More than 85% of the illegal aliens encountered at the border are released into the interior of the U.S., according to reports.
Following a private meeting between Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Border Patrol agents in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Monday, sources in the room told Fox News’ Bill Melugin that “Mayorkas admitted that the current release rate for migrants caught crossing the border illegally is ‘above 85%.’”
BREAKING: Per three Border Patrol sources who were in the room, while meeting privately with agents in Eagle Pass, TX today, DHS Sec. Mayorkas admitted that the current release rate for migrants caught crossing the border illegally is “above 85%”.
I’m awaiting comment from DHS.
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) January 8, 2024
News Nation border correspondent Ali Bradley said she spoke with sources that confirmed Mayorkas had made the statement.
In December, Customs and Border Protection encountered a record 302,000 illegal immigrants at or between ports of entry along the southern border. If 85% of those encountered at the southern border in December were released into the U.S., that totals more than 256,000 people, roughly the same population as Laredo, Texas, where many illegal aliens are crossing.
The number of illegal aliens released into the U.S. in December is nearly the same number of people the Department of Homeland Security employs.
Additionally, if 85% of the 3.2 million illegal aliens encountered in all of fiscal year 2023 were in fact released into the U.S., that’s 2.7 million — more than the population of 15 U.S. states, including New Mexico, Nebraska, and Idaho.
After reaching out to the DHS, Melugin said, “A DHS official did not deny Mayorkas said this today but said the context is that releases ‘ebb and flow.’”
The DHS shared a video on X, formerly Twitter, Monday night in which Mayorkas said, “After the ending of Title 42 in May … through the end of the fiscal year, DHS removed or returned more noncitizens without a basis to remain in the United States than in any other five-month period in the last ten years.”
“In fact,” Mayorkas continued, “the majority of all migrant encounters at the Southwest border throughout this Administration have been removed, returned, or expelled — the majority of them. We are doing everything we can, within a broken system, to incentivize noncitizens to use lawful pathways, to impose consequences on those who do not, and to reduce irregular migration.”
“After the ending of Title 42 in May, through the end of the fiscal year, DHS removed or returned more noncitizens without a basis to remain in the United States than any other five-month period in the last ten years.” – @SecMayorkas pic.twitter.com/ONYYZuOiUW
— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) January 8, 2024
Lora Ries, director of the Border Security and Immigration Center at The Heritage Foundation, calls Mayorkas’ remarks “word games.” (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news outlet.)
“When Mayorkas plays word games, using ridiculous terms like ‘noncitizens,’ ‘lawful pathways,’ and ‘irregular migration’ instead of accurately describing reality with words like ‘illegal aliens,’ ‘mass parole,’ and ‘illegal immigration,’ there is no reason to believe his portrayal of being an enforcer of immigration laws,” Ries said.
Mayorkas will, according to Ries, “never overcome the numbers he is responsible for — over 10.2 million inadmissible alien encounters by CBP and known ‘gotaways’ during this administration, over 85% of whom have been released, according to Mayorkas. He has burned down our immigration system, and in so doing, has gravely endangered Americans. He merits impeachment.”
Republican lawmakers in the House are moving forward with impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas starting on Wednesday.
Attorneys general of Montana, Oklahoma, and Missouri will testify alongside Frank Bowman, professor at the University of Missouri School of Law, Wednesday during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing titled “Havoc in the Heartland: How Secretary Mayorkas’ Failed Leadership Has Impacted the States.”
After conducting a five-part investigation last year into Mayorkas and the crisis at the border, committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., says it is “clear that this crisis finds its foundation in Secretary Mayorkas’ decision-making and refusal to enforce the laws passed by Congress, and that his failure to fulfill his oath of office demands accountability.”
The House Homeland Security Committee is slated to handle the impeachment proceedings of Mayorkas instead of the House Judiciary Committee, which usually handles implement matters, due to the Judiciary Committee’s ongoing impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden.
Tune into the Homeland Security Committee hearing at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday via the committee’s YouTube page.
Copyright 2023 The Daily Signal