressman, I couldn’t disagree with you more,” Mayorkas said. “Uh, let me give you if I can some data, uh, that will actually…”

“More than the data,” Gaetz interjected, clearly impatient with the go-nowhere bureaucratese, “how about this: how did it feel to you when you went to the border and the Border Patrol agents turned their back on you?”

A visibly angry Mayorkas responded: “Uh, one, uh, Border Patrol agent turned his back on me and I addressed that as the leader of the Department of Homeland Security.”

Gaetz went on to mention that he thought Mayorkas was “actually a highly competent dude,” but that the “crisis” at the border was a result of deliberate policy rather than inadequate resources. He also observed that the DHS had more than enough tools and technology to “round [the criminal aliens] up like they were at the Capitol on January 6th, and deport every last one of them.”

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