ICYMI: Sen. Marshall Grills Sec. Mayorkas at Homeland Security Hearing: Confirms Over 600K Gotaways In FY’23

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. demanded answers from Department of Homeland Secretary (DHS) Mayorkas on this administration’s failures to secure our nation’s borders ranging from the historic number of migrant crossings on the FBI Terrorist Watchlist, and the lack of urgency from this administration to get Congress answers to who and where these people are inside of our country. 

You may click HERE or on the image above to watch Senator Marshall’s full questioning.

Witnesses included the Director of Homeland Security, Secretary Mayorkas, and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Highlights from Senator Marshall’s questioning includes:

On Illegal Aliens with ties to terrorist organization: 

Senator Marshall: 

Mr. Secretary, approximately how many illegal aliens in this country are here on asylum have direct ties to Hamas to Hezbollah, to the Islamic Jihad or the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran?

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: Senator Marshall, let me assure you that the individuals that pose a risk to our national security are our highest enforcement priority, the safety and security of the American public

Senator Marshall: Do you have any idea how many numbers, what those numbers are? Is that tens? Is it hundreds? Is it thousands? 

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: An individual who poses a risk to our national security is our highest enforcement priority..

Senator Marshall: So you don’t know the answer to the question? Do you have an answer for my question?

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: I believe I have answered your question. 

Senator Marshall: No, sir. You didn’t. I asked you how many have direct ties to Hamas, Hezbollah, Islam jihad.

On the Terror Watch List: 

Senator Marshall: Will DHS and when will DHS disclose the countries of origin of people arrested by border patrol on the terrorist watch list?

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: If you are referring, Senator, to the Terrorist Screening dataset, just to be precise, I would be pleased to speak with you in the appropriate context. This would not be it.

On Known Gotaways: 

Senator Marshall: How many ‘gotaways’ did CBP record in fiscal year 2023?

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: I believe, Senator, that number is over 600,000. And as I’m sure you are well aware, the phenomenon of ‘gotaways’ is something that has been a challenge for the Department of Homeland Security for decades…

On Chinese National’s crossings: 

Senator Marshall: Would you agree with me that over 18,000 Chinese nationals, many are military-aged young men, have illegally crossed the southern border in fiscal year 2023?

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: Senator, I don’t have the precise number…

Senator Marshall: Do you know where the Chinese nationals are settling? Where are they working? Why they are here? How do you follow them?

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: Senator, if an individual has fled China, and seeks asylum and qualifies for asylum, for example, if they fear persecution, an understanding of their membership in a particular social group…

On Known ‘Gotaways’: 

Senator Marshall: I’m sure you’ll agree with me that under Mr. Biden, that at least 1.7 million ‘gotaways’ have evaded apprehension at our border. How many of these known ‘gotaways’ have convictions in their entire country for rape or murder? How many of these known ‘gotaways’ had been prosecuted and deported?

How many of these known ‘gotaways’ have committed crimes in the United States since you were sworn in?

How many of these known ‘gotaways’ are trafficking fentanyl?

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: We well know that the trafficking of fentanyl is not specific to a nationality – tragically, we have individuals from various countries of origin. We have American citizens trafficking in fentanyl. Fentanyl is a scourge that we must all work together to overcome.

On Terror Watchlist: 

Senator Marshall: Let’s talk about the 169 individuals encountered on the terrorist watchlist between the ports of entry in fiscal year 2023. How many were deported? How many are jailed? How many are still in the country?

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas:  Senator, with respect to the individuals on the Terrorist Screening dataset, I would be pleased to provide you with the numbers in the appropriate context.

On Safety of America:

Senator Marshall: The over 75,000 Special Interest aliens who crossed our border illegally this fiscal year. What are their whereabouts? How are you tracking these people?

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: We have a number of ways of tracking them, Senator if in fact, they present a national security or public safety threat, we very well may detain them. If we do not believe that detention is appropriate. We have alternatives to detention. 

Senator Marshall: The folks back home when they look at the evidence, they see that the DEA seized over 380 million doses of fentanyl in 2022. 73,000 Americans died from fentanyl poisoning in 2022. Mostly young adults, school aged children. And that 90% of the fentanyl  comes from our southern border. You know considering that just last month, our border patrol had almost 270,000 encounters including 75,000 special interest aliens. Do Americans feel they’re more safe today or less safe today under the policies of this administration?

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: Senator, we are taking it to the cartels, to the traffickers of fentanyl, in an unprecedented way with more resources and more efficient and productive operations than ever before.

Senator Marshall: But you would agree with me that Americans feel less safe today than they did before the start of this administration. And your testimony has solidified the view that American people they don’t have confidence in the job that you’re doing. This is why I believe the defining issue in this next election is going to be exactly this. Are our families safer today than they were three years ago? 

On DHS Emails:

Senator Marshall: In April, in sworn testimony before this committee, you insisted and I’ll quote you, “If somebody errantly sends me an email on my personal email that should have been sent to my work email, I forwarded to my work email…” Despite that, a FOIA lawsuit by Americans for Prosperity has uncovered hundreds of pages of records reflecting your personal use of personal email account and cell phone for official DHS business since you assumed the office of Secretary. We sent you a letter on July 13, asking for additional questions on your in your suborders adherence to this DHS policy on the use of non DHS emails, but thus far, you failed to respond to me. Will you commit to getting the answers to our letter?

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: I’ll be happy to look at your inquiry and respond accordingly. What you just articulated is perfect evidence of the fact that I have followed the rules.

Senator Marshall: And that explains why there’s hundreds of pages of records reflecting your personal email account and cell phone for official DHS business?

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: Senator, you mistake the facts.

On Securing the Border:

Senator Marshall: In May, the Biden Administration said when Title 42 ended that migrants would face tougher consequences. And I quote, “that there are tougher consequences if they were caught crossing the border illegally.” But just in the last border crossing numbers from this past week, the Biden Administration’s actions showed that border patrol released. with no consequences, 156,000 migrants into the U.S. in September alone. Mr. Secretary, what are the consequences your administration threatens? 

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: Removal and return of individuals under Title Eight of the United States Code is one example of a consequence that we deliver. In fact, in fiscal year 2023, we removed or returned more than 620,000 individuals. Just recently, we announced that we negotiated an agreement with Venezuela for the first time.

Senator Marshall: So you sent back 10 maybe 200 people, but there’s tens of thousands of them still here. How do you explain the 156,000 migrants in September alone that were released without any consequences?

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas:: That is incorrect. 

Senator Marshall: So you didn’t release 156,000 migrants into the United States?

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: Those individuals, when they are processed, they are placed in immigration enforcement proceedings. If they do not qualify for relief, they are subject to removal. If they qualify for relief under the laws that Congress has passed, then they have established the basis to stay in the United States.