OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
4:00 PM – Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that more than 600,000 people illegally crossed into the United States without being arrested by border security during the 2023 fiscal year.
On Tuesday, Mayorkas testified before U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for the annual “Threats to the Homeland” hearing.
During the hearing, he revealed that over 600,000 people illegally crossed the border into the U.S. without being apprehended during the 2023 fiscal year (FY), which ended on September 30th.
Kansas Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) asked Mayorkas how many “gotaways” U.S. Border Patrol agents recorded in the last year, and Mayorkas responded saying the amount reached over 600,000.
“Gotaways” refer to immigrants observed illegally crossing over into the U.S. without being arrested.
Mayorkas insisted during the hearing that the shocking number of so-called “gotaways” have been an issue at the border for “decades.”
“I’m sure you are well aware the phenomenon of “gotaways” is something that has been a challenge for the Department of Homeland Security for decades,” Mayorkas said. “In fact, it is a powerful example of a broken immigration system.”
However, Mayorkas still consistently maintained in the past that the southern border remained “secure,” according to members of the Senate committee.
Due to a Homeland Security GOP report that claimed there had been almost 7.5 million illegal immigrant crossings, with 6.2 million of those contacts occurring at the southwest border, these allegations have come under intense scrutiny.
According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, officials recorded about 2.48 million occurrences in fiscal year 2023, which marks the highest amount so far in the nation’s history. The most recent records are up 40% from FY 2021 and 4% from FY 2022.
Authorities also [allegedly] marked 280 of those asylum seekers on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) terrorist watch list over the past three years, according to fiscal year-end and monthly immigration records provided by the agency.
“Americans feel less safe today than they did before the start of this administration, and your testimony has always solidified the view of American people that they don’t have confidence in the job that you’re doing,” Marshall said. “This is why I believe the defining issue in this next election is going to be exactly this: Are our families safer today than they were three years ago?”
Additionally, during Tuesday’s hearing, Mayorkas was challenged further by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on the subject of illegal immigrants released by federal officials.
“Where did these six million people go? Are you keeping track of them? To what extent do we have a handle on where these six million people are in America?” Johnson asked.
“As you well know, when an individual is indeed released, they are released into immigration enforcement proceedings and are subject to removal if they do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States,” Mayorkas said.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts