During a hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee, Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz was grilled by Republican lawmakers about the need for border barriers; the Trump-era remain-in-Mexico policy; and if Ortiz believes the border is “secure” as claimed by Alejandro Mayorkas, the Homeland Security secretary.
Ortiz appeared before a Republican-only committee – Democrats refused to attend – that was held in McAllen, Texas, where the Border Patrol boss was put on the spot over his own boss’s laughable and dishonest claim.
"Chief Ortiz, does DHS have operational control of our entire border?" Rep. Mark Green, who chairs the committee, asked at one point.
"No, sir,” Ortiz, contradicting his DHS boss, directly replied.
The term “operational control” is not just a subjective term but means the “prevention of all unlawful entries” into the United States, according to a Newsweek article about Ortiz’s comments.
Todd Bensman, a senior national security fellow with the Center for Immigration Studies, says Ortiz “bobbed and weaved” about other topics during the hearing but that “point-black question” cornered him.
“I think they kind of caught the Border Patrol chief in a moment where he was either going to have to lie or tell the truth,” says Bensman, “and he told the truth."
Elsewhere in the hearing, Ortiz said the U.S.-Mexico border requires barriers in many areas but the Biden administration tore down “perfectly good” barriers that should have been left alone. In a second direct question, Ortiz was asked if he disagreed with President Biden stopping border wall construction.
“Yes, sir,” Ortiz replied.