President Joe Biden and members of his administration, particularly Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas, has been insistent that the nation’s southern border is safe and secure and under “operational control” — even as everyone can clearly see that that isn’t the case.
Now a top Democrat and ally of the president, Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), has acknowledged that the southern border, in fact, is not secure or under control and is indeed a “crisis” that needs to be swiftly addressed, Breitbart reported.
The somewhat surprising admission from the Arizona senator came just one day after similar sentiments were expressed during a congressional hearing by U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz.
The border is “a crisis” and “not secure”
On Thursday, Sen. Kelly sat down for an interview in his office with Fox News “Special Report” host Bret Baier, who highlighted the dramatic difference in responses from Chief Ortiz and Sec. Mayorkas and asked if the Biden administration was “missing the moment” with respect to the border situation.
Kelly replied, “At times. I work very closely with Secretary Mayorkas, CBP, DHS. The border’s a crisis. And it’s been a crisis for my entire time in office.”
“Sometimes, it gets a little bit better,” he continued. “I was on the phone a couple of days ago with the Mayor of Yuma, Doug Nicholls, the numbers are a little bit better, but they’re still way too high.”
“And it’s a real challenge for Border Patrol and CBP to do their jobs, to secure our southern border. It’s not secure,” the Democratic senator added.
Kelly says “listen to the professionals” for the real story
The Fox News host pressed the Arizona senator on the apparent “disconnect” between the heads of the Border Patrol and DHS, to which Sen. Kelly replied, “In this case, I would agree with the Border Patrol chief.”
“My attitude about this is to listen to the professionals, listen to the Border Patrol agents, the guys on the ground who have to deal with this every single day,” he said. “And what they’ll tell you is that, in some places, we need barriers, we need border wall.”
Kelly added, “And in the case of these gaps in the border wall, I was able to successfully work with DHS and work with the administration and now we’re closing these gaps.”
He went on to criticize the Biden administration for how it has handled its attempts to end the Title 42 public health order, knocked his fellow Democrats in the House who skipped the committee hearing with Chief Ortiz, expressed his concerns about the flood of deadly fentanyl coming across the border, and suggested that gimmicky changes with the asylum rules seemed to have helped, to an extent, but it’s “still a crisis. And we’ve got more to do.”
“No,” the government does not have “operational control” of the border
The Hill reported on Wednesday that Border Patrol Chief Ortiz was pressed by Republican committee members about the statutory definition of “operational control” at the southern border, which defines such as “the prevention of all unlawful entries,” and if that could reasonably be applied to the border.
Chief Ortiz replied, “Based upon the definition you have, sir, up there, no.”
Though the chief refrained from directly criticizing his boss, Sec. Mayorkas, or labeling him a liar, he nonetheless exposed the inaccuracy of the secretary’s repeated assurances about the border being under control and revealed that, in fact, five of the nine sectors of the border were substantially under-resourced and currently facing “an increase in flow” of illegal migration and drug trafficking “that has caused a considerable strain.”