DHS Secretary Meyerkas denies giving ‘ballpark’ migrant numbers during heated exchange with Sen. Ron Johnson
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Meyerkas insisted that US borders remain closed during a heated exchange with Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisk on Tuesday.
During the Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing, Johnson told the DHS secretary about the rise of illegal immigration under the Biden administration.
Mayorkas visits border, issues stern warning to illegal migrants: ‘Your journey will not be successful’
“You have repeatedly said that our borders are not open, they are closed. Do you honestly believe that our borders are closed?” Johnson asked.
“Senator, I do, and let me talk to him–” Meyerkas replied before being cut by the senator.
“No, let me ask you a few questions here,” Johnson intervened.
Johnson cited a September 11 letter sent to Senate leadership by former US Border Patrol chief Rodney Scott that warned that the agency was losing its ability to police the southern border and that “what was most, avoidable and was sick of rapid disintegration. Effective border security in the history of our nation.”
Speaking to Mayorkas, Johnson said, “We were serious about border security until your administration took over. You stood before this committee and said you would enforce the laws. You haven’t done that.”
The senator then asked the DHS secretary to give a “ballpark” estimate of how many of the 1.3 million migrants caught since October are still being detained, as well as how many have been deported and how many are in the US. has been abandoned
Former Border Patrol chief warns agency will lose ability to know ‘who and what is entering’
Johnson asked, “Of the 1.3 million people we’ve caught, how many have been returned, how many people are being detained and how many people have been dispersed? And I want some numbers here. “
“Senator, I’d be happy to provide you that data–” Meyerkas replied before being cut again.
“I want them now,” Johnson said. “Why don’t you have that information now?”
“Senator, I don’t have that data in front of me,” Meyerkas replied.
“Why not? Why don’t you have that basic information?” the senator asked.
“Senator, I want to be precise,” Meyerkas said.
The men continued to talk to each other, but Meyerkas said he ultimately could not provide estimates.
The exchange comes a day after the DHS secretary visited the Texas border town of Del Rio, where thousands of Haitian migrants entered the US and set up camp under an international bridge.
“If you come to the United States illegally, you will be turned back. Your trip will not be successful and you will put your life and the lives of your family at risk,” Meyerkas said on Monday. “This administration is committed to developing safe, orderly and humane routes to migration. This is not the way to do it.”