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TERENCE P. JEFFREY: Mayorkas, Biden And Our Unsecured Border

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There seems to be at least one impenetrable barrier connected to this country’s southwest border. It is the one that stands between Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and an accurate assessment of what is actually happening there.

In September 2020, the last month of that fiscal year, the Border Patrol encountered 54,771 aliens trying to illegally enter the United States across the southwest border. That brought the fiscal year 2020 total to 400,651, according to the numbers published by the Border Patrol.

In September 2021, the Border Patrol encountered 185,515 aliens trying to illegally cross the southwest border — bringing the fiscal 2021 total to 1,659,206.

That was more than four times the total for fiscal 2020.

One of the major events of fiscal 2021 took place on Jan. 20, 2021–when Joe Biden succeeded Donald Trump as president.

On Sept. 21, 2021, Mayorkas testified in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security. In that hearing, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin asked Mayorkas a yes-no question.

“You have repeatedly stated that our borders are not open, they are closed,” Johnson said. “Do you honestly believe that our borders are closed?”

“Senator, I do, and let me speak to that,” said Mayorkas.

Rather than let Mayorkas keep speaking, Johnson took a moment to contrast the situation at the border under Trump to the situation under Biden.

“We were serious about border security until your administration took office,” Johnson said. “You stood before this committee and said that you would enforce the laws. You have not done that.”

So, what happened to the flow of illegal immigrants that the Border Patrol encountered trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in the months after Mayorkas testified in September 2021 that the border was closed?

In fiscal year 2022, the number of illegal immigrants encountered by the Border Patrol at the southwest border climbed to 2,206,436 — more than five times the 400,651 encountered in 2020.

On Nov. 15, 2022, six weeks after fiscal 2022 ended, Mayorkas testified in the House Committee on Homeland Security. Republican Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina asked him: “Secretary Mayorkas, do you continue to maintain that the border is secure?”

“Yes,” said Mayorkas. “We are working day in and day out to enhance its security, Congressman.”

This apparently meant that “yes,” the border was already secure, but the Biden administration was working to make it even more secure.

What happened at the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal 2023? The Border Patrol encountered another 2,045,838 trying to illegally cross it. That, again, was more than five times the 400,651 encountered in fiscal 2020 — before Biden took office.

In the first four months of this fiscal year — October through January — the Border Patrol has encountered 753,824 aliens trying to illegally cross the southwest border. If that rate persists, the Border Patrol will once again encounter more than 2 million illegal border crossers in fiscal 2024.

On July 26, 2023, Mayorkas testified in the House Judiciary Committee. “I am immensely proud to be here to discuss the work of the United States Department of Homeland Security,” he told the committee in his written statement. Then, under questioning from Republican Rep. Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin, Mayorkas declared: “Congressman, we are very proud of our efforts to secure the border.”

While Mayorkas claims to be proud of the efforts his department has made to secure the southern border, those efforts — according to the data published by his own department — have inspired a five-fold increase in the number of people the Border Patrol encounters trying to illegally cross that border.

On Feb. 13, the House of Representatives moved by a one-vote margin (214-213) to approve two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas. The second article said in part: “Alejandro N. Mayorkas knowingly made false statements to Congress that the border is ‘secure,’ that the border is ‘no less secure than it was previously,’ that the border is ‘closed,’ and that DHS has ‘operational control’ of the border (as that term is defined in the Secure Fence Act of 2006).”

President Biden himself, it turns out, did not agree with his Homeland Security secretary’s assessment that the border was secure.

On Jan. 19, Fox News correspondent Jacqui Heinrich asked Biden: “What do you say to House Republicans who are trying to impeach Mayorkas, sir?”

“I don’t get it,” said Biden.

Heinrich then asked: “Do you think it is unconstitutional? … And do you not think that the border is secure, sir?”

“No, it is not,” Biden responded. “I haven’t believed it for the last 10 years. And I’ve said it for the last 10 years. Give me the money.”

Perhaps Biden should have hired a Homeland Security secretary who agreed with his assessment that the border is not secure.

Terence P. Jeffrey is the investigative editor of the Daily Caller News Foundation. To find out more about Terence P. Jeffrey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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