Border Patrol chief questioned during Congressional immigration hearing in McAllen

1 year 1 month 5 days ago Wednesday, March 15 2023 Mar 15, 2023 March 15, 2023 9:23 AM March 15, 2023 in News - Local

Republicans questioned the nation's border patrol chief during a Wednesday Congressional hearing in McAllen on why a record number of foreigners crossed the border without permission last year.

During the hearing, U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said the US does not have “operational control of the entire border.”

"We tore down perfectly good infrastructure systems in some areas that we should have just left alone, Del Rio was a perfect example of that,” Ortiz said, adding that he also disagreed with President Biden’s decision to halt border wall construction.

Ortiz previously served as the Valley’s border patrol sector chief. Questions during the hearing aimed to find the root causes of a record fiscal year of illegal immigration, where 2.2 million people crossing the southern border.

“I think it's going to be a real challenge for us to repatriate some folks from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, we have to make sure we have a tool for those populations — not just folks from Central America and Mexico” Ortiz said. 

Ortiz said his agency needs deterrents and policy tools.

“You can call it Migrant Protection Protocols, you can call it Remain in Mexico, all the tools that Border Patrol and DHS have at their disposal are going to allow us to do a better job of managing this border,” Ortiz said.

Democrats did not attend the hearing and said the hearing was politicized by Republicans.

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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