Mayorkas persists despite record crossings “Border is safe”, FBI sees “significant criminal threats”

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are at odds over the security of the US southern border, according to testimonies before the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas appeared at odds with FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday when asked if the border was secure.

“Secretary Mayorkas, do you continue to claim that the border is secure?” asked North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop, citing an allegation Mayorkas made before the Judiciary Committee this summer.

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“Yes, and we work to improve security every day, Congressman,” Mayorkas replied.

Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks ahead of a House Committee hearing "Worldwide threats to the fatherland" on Capitol Hill, November 15, 2022.

Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before a House Committee hearing on “Global Threats to the Homeland” on Capitol Hill on November 15, 2022.
(Reuters/Michael A McCoy)

The Secretary of Homeland Security tried to extrapolate before being interrupted by Bishop, who replied, “I just wanted to make sure that’s still your assessment.”

Bishop noted that he believed Mayorkas’ statement “denied reality” before asking Wray for his assessment.

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FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies with Secretary of State Alejandro Mayorkas before the House of Representatives' Homeland Security Committee on Capitol Hill on November 15, 2022.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies with Secretary of State Alejandro Mayorkas before the House of Representatives’ Homeland Security Committee on Capitol Hill on November 15, 2022.
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“Well, I can only speak to border patrol from our narrow alley,” Wray replied. “What I would say is that we see significant criminal threats coming from south of the border – whether it’s guns, drugs, money or violence.”

Wray continued: “We see transnational criminal organizations sending their drugs here and using street gangs to distribute them here. And that is contributing to the violent crime crisis here.”

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Migrants cross the border into the United States in Normandy, Texas, November 3, 2022.

Migrants cross the border into the United States in Normandy, Texas, November 3, 2022.
(Fox News)

Wray went on to give an example of threats crossing the border from the drug trade, citing an incident in Phoenix.

“You know, in Phoenix we had to — in partnership with CBP, who are phenomenal partners, I should add — shut down where we seized enough fentanyl in a vehicle ban to kill the equivalent of the entire state of Pennsylvania,” Wray said.

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Department of Homeland Security Officials described a tense January meeting between mayorkas and border guards as “tough” — with agents telling mayorkas the guidelines “don’t work,” according to newly unearthed emails.

The emails, obtained by the Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project and made available to Fox News, show communications between DHS officials after a Visit of Mayorkas to a morning border patrol in Yuma, Arizona.

Fentanyl was confiscated in Nogales, Arizona.

Fentanyl was confiscated in Nogales, Arizona.
(CBP)

“The morning muster at Yuma was HARD,” says Marsha Espinosa, DHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, in a Email dated January 26th. “An agent in the frontline town [sic] had his back turned [Mayorkas] all the time just to ask a question and then turn back.”

Fox News’ Bill Melugin and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

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