Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday, just as 20 House Republicans pushed to have him impeached.
GOP lawmakers have accused Mayorkas of not taking the crisis at the border seriously, with one lawmaker, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, accusing him of releasing more than 1 million illegal immigrants into the country, never to be heard from again.
Despite opposition, Mayorkas’ visit puts him a step ahead of President Biden, who has yet to visit the southern border.
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Earlier this month, Biden visited Arizona but did not have plans to stop at the border because he said “there are more important things going on.”
The president has made 59 trips to Delaware during the first two years of his four-year term.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Mayorkas was in El Paso and assessing the operations while speaking to the workers who patrol the border.
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As far as what has been going on at the border, Jean-Pierre said CBP has deployed more agents to support mobile processing units along the border.
She also stressed how important the border crisis was to the president, saying from day one, he put forth a comprehensive immigration reform bill because “he understands how important this is.”
Fiscal year 2022 ended with 2,378,944 migrant encounters, according to data released in September, which was the highest ever recorded in a fiscal year.
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What is not included in the data was the 599,000 known “gotaways” who CBP sources told Fox News evaded capture during the same period.
As the 2023 fiscal year gets underway, CBP sources told Fox News that there were roughly 64,000 “gotaways” in October, which averages out to roughly 2,000 migrants slipping past border patrols every day.
The Biden administration has insisted the U.S.-Mexico border is “closed.”
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While the southern border has seen a pattern of increases in migration each spring, the surges in both 2021 and 2022 far outpaced previous years, and that pace only escalated throughout the year.