‘What Changed?’: GOP Rep Presses Mayorkas On Why He Now Uses ‘Crisis’ To Describe Southern Border

(Screenshot / YouTube / Homeland Security Committee Events)

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Jake Smith Contributor
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House Homeland Security Committee Chair Mark Green pressed Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday on why he now refers to the situation at the southern border as a “crisis.”

Mayorkas had previously refused to refer to the surge of illegal immigration at the southern border as a “crisis,” but used the term for the first time under oath while testifying before Congress on Apr. 10. Green asked Mayorkas during a DHS budget review with the Homeland Security Committee what changed in his calculation. (RELATED: ‘That’s A Joke’: Biden’s Demand For More Border Agent Funding Misses The Point, Former CBP Commissioner Says)

“Let me ask you this question. Just recently, your last trip here, you actually admitted that there was a crisis at the southwest border. What changed?” Green asked Mayorkas.

“Nothing changed,” Mayorkas responded. “I have recognized the enormous challenge that the southern border presents ever since I began my tenure and actually well before that, when I served as a deputy secretary.”


Green then asked Mayorkas why he refused to use the term “crisis” during previous testimonies before the Homeland Security committee — instead often referring to it as “secure.”

“I have never minimized the challenge that the southern border presents,” Mayorkas told Green. “I didn’t minimize when I served as a federal prosecutor from 1989 to 2001.”

Mayorkas told The New York Times in early February that he is “not focused on the label that one appends to” the situation on the southern border,” but rather is “focused on the challenge that it is and what we can do about it.”

“The choice of language has become a proxy for the politics of the issue … Whatever we call it does not change what we are experiencing, and the challenge that it is,” he told the outlet.

Mayorkas later referred to the situation at the southern border as a “crisis” nearly two weeks later in an interview with NBC News.

“It certainly is a crisis, and, well, we don’t bear responsibility for a broken system,” Mayorkas told NBC News on Feb. 11. “And we’re doing a tremendous amount within that broken system.”

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