Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) — typically sympathetic to Democrats and President Joe Biden — had some choice words for the Biden administration Homeland Security head Alejandro Mayorkas over his seeming apathy in answering senators’ questions about the border crisis, according to The Washington Examiner.
Romney said that the secretary’s attitude on the crisis was “extremely damning” in his headline-grabbing outburst: “What I find astonishing, Mr. Chairman is that we have the secretary responsible for securing our border and our immigration system who doesn’t recognize these charts as being a problem,” Romney said.
“And there are human beings behind these numbers. And [he] is not saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got to make some changes immediately.’ I find that extraordinary and extremely damning,” the Utah Republican said during his comments at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing Thursday
Romney was using border statistics on nearby poster boards as the basis of his argument. Those numbers indicated that in the month of April alone, more than 178,000 people attempted to cross illegally from Mexico into the United States between the designated points of entry, or were denied admission at the border.
Those figures are a 21-year high for border and attempted border crossings, and have more than doubled since President Joe Biden took office in January of this year.
Consequently, January is also the month that Biden rescinded many Trump-era border policies that had been put into effect by the former administration to deter illegal migration.
“Is this not a massive failure that would suggest that the administration needs to take immediate action to remedy what we’re seeing here?” Romney asked.
The cabinet secretary responded saying that the administration was working to resettle the children who had appeared at the U.S. border, however, Romney pulled him back to the problem of Biden not working to stop the flow of migrants from Central America:
“The number coming into our country and being released into our country is at a skyrocketed level, as is this. The question is: Do you have plans to do something dramatically different such that those numbers come down to an acceptable level? Because, as you can imagine, this overwhelms our border control agents,” Romney said. “If they’ve got numbers like this they’re dealing with, this means that the drug cartels can be smuggling through drugs because our folks are taking care of kids. They’re taking care of people coming in illegally. Do we have plans to dramatically address what’s happening here?”
Not surprising to many Republicans, Mayorkas did not have any plan to share for how the Biden administration planned to stop the 17,000 children, 50,000 family members, and 100,000 adults who showed up at the border last month