Bloomberg Law
March 15, 2023, 3:22 PMUpdated: March 15, 2023, 7:05 PM

US Lacks ‘Operational Control’ of Border, Chief Tells GOP (1)

Ellen M. Gilmer
Ellen M. Gilmer

The Department of Homeland Security lacks operational control of the border, a top official told lawmakers, a significant admission as Republicans accuse the Biden administration of failing to secure the US-Mexico border.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) pressed Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz Wednesday on the matter during a field hearing in Pharr, Texas, asking whether the Department of Homeland Security has “operational control of our entire border.”

“No, sir,” Ortiz said.

Operational control is a technical term rooted in federal law that sets a virtually impossible requirement of preventing “all unlawful entries” into the US. Republicans ...