Sen. Johnson Demands DHS Answer Basic Questions About Apprehensions At U.S. Border By the End of the Week

WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding that he answer questions about the border crisis after failing to provide that information at two congressional hearings. Sen. Johnson gave the secretary until the end of the week to respond.

“At yesterday’s Senate hearing you failed to answer my questions about basic information on apprehensions at the U.S. border,” wrote the senator. “When asked for the same information at a House hearing today, you still could not provide the data.  As the crisis at the border worsens each week, it is unacceptable that you chose to appear before the American people at multiple hearings unprepared to provide such crucial information.  I once again request that you provide the following: Of the approximately 1.3 million apprehensions, how many people have been returned, how many people have been detained, and how many people have been dispersed into the U.S.?”

On Tuesday, at the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing, Senator Johnson pressed Secretary Mayorkas on the Biden administration’s failures at the southern border.

Johnson: “This committee received (this letter)…by recently retired US border patrol Chief Rodney Scott. In this letter, former chief Scott states he's ‘sickened by the avoidable and rapid disintegration of what was arguably the most effective border security in our nation's history’ and, of course, the chart shows it. We pretty well secured the border, we'd stopped the flow of unaccompanied children, we stopped the flow of family units — because of the Migrant Protection Protocols, the agreements that President Trump put in place, the building of the Wall. We were serious about border security until your administration took office. You stood before this committee and said you would enforce the laws. You have not done that. Let me go on. Chief Scott says, ‘To think that well-resourced terrorist networks, criminal organizations and hostile nations are not going to do the same’ — in other words, exploit the open border — ‘is naive.’ Here's what's very troubling. He said, ‘The secretary and other political appointees within DHS are provided factually incorrect information to congressional representatives to the American public.’ So let me ask you, Mr. Secretary, of the 1.3 million people we've apprehended, how many people have been returned? How many people are being detained?  And how many people have been dispersed?  And I want some numbers here. So again, we got we get 1.3 million people. How many people have been returned? How many people are being detained? How many people have been dispersed to all points around America? 

Mayorkas: “Senator, I would be pleased to provide you with that.  

Johnson: “I want them now. Why don't you have that information now? 

Mayorkas: “Senator, I do not have that.  

Johnson: “Why not? Why don't you have that basic information?”


The full text of the letter can be found here.