On Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas rejected the idea that the U.S. border is open despite illegal immigration being on track to set a new record high this year.
Mayorkas made his comments in response to questions from reporters about the border crisis.
“Republicans have challenged you on this point on Capitol Hill and I want to give you a chance to respond. They point to Border Patrol’s own numbers which show going back to October of last year would show there were more than a million apprehensions, but there were also more than 530,000 got-aways. That’s roughly the size of the population of the city of Baltimore. How can you say the border is not open?” RealClearPolitics’ Phil Wegmann asked.
In response, Mayorkas dodged the question by refusing to acknowledge the got-aways number – which is the number of migrants who successfully illegally immigrated into the United States without being encountered by border patrol.
“So we removed, returned, and expelled 1.4 million — ask those 1.4 million people if they think the border is open,” Mayorkas said. “Our apprehension rate at the border is consistent with the apprehension rate in prior years, thanks to the extraordinary work of the United States Border Patrol.”
Notably, Customs and Border Protection encountered 2,766,582 migrants attempting to illegally cross the border in fiscal year 2022, which is about double the number that were deported.