Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas was criticized by a Republican lawmaker on Tuesday for reassigning particular brokers inside his division to “make sandwiches” on the border for unlawful immigrants detained there.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., focused Mayorkas primarily based on testimony from a Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI) particular agent who mentioned a minimum of 600 brokers had been pulled from different circumstances and despatched to the border amid a surge in assaults. Migrants crossing into the nation.
When pressed for a particular variety of reassigned brokers, Mayorkas did not have a solution, however mentioned he can be “very completely happy” to offer one. He added that the reassigned brokers have been on the border “to fight the fentanyl scourge.”
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“That is not what the particular agent is claiming. That is not what she mentioned. She mentioned that fentanyl was being banned, that youngster exploitation circumstances have been being eradicated, that their different investigations into criminals have been being made to make sandwiches. That is her quote. You are saying that is a lie?” She’s flawed?” Hawley mentioned.
Mayorkas argued that there have been “various regulation enforcement priorities,” to which Hawley requested, “Is making sandwiches a kind of priorities?”
“After all not, Senator,” he replied. “We have achieved an amazing quantity…” earlier than Hawley interjected, asking whether or not the agent’s testimony was false.
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“Making sandwiches for unlawful immigrants? Is she flawed? That is one in all your brokers. Is she flawed? She says there are 600, a minimum of, particular brokers pulled from different circumstances, despatched to the border to handle unlawful immigrants. Is she flawed?” Requested.
Mayorkas mentioned DHS staff have been used “to attain the best attainable regulation enforcement goal. That is what we do.”
“So you will not deny it?” Hawley requested.
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“I’m extraordinarily pleased with what our staff do each day,” Mayorkas mentioned.
An e mail from the division despatched to ICE brokers in July and obtained by Fox Information Digital mentioned that because of the rise in migrant encounters on the time, HSI would improve Operation Prolonged Influence (OEI) numbers from 60 to 200.
In line with the e-mail, these brokers have been to be deployed in key border sectors in Texas, Arizona, and California.
The OEI was launched final 12 months as a part of DHS’s efforts to focus on transnational legal organizations concerned in smuggling and human exercise.
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In line with one HSI agent who spoke to Fox Information Digital on the time, deployed brokers are sometimes despatched on brief discover, and typically simply assist the Border Patrol course of incoming migrants.
“You utilize expert, educated particular brokers educated in legal investigations and regulation enforcement methods to protect individuals, ship meals to people and help with processing,” the agent mentioned.
Fox Information’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.