Allowing more migrants to cross the border into the U.S. was the only thing on the agenda for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas when he took power in the Biden administration, former Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott testified Wednesday.
Scott made the statement under questioning from the House Homeland Security Committee during a hearing focused on Mayorkas’ alleged “dereliction of duty.” The former federal official testified that Mayorkas is “not incompetent,” and that he knew what effect his policies would have.
“Do you know firsthand if Customs and Border Patrol agents actually advised Mr. Mayorkas and said, ‘Hey you need to reverse these policies to stop this tidal wave that’s coming into the United States’?” asked Rep. Carlos Gimenez (FL-R).
“He was informed verbally. He was informed in writing,” Scott said. “I think it’s important for everybody to understand [that] everything fundamentally changed. When I worked for Secretary [Chad] Wolf, we had team meetings, we were asked for our input. We were told, ‘Over your career, what works and what doesn’t work?’ On Jan. 20, 2021, that all got shut off.”
“Our input was no longer solicited, and when my team and I gave it unsolicited, we were basically put in a box,” he continued. “They did not want to know what we had to say. They made it very clear: Expedite processing and find new ways to let migrants into the U.S. That was the only agenda.”
Scott began serving as Border Patrol head in January 2020 under President Donald Trump, and continued under Biden until August 2021.
Migrant encounters have skyrocketed at the U.S.-Mexico border under the leadership of Mayorkas and President Biden. U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports say they had 100,000 monthly encounters during Biden’s first full month in office. Today, however, CBP reports well over 200,000 per month, with the number exceeding 230,000 throughout late 2022 and early 2023.