According to a report by NumbersUSA, at a deposition in July, Raul Ortiz, Border Patrol Chief for President Biden, stated under oath that the reason for the tremendous surge of illegal aliens across the border was the “no consequences” border policy of the Biden Administration.
The NumbersUSA article draws on reporting from Fox News, which was able to obtain a video of the Ortiz deposition, which occurred due to a lawsuit brought by the Attorney General of Florida, Ashley Moody, against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other agencies charged with protecting the border.
The lawsuit alleges that under the Biden Administration, these agencies are not following established federal law, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act, that charges officials with detaining illegal aliens and keeping them at the border until such time as they can be returned to the country where they are citizens.
Founded by Roy Beck, NumbersUSA is the largest grassroots organization focused on immigration reduction in the U.S. The nonpartisan group has more than eight million participants including conservatives, liberals and moderates. It advocates for responsible policymaking to help fix the country’s broken immigration system.
In the deposition, Chief Ortiz said that it is his belief that there will be an exponential increase in illegal immigration at the southern border due to the lack of consequences to stem the “unprecedented flow of migrants.”
Ortiz stated: “In my experience, we have seen increases when there are no consequences.”
When questioned by an attorney at the deposition if he meant that if migrants believed that there were not going to be consequences more of them would come to the border, he added: “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.”
In the lawsuit filed by Moody, a DHS memo from spring 2021 is referenced. This memo revealed, in relation to Biden’s immigration policies, that perceived favorable policies along with the “pursuit of economic and educational opportunities” were among the reasons aliens provided for crossing the border.
Moody’s lawsuit also cited the November 2021 “Alternatives to Detention” document prepared by the CBP which described a program of catching-and-releasing migrants crossing the southern border illegally. An ICE review of this program under President Trump concluded that it possessed “little value” as the vast majority of illegal immigrants placed in the program ended up disappearing into the interior of the country.
While the memo suggested that use of the Alternatives to Detention program should not be overdone, Chief Ortiz contradicted the idea that this was actually the case, denying that the program was used sparingly and agreeing that the border is “less safe for Americans and aliens alike.”
Roy Beck, President of NumbersUSA, worked as a journalist covering politics in DC before becoming a policy analyst specializing in immigration and U.S. population issues. He was inspired to found NumbersUSA by the results of two national commissions on immigration issues. One was a bipartisan congressional commission chaired by former Rep. Barbara Jordan, and another was a commission created under presidential authority and chaired by former Sen. Tim Wirth. Both commissions found that reducing immigration numbers towards their historical average was in the best interest of the United States and its authorized residents.
Ortiz also agreed that the attorney for the state of Florida was correct in saying that “unprecedented numbers” of aliens have crossed the border this year, as reflected by rising number of apprehensions.
Florida Attorney General Moody stated:
“After the Biden administration denied that they were engaged in catch-and-release, and that they were responsible for the historic surge at our southern border, Florida got the chief of Border Patrol to admit, under oath, the truth.
The Biden administration caused the surge, made the border less safe and is flagrantly violating the very federal laws they swore to uphold. The Biden administration is putting hard-working border patrol agents in impossible and untenable positions — risking their lives and safety, and I want to thank Chief Ortiz for testifying truthfully at his deposition.”
NumbersUSA reports that the lawsuit brought by AG Moody will go to trial in January 2023.
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