During the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas called out the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, for failing to maintain control of the southwest border.

As the head of Homeland Security, Mayorkas is supposed to protect the country from threats, including those along the southwest border. However, when facing questions from Cruz, Mayorkas refused to say if the conditions at the border amounted to a crisis or if the situation is placing American lives in danger.

Over the past year, the border crisis has worsened. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, “CBP total encounters in February 2023 were 212,266, up approximately 2% from 208,511 in January 2023.”

As the Biden administration’s open border policies incentivize illegal aliens to enter the United States, U.S. law enforcement officials are increasingly overwhelmed at the border, with groups of migrants rushing ports of entry in some cases.

However, this is not the first time Mayorkas has faced criticism for his statements about the border crisis.

Earlier this month, U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz testified that the U.S. does not have operational control of the southwest border. Ortiz’s statement contradicts previous comments from Mayorkas, who claimed that the U.S. does have operational control of the border.

During the hearing, Cruz presented an image of wristbands collected along the border and asked Mayorkas if he was aware of the bands’ use. Mayorkas replied that he did not know what they were for.

“Mr. Secretary, you’ve just testified to the American people [that] you’re incompetent at your job,” said Cruz. “Because I’ve been to the southern border, and if you go to the southern border, along the southern border, you see thousands of these wristbands because the illegal immigrants wear them. Every color corresponds to how many thousands of dollars they owe the cartels. You’ve turned these cartels into multibillion-dollar criminal organizations.”

“These are modern-day leg irons because these are children being sold into sex slavery and you don’t even know what they are,” he added.

At the end of his questioning period, Cruz condemned Mayorkas’ inaction and accused him of placing politics over his official duties.

“Mr. Secretary, I want to say to you right now, your behavior is disgraceful, and the deaths, the children assaulted, the children raped, they are at your feet,” said Cruz. “And if you had integrity, you would resign. And I will tell you, the men and women of the border patrol, they’ve never had a political leader undermine them. They despise you, Mr. Secretary, because you’re willing to let children be raped to follow political orders.”

Mayorkas refused to respond to the criticism, stating, “What the senator said was revolting. I’m not going to address it.”

Katy Marshall

Katy graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 after majoring in history and minoring in political science.