Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas continued to insist there is not a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and it is "secure" during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Wednesday.
Ranking Member John Katko (R-NY) pressed Mayorkas that, based on the dramatic increase of illegal immigrants crossing the southern border, "wouldn’t it be fair to call it a crisis? Because that’s what your agents are calling it."
"I didn’t necessarily agree with all the statistics that you cited, first of all. Mr. Ranking Member, I’m not spending any time on the language we use. I’m spending time on operational response to the situation at the border," Mayorkas replied.
Rep. Katko: Given the tremendous rise and surge of individuals coming to the border, wouldn’t it be fair to call it a crisis? That’s what your agents are calling it.— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) March 17, 2021
Sec. Mayorkas: I’m not spending any time on the language that we use. I am spending time on operational response pic.twitter.com/yyJn5xaVO9
Later on during the hearing, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) applauded the Biden administration because they have "a border policy."
"It is not a policy of putting children in cages, which we had to suffer for year after year on the Trump administration. There are no children in cages," she added.
"Congresswoman, the border is secure and the border is not open. We are expelling, under the CDC’s public health authority in light of the pandemic, single individuals who arrive at the border. We are expelling families, under that same public health authority, limited only by the capacity of Mexico to receive them," Mayorkas said, adding they are "not expelling children who arrive unaccompanied without a parent or legal guardian."
Sheila Jackson Lee: "This administration has a border policy...It is not a policy of putting children in cages, which we had to suffer for year after year in the Trump Administration. There are no children in cages."— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) March 17, 2021
Mayorkas: "The border is secure and the border is not open." pic.twitter.com/HALS2FEtSE
Mayorkas's comments come a day after he released a statement admitting the United States is "on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years." The traffic surge comes after the Biden administration reversed several policies put in place by the Trump administration, leading to a higher demand from illegal immigrants in Mexico to cross the border. Because of the sudden influx, border detention facilities are way over capacity, leading to poor conditions for those housed inside.
Townhall was recently on the ground in the Rio Grande Valley and can report the illegal immigrants certainly believe the border is open.