The nation’s top Border Patrol agent testified in a private legal deposition that the Biden administration’s decision to walk back Trump-era enforcement measures has caused the illegal immigration crisis at the southern border.
“In my experience, we have seen increases when there are no consequences,” said Raul Ortiz in a July 29 deposition, according to video obtained by Fox News. Ortiz was tapped by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to head the Border Patrol early on in the Biden administration. He has kept a low profile during that time, not speaking out publicly despite agents’ frustrations with leadership.
Ortiz was called to speak to the cause of the border crisis as part of the discovery process in Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security. Florida sued the Biden administration on the basis that its ending Trump administration policies triggered a mass migration event over the past 18 months.
More than 3 million people have been encountered attempting to enter the United States from Mexico illegally since President Joe Biden took office. Ortiz said under oath that the present situation constituted a crisis and agreed with the attorney general’s statement that “unprecedented numbers” of migrants have been encountered at the border this year.
Moody’s lawsuit alleges that the Biden administration’s decision not to detain illegal immigrants in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement jails through court proceedings prompted more people to migrate, knowing they would be released into the U.S.
The Biden administration has opted to house migrants in hotels for several days before releasing people, often tracking them through cellphone apps that do not require in-person check-ins with ICE. The app is part of the ICE program Alternatives to Detention, which the federal agency has dramatically expanded at the direction of the Biden administration.
“There is an assumption that if migrant populations are told that there is a potential that they may be released, that, yes, you can see increases,” Ortiz said.
By Anna Giaritelli
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