Click here or the image above to watch Senator Capito’s questioning.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, participated in a full Appropriations Committee hearing with Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on the president’s supplemental funding requests for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS):

During the hearing, Senator Capito questioned Secretary Mayorkas about the national security threat posed by America’s open southern border, solutions to curb the flow of illegal immigration, and the Biden administration’s resistance to any of the common sense reforms put forward by Senate Republicans.


ON THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION RESISTING CHANGES TO BORDER POLICY: “Why is incremental change- that [Senate Republicans are] trying to help you do a better job to pull down the numbers that we see- I mean, even, you mentioned 2019 was an important year. Well, that was less than a million [illegal crossings]. Last year? 2.4 million. So even in that retrospective of a year that [Sec. Mayorkas is] pointing to, as a year that was, you know, not emblematic of good policy, it's still pales in comparison to where we are now.”

ON PRESIDENT BIDEN RESISTING POLICY CHANGE WHEN HE KNOWS THE PROBLEM IS GROWING: “We are trying, I think, to offer the administration- ‘we’ being the Republicans here in the Senate- offering the administration substantive policy changes that will bring these numbers down. [Sec. Mayorkas] mentioned 1996 is when the immigration law was last changed. You've been operating under the same immigration laws that every other administration has been since 1996. The numbers, for example, in [Fiscal Year] [20]14, were 568,000. We probably thought that was a big number back then. You've got the same laws, and still, you're five times more people coming in. It tells me the policies around the immigration laws that are written in 1996 are what's causing the problems. And so, those are the things that we can help you with to be able to afford change. I don't think saying keeping an open border is going to help our economic situation- you've obviously testified- we don't know [who] a lot of these people are.”


SEN. CAPITO: “If you go to New York City, what's the average time that your case would be heard- your asylum case would be heard?”

SEC. MAYORKAS: “Senator, it’s an individualized case analysis, but I will tell you, on average, it is multiple years in many, many- in too many cases- that it is the time of final adjudication of an asylum case, because our case backlog is so significant across the system.”


SEN. CAPITO: “Always, trying to hire border agents has been an issue. So, in the request, in the [supplemental] request, there's a request for another 1,000. You lost 700 last year from attrition. You're not even hired up to the amount that you could have now. How in the world are you going to hire an additional 1,000 officers when you can't even hire up to the allotted amount that you're appropriated for today?”

SEC. MAYORKAS: “… We are intensely focused on hiring reform, not just the hiring process itself, but also making advances in the polygraph process that, as you know, has been a challenge for many years. We are intensely focused on that administrative aspect of- of the challenge because we need additional personnel.”

SEN. CAPITO: “Thank you. I would suggest too, more pay and better retention bonuses to be able to keep the people that you have. That's part of the package that we're putting forward here as ideas on ways to help.”

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