Border Patrol agents confront DHS chief Mayorkas in contentious meeting of Yuma Sector officers
"Look, it's worse now than it, frankly, has been in at least 20 years, if not ever" at the border, Mayorkas reportedly said.
Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents met Wednesday with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who admitted the Biden administration's border policies are unpopular while agents are facing what may be the border's worst-ever situation.
Townhall obtained an audio recording of the meeting that sources reportedly said left Mayorkas visibly upset.
"The job has not gotten any easier over the last few months and it was very, very difficult throughout 2021," Mayorkas said. "I know apprehending families and kids is not what you signed up to do. And now we got a composition that is changing even more with Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, and the like, it just gets more difficult."
He told agents that DHS is attempting to work with Mexican authorities to stop migrants before the U.S. border.
"I know the policies of this administration are not particularly popular with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but that's the reality and let's see what we can do within that framework," he said, according to Townhall.
One agent asked Mayorkas how his department could say Border Patrol's main mission is border security while agents cannot do their job at the border due to administration policies.
Mayoraks responded that he appreciated "the candor" and said he working to make sure Border Patrol agents can do their job.
The agent said they have heard that response for years. He then reportedly turned his back on Mayorkas.
The Biden appointee replied, "You can turn your back on me but I won't turn my back on you." The Yuma agent responded that Mayorkas had turned his back first.
Another Yuma agent said they are facing overcrowding and processing issues. He added that it has been "demoralizing" to see Border Patrol demonized by politicians when agents safe illegal immigrants from injury and death.
Townhall reports that a third agent asked Mayorkas why such a low number of illegal immigrants were participating in the Migrant Protection Protocols. Also known as "Remain in Mexico," the program was reinstated by the Biden administration following a court order.
"The numbers are not where they need to be. I agree with that," Mayorkas responded and said that the U.S. is still in negotiations with Mexico over the program. He also said he has approved for border wall gaps to be filled, despite the fact that Biden had halted construction.
Mayorkas admitted, "Look, it's worse now than it, frankly, has been in at least 20 years, if not ever" at the border.
Another agent commented that the border situation was better under the Trump administration because "everyone was doing their jobs," Townhall reports.
Mayorkas posted photos of his visit on Twitter. "I joined the 6am muster at Yuma Sector this morning and heard Border Patrol agents loud and clear. They are doing incredible work on the frontlines. I am fighting to get more resources they need," he wrote.
Agents hit a record number of 178,840 illegal encounters at the border in December.