Since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, an estimated nearly 5 million illegal immigrants have crossed America’s borders.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Tuesday questioning Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the porous nature of American borders and grilling him on his job performance in general.

Mayorkas has insisted repeatedly that the U.S. southern border is “secure,” despite record-high illegal immigration numbers during his tenure in office.

“Look, the border is secure,” he said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado on July 19. “We are working to make the border more secure. That has been a historic challenge.”

Since that statement, the number of illegal border crossings recorded for a single month was set, as was the yearly record.

That has led to some Republican lawmakers calling for Mayorkas to be impeached and others generally questioning his performance as the head of the DHS.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asked Mayorkas if the problems at the southern border made Americans less safe.

Mayorkas responded by saying “we have a challenge.”

Cruz then interjected: “Mr. Secretary, let me show you how somebody doing his job answers a straightforward question. The Texas lawmaker pointed to answers by Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz at a July 28 deposition, in which Ortiz acknowledged that the Biden administration’s policies had led to more people attempting to cross the border illegally. More recently, at a March 15 hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, Ortiz was asked by the committee’s chairman, “Does DHS have operational control of our entire border?” Ortiz responded: “No, Sir.”

Cruz continued to press Mayorkas and said his policies had led to the deaths of children.

“Your behavior is disgraceful, and the deaths, the children assaulted, the children raped, they are at your feet,” Cruz said. “If you had integrity, you would resign.”

Cruz said Mayorkas had allowed this to happen because he was following political orders.

“What the senator said was revolting,” Mayorkas said in response.

“Your refusal to do your job is revolting,” Cruz answered.

Other senators also harshly criticized Mayorkas for insisting that the border was secure.

“Did you just parachute in from another planet, Mr. Secretary?” Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., asked rhetorically. “Because you’re the only person in the Milky Way who believes that we’re not having massive, massive illegal immigration into America.”

Mayorkas responded by saying that Kennedy was “putting words” in his mouth and said that there was a “challenge” at the border.

In addition to the number of illegal border crossings, several senators asked Mayorkas questions about the amount of fentanyl coming into the country.

“On your watch, fentanyl is coming in at a pace we’ve never seen. More Americans are dying,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, asked Mayorkas to apologize to the parents of children who had been killed by fentanyl that had illegally crossed the border.

“Senator, my heart is with the victim of every overdose death. My heart is with the family, and the loved ones, and … every victim of these overdose deaths,” Mayorkas said.

“You won’t even apologize to these parents,” Cornyn responded.

“We are bringing unprecedented force in the fight [against fentanyl],” Mayorkas later said to Cornyn.

“And you’re losing,” Cornyn said.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., asked Mayorkas, quoting Texas Monthly, about illegal immigrants using a special mobile app when seeking asylum at the border.

“At no point does the app ask users ‘Are you seeking asylum?’ Those arriving for the [Customs and Border Protection], no interviews, asked no questions about vulnerabilities that they may or may not have listed in the app or about why they are coming to the United States. They’re simply released into the country,” Hawley said.

“Rather than building a wall, you have built Ticketmaster for illegal immigrants,” he said.

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