DHS Secretary: ‘I Don’t Even Know What You’re Referring to’

Melanie Arter | November 15, 2022 | 1:34pm EST
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DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday that he didn’t know what Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) was referring to when the congressman asked him whether he authorized CBP agents to release illegal aliens into the United States without vetting them or collecting their fingerprints.

During a House Homeland Security Committee hearing titled “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland,” Mayorkas also said he didn’t know what the congressman was referring to when questioned about whether the secretary used his authority to suppress evidence presented by CBP agents who came under public attack by the Biden administration.


The secretary offered the same response when questioned about whether he used his authority to retaliate against DHS agents identified as conservatives or Trump supporters.

Likewise, Mayorkas didn’t know what Higgins was referring to when asked whether the secretary encouraged his chain of command to suppress law enforcement actions at the border using internal investigations and threats of disciplinary actions to force those agents to comply with DHS policies that “injure” the country’s homeland security.

The congressman’s exchange with the secretary was interrupted by Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who challenged the congressman to allow the secretary to answer his line of questioning.

 

HIGGINS: Secretary Mayorkas, for the record, are you aware or have you authorized CBP agents to release illegal aliens into America without identifying, screening, or vetting them properly or harvesting even basic biometric data like fingerprints?

MAYORKAS: Congressman, our nation’s sovereignty stands strong, and our brave men and women in the Border Patrol and throughout U.S. Customs---

HIGGINS: Are you aware or have you authorized CBP agents to release illegal aliens into America without having properly vetted, identified them or collected at least basic biometric data like fingerprints?

MAYORKAS: Congressman—

HIGGINS: You got millions coming across.

MAYORKAS: Congressman, our ---

THOMPSON: Mr. Higgins, allow the secretary to answer.

HIGGINS: It’s my time, Mr. Chairman. If I want to reclaim my time, I will. I’m gonna move on without an answer. Mr. Chairman, are you asking for me to yield you time?

THOMPSON: No, I’m the chair.

HIGGINS: Then I’m going to reclaim my time. Moving on, Secretary Mayorkas.

THOMPSON: Gentleman from—

HIGGINS: Are you interrupting my time, Mr. Chairman? Are you first questioning me to yield you time?

THOMPSON: I’m trying to ensure that we conduct—

HIGGINS: You’re interfering with my –

THOMPSON: The gentleman will---

HIGGINS: If you request me to yield my time, I’ll give you time.

THOMPSON: No, but that’s not the procedure.

HIGGINS: That is the procedure.

THOMPSON: It is not.

HIGGINS: Yes, it is. Of course it is. I reclaim my time, and I want this time back. Mr. Secretary Mayorkas, have you used your authority to suppress exculpatory evidence presented by CBP agents who’ve come under public attack and condemnation by you and the Biden administration?

MAYORKAS: Two points if I may, Congressman. Number one, in response to your second question, I don’t even know what you’re referring to, and with respect to your first question---

HIGGINS: I’ll take that as you’re on the record as saying, no, you have not used your authority to suppress exculpatory evidence. If you’re an honorable man, then obviously, you should be able to say no to that. Who would suppress exculpatory evidence? Is your answer no?

MAYORKAS: I don’t even know what you’re referring to, Congressman.

HIGGINS: You will.

MAYORKAS: And if I may—

HIGGINS: Secretary Mayorkas, have you used your authority to retaliate against DHS agents who served on special details in the Trump administration, agents identified by your administration as conservatives or Trump supporters?

MAYORKAS: Once again, Congressman, I don’t even know what you’re referring to.

HIGGINS: You’re before Congress. I’m going to take that as a no. Through your authority, Secretary Mayorkas, have you encouraged your chain of command to suppress basic law enforcement actions at the border and harass or victimize or intimidate experienced front-line law enforcement agents at the border using internal investigations and threats of disciplinary action or transfer in order to force those agents to comply with DHS policies that actually injure the security of our homeland and are contrary to the sworn oath of those agents? Is that the culture you’ve created?

MAYORKAS: Congressman, I don’t even know what you’re referring to.

HIGGINS: You will.

MAYORKAS: And I am— 

HIGGINS: Secretary Mayorkas, final question. It’s been rumored ---

MAYORKAS: --- a culture of honor and service and nobility throughout the Department of Homeland Security.

HIGGINS: You represent nobility, Secretary Mayorkas?

MAYORKAS: Congressman, that is what I am dedicated to.

HIGGINS: It’s been rumored, Secretary, that you’re going to resign prior to January the 3rd. Is there any truth to those rumors?

MAYORKAS: That is a false rumor.

HIGGINS: Alright. We look forward to seeing you in January.

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