The border crisis, which started in early 2021, has remained a tense political issue even after the 2022 midterm elections.During a House Homeland Security Committee meeting this week, US Congresswoman Kat Cammack (R-FL) confronted Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on the 1.4 million illegal immigrants who have entered the country this fiscal year alone.
Rep. Cammack, like other Florida officials, has been very attentive to the ongoing border crisis. The central Florida congresswoman even visited the southern border last year to survey the unprecedented conditions herself.
Cammack gained notoriety for putting pressure on VP Kamala Harris (D) to visit the region after the Vice President was appointed to take charge of the immigration crisis along the U.S. border with Mexico.
During the same meeting, Rep. Sanford Bishop (R-NC) directed a straightforward question to Mayorkas, which the embattled security chief directly answered.
Bishop: Do you continue to maintain that the border is secure?
Mayorkas: Yes, and we are working day in and day out to enhance its security congressman.
Cammack joined Bishop in confronting Secretary Mayorkas, where the congresswoman grilled Mayorkas on statistics concerning the Border Crisis. The exchange between Cammack and Mayorkas was rather testy.
Cammack: "Can you answer definitively, with data backing up your answer, that none of the 600,000 individuals, who are now in the United States and in our communities are gang members or criminals?"
Mayorkas: "Your question highlights precisely why we have sought to prioritize national security and public safety threats in our immigration and customs enforcement."
Cammack: "As you know, probably then, in fiscal year '22, CBP arrested nearly 30,000 illegals attempting to enter the country who were previously convicted of a crime. Now of those arrested, just the number, no additional commentary, how many have claimed asylum?"
Mayorkas: "Congresswoman, I'll have to get back to you with specific numbers."
Cammack: "Officially there have been 2.4 million illegals that have been encountered at the South West border in fiscal year '22, that doesn't include the 600,000 'gotaways' so give me just the number, and again no additional commentary, can you tell me how many illegals have been released into the United States that were encountered at the South West border?"
Mayorkas: "Putting aside your terminology, may I correct you? Because you've actually cited inaccurate facts."
Cammack: "This is actually from your website."
Mayorkas: "No it isn't. Congresswoman, 2.4 million encounters is different-"
Cammack: "I'm going to reclaim my time because based on the information from your website, from your department, officially there have been all those encounters, 1.4 million, and thats a conservative number, that your department states have been released into the United States. I know you guys have done this fun re-naming, re-branding thing, calling it enforcement removal procedings, but today in fiscal year '22, you have now released over 1.4 million illegals into the United States. And my question to you now is can you guarantee that none of those people have criminal records?"
Mayorkas: "This enforcement work is not fun, Congresswoman. This is a noble profession in which people risk their lives to conduct it. And you know that very well."
1.4 MILLION migrant releases. That’s how many illegals have entered our nation in this fiscal year alone. No background checks. No vetting procedures. No idea who’s crossing our borders.
Today, I confronted Secretary Mayorkas over these figures and, as usual, he had no answers. pic.twitter.com/M0FhTHeAQ1
— Congresswoman Kat Cammack (@RepKatCammack) November 15, 2022
With Republicans making few gains nationally, and just enough to secure a House majority in 2023, it is likely the border crisis will continue to be an issue in the 2024 election cycle.