Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Wednesday that he “respectfully” disagrees with Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz’s testimony about the U.S. Mexico border security situation.
Ortiz testified during a March hearing in McAllen, Texas, that five of nine southwest border sectors were “experiencing a higher level of flow than we have seen previously,” with Republican Mississippi Rep. Michael Guest interpreting him to mean that those sectors were not currently secure. Texas Rep. August Pfluger claimed during the House Homeland Security Committee’s Wednesday DHS budget hearing that Ortiz had “said that the border is not secure,” asking Mayorkas whether he disagreed.
“I respectfully do in that regard, Congressman,” Mayorkas responded. He has repeatedly claimed the border is secure. (RELATED: Sen. Rick Scott Grills Mayorkas On All The Times The Biden Admin Spread ‘Disinformation’)
Pfluger said none of his Democratic colleagues had attended the March hearing.
“Not a single border patrol agent that I’ve talked to in the past three years has said that they trust your leadership or have faith that you’re keeping our country secure,” he told Mayorkas.
The Wednesday hearing was attended by family members of Maria and Emilia Tambunga, who were struck and killed by an illegal migrant smuggler’s vehicle in a Texas border town, San Angelo Live reported. Pfluger asked Mayorkas to apologize to them, with the secretary subsequently saying, “Our heart breaks for your loss. Our heart breaks for the loss of all victims of criminal activity.”
“I look forward to the meeting with the Tambunga family and coming up with real solutions,” Pfluger said. “I hope that all of my Democratic colleagues will meet the Tambunga family and listen to their story, and understand the things that are happening in my state and in others because of these policies, and we have the answers right in front of us. I hope that every one of you will do that. You had the opportunity in McAllen, Texas, and it’s time to meet with them.”
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