Samuel Case, FISM News
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was grilled by Republican senators over the administration’s treatment of migrant children and it’s vaccine policy for border patrol agents during a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Tuesday.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz pressed Mayorkas on the total number of children in “Biden cages” at the border, referring to the overcrowded holding facilities in Texas. Mayorkas didn’t provide a number but rather disputed the term “cage,” which Cruz was using in reference to a Democratic talking point throughout the Trump administration that border patrol was separating kids from their parents and putting them in “cages.”
CRUZ: How many children have been in the Biden cages in calendar year 2021?
MAYORKAS: Senator I respectfully disagree with your use of the term cages.
CRUZ: Fine, you can disagree with it. How many children have been in the Biden cages? I’ve been to the Biden cages. I’ve seen the Biden cages. How many children have you detained at the Donna tent facility and the cages you built to hold kids? How many children have been in those cages?
MAYORKAS: Senator, I can provide to you the following figure that when — let me say that when a child —
CRUZ: I don’t. It’s a simple question. How many children have been in those cages?
MAYORKAS: I respectfully, I’m not familiar with the term cages and to what you were referring.
After enough pressure from Cruz, Mayorkas said he will “circle back” with the exact number. Following this exchange, Cruz inquired about the number of women and children sexually assaulted on their way to the United States, which Mayokas said he did not have. Mayorkas was also unable to provide the number of COVID-positive illegal immigrants released into the country or those with criminal convictions.
Watch the full exchange:
Sen. @tedcruz just broke DHS Secretary Mayorkas after completely SAVAGING him by grilling the Secretary on Biden's border cages and manufactured border crisis
This is the greatest thing you'll watch today.🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/qfSQHHYjEa
— Danny De Urbina (@dannydeurbina) November 16, 2021
Meanwhile, Senator Mike Lee grilled Mayorkas over the impact of the Biden vaccine mandate on border patrol officials.
“What happens when you’ve got potentially thousands of [border patrol agents], a pretty large percentage, who might soon become ineligible to work based on their vaccination status? Does that hurt or help the operational control of the border?” Lee asked the Secretary.
Mayrokas replied saying he “hope[s] that does not materialize,” to which Lee balked “Yes, you hope, but do you have a plan for maintaining this?” Mayrokas said he would provide the committee with a written plan for border patrol vaccination in the coming weeks.
During their exchange, Lee also condemned Mayorkas for failing to defending patrol agents who were falsely accused of whipping illegal immigrants at the border, a move he called “moral crushing.”