Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz testified Wednesday that there’s more than 385,000 illegal migrants known to have evaded federal authorities along the southern border since October during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing.
Ortiz testified that 385,000 illegal migrants are the ones known to have gotten away and that the actual number is much higher. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered more than 870,000 migrants between October 2022 and January 2023.
Border Patrol agents recorded roughly 130,000 illegal migrant apprehensions in February, according to CBS News.
“We continue to refine that number. I’ve got to do a better job of accounting for the actual encounters,” Ortiz said in response to questions posed by Republican Florida Rep. Carlos Gimenez, adding that the number is likely about 10-20% more than what has been detected.
Ortiz testified earlier in the hearing that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lacks “operational control” of the southern border despite previous statements from the agency’s secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, suggesting otherwise.
“Chief Ortiz, do you think that Secretary Mayorkas is lying there?” the committee’s Republican chairman, Mark Green, asked.
“Sir, when you talk about operational control, about ten years ago we used operational control as a measuring stick of our effectiveness along the southwest border. My new strategy is geared towards mission advantage,” Ortiz responded.
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