Former Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott testified on Wednesday that when Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas took office under President Biden’s administration, his focus was allowing more migrants to cross the border into the U.S.
Scott gave his statement while being questioned by the House Homeland Security Committee during a hearing that specifically addressed the alleged “dereliction of duty” by Mayorkas.
The former federal official testified that Mayorkas is “not incompetent” and was well aware of what effect his policies would have.
“Do you know firsthand if Customs and Border Patrol agents actually advised Mr. Mayorkas and said, ‘Hey you need to reverse these policies to stop this tidal wave that’s coming into the United States’?” Rep. Carlos Gimenez asked.
“He was informed verbally. He was informed in writing,” Scott said.
“I think it’s important for everybody to understand [that] everything fundamentally changed. When I worked for Secretary [Chad] Wolf, we had team meetings, we were asked for our input. We were told, ‘Over your career, what works and what doesn’t work?’ On Jan. 20, 2021, that all got shut off,” he continued.
“Our input was no longer solicited, and when my team and I gave it unsolicited, we were basically put in a box,” he added.
“They did not want to know what we had to say. They made it very clear: Expedite processing and find new ways to let migrants into the U.S. That was the only agenda,” Scott said.
Scott began serving as Border Patrol head in January 2020 under President Donald Trump, and continued under Biden until August 2021.
Wednesday’s hearing was initiated by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Green, a Republican from Tennessee, who presented allegations against Mayorkas during a prior press briefing.
Alongside Scott, Republicans called upon former acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, who served in the Trump administration, and Joe Edlow, the former acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to provide testimonies.
“What we know right now is that Secretary Mayorkas has either violated or subverted at least 10 laws passed by the Congress of the United States. He has ignored multiple court orders to cease and desist his activities. The blatant disregard for the Constitution of the United States, which states that the United States Congress passes the laws and the executive branch executes those laws, is just scratching the surface to the harm Secretary Mayorkas’ dereliction of duty has done to our country,” Green said during Wednesday’s press conference.
Migrant encounters have seen a drastic increase at the U.S.-Mexico border under the leadership of Mayorkas and President Biden. According to reports from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, there were around 100,000 monthly encounters during Biden’s first month in office. However, as of today, CBP reports a significant rise to over 200,000 encounters per month, with the number surpassing 230,000 throughout late 2022 and early 2023.
While certain Republicans have expressed their desire to impeach Mayorkas, Green has taken a more cautious approach to that idea. He stated that Wednesday’s hearing aimed at gathering factual information and that he has not yet advocated for any impeachment measures.
Biden’s handling of the border crisis has consistently been among his least popular issues, as evidenced by a May poll indicating that only 33% of voters approve of his handling of the issue.
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