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Gaetz to Mayorkas: ‘You’re doing the bidding of the cartels’

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At a Wednesday House Judiciary Committee hearing held on the “Oversight of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,” U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, grilled Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about policies he’s implemented, including requiring the use of a new CBP One app, which a federal court in California just ruled is illegal.

He did so after Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody called on Congress to halt Mayorkas’ salary until he complies with federal law, after she previously called on Congress to impeach him.

Gaetz asked Mayorkas how many illegal foreign nationals who’d been apprehended and released into the U.S. under his watch have been deported.

Mayorkas replied, “Individuals who are released placed in the immigration enforcement proceedings under the law where they can make their claim for release. If their claim for release is not satisfied, they are subject to removal from the United States.”

Gaetz said he wasn’t “interested in the process” and again asked “How many of those people have you deported?”

Mayorkas began to say “a few points” but Gaetz interrupted, saying, “I just want to know how many? The number.”

Mayorkas began to reply, “With a completely broken immigration,” and was cut off by Gaetz, who said, “Do you know the answer?”

Mayorkas began to reply that DHS had removed more aggravated felons, but Gaetz interrupted saying, “The Mayorkas Doctrine is this. If you show up at the border and get released into the country, if you don’t commit a specific aggravated felony, which by the way does not include a lot of assault and battery and … domestic violence …” you can “stay forever. It’s that a fair characteristic of your doctrine?”

Mayorkas replied, “No, that is false.”

Gaetz asked several more times how many people had been deported under Mayorkas’ watch. He didn’t answer, instead appearing to smile or hold back laughter.

At one point, Gaetz said, “the reason you’re smirking about and the reason you won’t answer my question is because everybody gets the joke … You have sent the message to the cartels and then you have taken this app and digitized illegal immigration and you have scaled it to the moon. Like this app that you have everybody downloading is like the Disney fast pass in the country never to be subject to actual removal, just removal proceedings as you call them.”

Mayorkas replied, “I disagree with everything you have said.”

Gaetz also asked if the app does a criminal background check in the home country of the foreign national applying for entry. “Answer the question,” he said. “Does the app that you’re out there promoting, do any sort of the criminal history in their home country?”

Mayorkas said CBP and Border Patrol agents “screen individuals whom they’ve encountered.”

Gaetz replied, “By the way, if it did, you’d have told me. It doesn’t.”

Another failure of Mayorkas’, Gaetz said, is one of the facilities DHS and the State Department opened overseas, in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, across from Laredo, Texas, was shut down because cartels were extorting people before they could enter.

Mayorkas said the claim was false and “lawful pathways reduce the number of encounters at our southwest border.”

Gaetz then read a list of news headlines reporting on the facility’s closure because of cartel extortion. He also posted clips of news reports in a social media post refuting Mayorkas’ claim.

MUST WATCH: @SecMayorkas LIED to Congress again! 🔊👇 pic.twitter.com/AguHxmn7er— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) July 26, 2023

Gaetz also asked if the Mexican government was “an ally in this fight against illegal immigration.” Mayorkas replied, “Yes, it is.”

Gaetz pointed to the El Chapo trial where it came out that the Mexican president took a $100 million bribe from the Sinaloa Cartel. “Do you think that the subsequent presidents were not offered a bribe by the cartel or didn’t take the bribe?” he asked.

Mayorkas replied, “I disagree with everything that you have said.”

“You can disagree all you want, but what you won’t provide is any number,” Gaetz said. “When you sit there and just kind of ostensibly disagree without any facts, it shows people what the real gig is. The Mexican government is captive to the cartels. They are doing the bidding of the cartels and based on your response today, so are you.”

An international coalition led by Texas argues the Mexican government is no longer an ally of the U.S. and is working hand in hand with the cartels.

After the hearing, Gaetz formally requested information from Mayorkas about the app and overseas facilities as well as all WhatsApp communication between CBP agents and Mexican officials to determine if, and to what extent, they are coordinating the illegal entry of foreign nationals into the U.S. from Mexico.

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