Hoeven Presses DHS Secretary Mayorkas to Enforce the Law, Outlines Tools Available to Secure the Nation's Southern Border

WASHINGTON – At a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Committee this week, Senator John Hoeven pressed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to enforce America’s immigration laws and secure the southern border. The hearing follows Hoeven’s recent visit to Del Rio and Eagle Pass, Texas to support Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials and North Dakota Guard members and draw attention to their work at the U.S.-Mexico border. Specifically, the senator called on Mayorkas to enforce:

  • The Title 42 Public Health Order, an important tool that allows immigration officials to return illegal immigrants to their home country and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) or Remain in Mexico Policy, which required people seeking asylum at the southern border to wait in Mexico while their case was adjudicated.
  • The Safe Third Country Agreements so those seeking asylum from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala can be returned to their home country to await the outcome of their claims.
  • The senator also pressed Mayorkas to resume construction of the border wall.

Later that day, Hoeven raised similar issues in a call with U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz and Pete Flores, Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Field Operations. The senator also urged Flores to resume normal operating hours at the northern border’s ports of entry. 

“Our message to DHS Secretary Mayorkas is clear. You have the tools, so use them to secure the border,” said Hoeven. “By getting the crisis at the southern border under control, we will be better able to address needs at the northern border. That means returning to normal operating hours at our northern ports of entry, while ensuring strong border security for our nation across the board.”

In addition to his recent visit to Del Rio and Eagle Pass, Texas, the senator had previously traveled to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to meet with Border Patrol and local leaders on the southern border. Hoeven also traveled with a bipartisan congressional delegation to Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and Guatemala to discuss the need to work together to stop illegal migration and prevent human and drug trafficking.