DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday said the Biden administration’s border policies have been successful, and gave himself an “A” for effort on border security.
During his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mayorkas also claimed that the Biden administration has more control over the border than the Trump administration did.
“I think rebuilding a broken immigration system, and rebuilding a dismantled one takes time, and we’re on the road to success,” he told Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) when asked if he thought the Biden regime’s border policies have been successful.
According to the New York Times, the nation has seen a record number of 1.7 million illegal border crossings over the past year, with trafficked unaccompanied minors making up 147,000 of that number. With two months left in the calendar year, DHS expects the number of illegal border crossings to surpass an unprecedented 2 million.
When asked if he thinks the nation is on “the right track,” Mayorkas replied, “I do.”
Graham then asked the DHS secretary to give himself a grade.
“Senator, I’m a tough grader on myself, and I give myself an “A” for effort and investment in mission, and support of our workforce,” Mayorkas replied.
When asked if he thinks the Biden administration is doing a better job than the Trump administration on border security, the Homeland Security chief first attempted to skirt the question.
“I believe in the policies that we are putting forward and I condemn a number of the policies that were promulgated in the prior administration,” he told Graham.
“So you think we have more control over the border now than we did under Trump?” Graham pressed.
“I think we have more control that is consistent with our values as a nation,” Mayorkas replied.
Biden’s DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas falsely claims “we have more control” over the border than in previous administrations. pic.twitter.com/Fmxt0ERn9h
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 16, 2021
Graham went on to ask Mayorkas how many of the 1.7 million individuals who crossed the border illegally into the United States thus far in 2020, are still here.
The DHS secretary said that there are approximately 375,000 illegal aliens remaining in the country.
Sen. Cruz took the opportunity to challenge Mayorkas on some of his answers, including his repeated assertion that the immigration was fundamentally broken under former president Trump.
“True or false, under President Trump we saw the lowest rate of illegal immigration in 45 years,” he asked.
Mayorkas said he didn’t know the exact numbers, but admitted that there was a very low rate of illegal immigration in 2020, and added that in 2019, the numbers were very high.
“This year, under Joe Biden, we’ve seen the highest rate of illegal immigration this nation has seen in 61 years,” Cruz continued.
Mayorkas admitted that the nation this year has seen “an historic high” number of illegal border crossers.
“So you’re right, it’s broken—but you broke it,” Cruz declared.
The Texas senator went on to ask Mayorkas how many “got aways” there have been, and how many migrants have died this year while trying to cross the border illegally into the United States, But the Homeland Security chief said he didn’t have those numbers.
In previous testimony, Mayorkas has stated that illegal aliens who fail to report to immigration officials were an “enforcement priority,” but leaked ICE documents now suggest that it is decidedly not.
Cruz grew frustrated by the DHS secretary’s failure to answer basic questions about the immigration crisis.
“How about this? How many children have been in the Biden cages in calendar year 2021?” Cruz demanded.
Mayorkas objected to the senator’s terminology, but Cruz stood his ground.
“I’ve been to the Biden cages, I’ve seen the Biden cages,” Cruz declared. “How many children have you detained in the Donna facility in the cages you built to hold kids?”
The senator was referring to the overflow facility in Donna, Texas, where thousands of men, women, and children are packed like sardines into nightmarish “pods” until the government’s longer-term child shelters and family detention facilities are available.
How many children have been in those cages?” Cruz demanded.
Mayorkas answered that he was “unfamiliar” with the term “cages,” and pretended to have no idea what the senator was talking about.
“Enclosures in which they are locked in—in which I took photographs and put them out because you blocked the press and didn’t want the people to see the Biden cages—the secure facilities in which they are locked down in Donna,” Cruz specified impatiently, demanding again to know how many kids had been put in the Donna facilities.
Mayorkas attempted to obfuscate again by talking about the types of facilities the government uses, but Cruz interrupted him.
“The Donna facility,” he repeated. “How many kids have been there?”
The DHS said he would have to “circle back” with an answer to that question, as well.
A member of Cruz’s staff displayed a large photograph of the facility showing people sleeping on the floor covered with foil blankets.
He demanded to know whether Joe Biden has been down to the border to see the squalid conditions of the facility.
Mayorkas replied that Biden has not, and when pressed, admitted that Kamala Harris has not been down there to see the Biden cages either.
“They are not cages,” the DHS sec. insisted peevishly.
“What are these walls?!” Cruz exclaimed, pointing to the makeshift “pod” in the photo.
“Has any Democratic member of this committee given a damn enough to see the children being locked up by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris because of your failed immigration policies?” he cried.
Mayorkas said he couldn’t speak for members of the committee, but thought some Democrats may have visited.
After a back and forth, Crus got Mayorkas to admit that neither Biden nor Harris has been to the border to tour their administration’s inhumane facilities.
Cruz then changed course, and asked how many women and children have been raped and/or killed while being trafficked into the country in 2021.
Mayorkas indicated that he has “no ability to determine” that information.
“How many illegal immigrants have you released into the United States who were COVID positive,” Cruz then asked.
The Homeland Security chief said it is the government’s policy to test individuals, but Cruz insisted on a direct answer.
“How many illegals were released who have tested COVID positive,” he demanded.
Mayorkas said he didn’t have that number either.
Back in August, former acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan estimated that at least 40,000 illegal immigrants infected with the coronavirus had been released into American cities.
Cruz then asked Mayorkas how many illegal immigrants with criminal convictions have been released into American cities.
The DHS sec. said he didn’t have that information, and claimed not to be “aware” of any murderers, rapists, or child molesters being allowed into the country.
The Biden administration in September issued new “sanctuary country” orders that bar ICE agents from arresting or deporting illegal aliens unless they pose a “current threat to public safety.”
“Senior Customs and Border Patrol leadership have told me that your agency is slow-walking and refusing to comply with the order from the federal court to return to the remain in Mexico policy,” Cruz charged. “What would you say to the judge if the judge was asking why you should not be held in contempt and incarcerated for defying a federal court order?”
“It is because we are implementing the court’s order in good faith. We are working with Mexico. It requires a bilateral relationship and an agreement,” Mayorkas said, adding, “I should also indicate to you, Senator, that Immigration and Customs Enforcement — ICE– under the sex offenders operation, known as SOAR, apprehended 495 individuals between June 4th and September 1st.”
🇺🇸 — WATCH: Texas Senator @TedCruz grills DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the crisis on the Southern Border.
"How many children have been in the Biden cages?"
— Belaaz News (@TheBelaaz) November 16, 2021
You can watch the entire hearing below: