FIRST ON FOX: Border officials slammed Vice President Kamala Harris’ declarations that the border is “secure,” telling Fox News Digital that the flood of illegal immigrants into the country is a crisis that is getting worse by the day.
Kamala Harris twice declared the U.S. southern border is “secure” during an interview Sunday, despite the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who routinely cross into the country every month.
“I think that there is no question that we have to do what the president and I asked Congress to do, the first request we made: pass a bill to create a pathway to citizenship,” Harris said on “Meet the Press,” which aired on the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “The border is secure, but we also have a broken immigration system, in particular, over the last four years before we came in, and it needs to be fixed.”
NBC News anchor Chuck Todd pushed back against Harris’ claim about the border being secure, asking, “We’re going to have two million people cross this border for the first time ever. You’re confident this border’s secure?”
“We have a secure border in that that is a priority for any nation, including ours and our administration,” Harris replied. “But there are still a lot of problems that we are trying to fix given the deterioration that happened over the last four years. We also have to put into place a law and a plan for a pathway for citizenship for the millions of people who are here and are prepared to do what is legally required to gain citizenship.”
“We don’t have that in place because people are playing politics in a state like this and in Congress,” she added, referring to Texas. “By the way, you want to talk about bipartisanship on an issue that at one time was a bipartisan issue both in terms of Republican senators and even presidents.”
Harris, who was visiting the Lone Star state last week for a number of events, was put in charge of tackling the border crisis by President Biden shortly after they assumed office in 2021.
Meanwhile, the number of migrant encounters at the southern border smashed through the two-million mark this fiscal year, breaching the already-historic 1.7 million encounters last year, as Border Patrol agents deal with a migrant crisis unprecedented in U.S. history and one that the Biden administration has so far failed to slow.
One Border Patrol agent told Fox News Digital on Tuesday that the two-million mark directly contradicts Harris claim.
“Well since we have apprehended over 2 million aliens so far this year, which is a record, and the year is not over and we set a single day apprehension record just last week I believe, that does not exactly scream that our borders are secure,” the agent said.
“It was over 8k aliens for one day. That’s what we caught, not what we did not see or the gotaways,” the agent added.
“This quote is more of the same old word salad responses that this vice president gives,” another border agent told Fox News Digital. “She may be more delusional than [Karine Jean-Pierre]! In my 13 years the border was never more secure than it was after President Trump finally had his policies put in place. The root cause of this invasion is this administration and handing out undeserved citizenship will continue to call in more illegal aliens, terrorists and MS-13 gang members.”
“DHS is currently scrambling for solutions as we cannot process the amount of encounters BP is experiencing,” a senior Customs and Border Protection official told Fox News Digital. “Daily encounters are hitting 8,000 is some cases — an all-time record. The border is far from secure. It’s getting worse.”
Officials estimated to Fox News Digital in July that more than 500,000 illegals were known to have slipped past agents in FY22 so far, but they have been detected by cameras or other sensors. There have been about 55,000 so-called “gotaways” each month this fiscal year, and that number does not include the individuals who have not been detected by technology.
The number is also in addition to the 389,155 known gotaways that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas previously testified there were in all of FY21.
Still, the White House is trying to paint the border crisis as under control. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre came under fire last month after she claimed people were not walking into the country illegally.
“That’s not how it works,” she said.
Meanwhile, Illegal immigrants dressed in full camouflage were spotted by Fox News cameras being lowered over an Arizona border wall Tuesday by human smugglers.
Those who have entered illegally have typically been deported if encountered by ICE. However, the Biden administration imposed limits on the agency, restricting them to focus on recent border crossers and national security and public safety threats.
That guidance has since been blocked by a court injunction, but arrests and deportations plummeted under the Biden administration. In FY21, ICE arrested 74,082 noncitizens and deported 59,011 — down from 103,603 arrests and 185,884 removals in FY20 and 143,099 arrests and 267,258 deportations in FY19.