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White House Silent After Former Border Patrol Chief Says Biden, Harris ‘Never Had 1 Conversation’ with Him

The White House appears to be staying quiet after former Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz says on “60 Minutes” that he “never had one conversation with the president, or the vice president for that matter.”
U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz gestures as he speaks in an interview at the Del Rio Civic Center. Karen Gleason
U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz gestures as he speaks in an interview at the Del Rio Civic Center. Karen Gleason

By: Virginia Allen, The Daily Signal

The White House has remained quiet since Raul Ortiz’s comment that he didn’t talk with either President Joe Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris while serving as chief of the U.S. Border Patrol.

“I’ve never had one conversation with the president, or the vice president for that matter,” Ortiz said during an interview on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday. “I was the chief of the Border Patrol; I commanded 21,000 people. That’s a problem.”

Ortiz served as chief of Border Patrol for two years of the Biden administration before retiring in the summer of 2023.

The White House didn’t respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment and has yet to issue a public statement in response to Ortiz’s remarks on “60 Minutes.”

“We need to make sure that Central America, South America, Mexico, that those regions understand that if you pay a smuggler and you cross in between the ports of entry, and you do not have a legitimate claim to some sort of asylum benefit, you’re going to be sent back,” Ortiz went on to say on the program.

When asked if he believes that the White House has sent “mixed messages to migrants,” Ortiz replied: “Yeah, most definitely.”

On his first day in office Jan. 20, 2021, Biden stopped construction of the Trump administration’s wall at the southern border, signed an executive order “revoking a Trump Executive Order that directed harsh and extreme immigration enforcement,” and strategically undid many of the Trump administration’s other border security policies.

During the “60 Minutes” interview, Ortiz also seemed to criticize Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, for playing politics with the border crisis.

“The National Guardsmen, even to some degree the Border Patrol agents, have become pawns in this political game between the two sides,” Ortiz said, referring to the fight over securing the border between Texas authorities and the federal government.

The two sides have filed multiple lawsuits over border and immigration policies. In January, the tension between Biden and Abbott thickened when the Texas National Guard assumed control of Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas.

The shallow water of a narrow stretch of the Rio Grande on the edge of Shelby Park had made the site an appealing crossing point. The Border Patrol used the wide-open space of the park as a holding location for illegal aliens after they crossed the river from Mexico.

The National Guard has built a makeshift wall on the edge of Shelby Park using shipping containers, razor wire, and concertina wire, and is preventing the Border Patrol from using the space as a processing site for illegal aliens.

Border and immigration issues have risen to the No. 1 issue of concern for Americans ahead of the presidential primaries in 15 states Tuesday in what is called Super Tuesday.

In a recent Pew Research Center poll, 77% of Americans said the situation at the border is either a “crisis” or a “major problem.” A Gallup poll last month shows that 28% of Americans say they believe that “immigration” is the most important problem facing the country, outpacing concerns about the “government” and the “economy in general.”

Since Biden became president, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reported encountering more than 8.8 million illegal aliens on America’s borders and at ports of entry. That doesn’t include 1.7 million “known gotaways.”

CBP also has seized more than 56,000 pounds of the deadly drug fentanyl since Biden took office and encountered about 1,500 individuals on America’s terror watch list.

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