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Texas lawmakers hammer Biden for ‘never’ speaking to ex-border chief during his tenure

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FIRST ON FOX: Republican members of Texas’ Congressional delegation are hammering President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris after the former border patrol chief said he never heard from them while helming the government agency on the front lines of the migrant crisis.

“If they had called Chief Ortiz — or listened to any of our brave officers on the front lines — they would have heard what every Texan knows: This administration is directly responsible for the chaos and devastation plaguing our border states and the entire nation,” House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital.

Raul Ortiz served as chief of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) from August 2021 through May 2023, during which time the situation at the southern border first became a particularly thorny issue for the Biden administration.

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House Republicans are hammering President Biden after his ex-border patrol chief said he never heard from the commander-in-chief during his tenure (Getty Images)

In an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” program that aired Sunday, Ortiz accused the Biden administration of “most definitely” sending mixed messages to migrants and said of his own relationship with Biden and Harris: “I’ve never had one conversation with the president or vice president.”

“I was the chief of the Border Patrol. I commanded 21,000 people. That’s a problem,” he said.

Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, said Biden should’ve had Ortiz “on speed dial.”

“It’s common sense — talk to the ones with boots on the ground, dealing with the crisis day in and day out. Now, it is clear to the American people that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have never cared about the crisis they have created at the southern border,” Weber told Fox News Digital.

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Raul Ortiz

Former U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz made the accusation during a “60 Minutes” interview (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The number of illegal crossings at the southern border has risen to new highs year over year since 2021, when Biden took office. The president has called for reform to the U.S. immigration system, which he labeled “broken,” and has called on Congress to pass comprehensive legislation.

Republican lawmakers, however, have insisted that Biden has the power to solve the border crisis through executive action, arguing his policies have led to its current state.

Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, called his lack of communication with his former border patrol chief “disappointing but not surprising.”

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migrants line up at campsite

Asylum-seeking migrants line up in a makeshift, mountainous campsite to be processed after crossing the border with Mexico, Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, near Jacumba Hot Springs, Calif.  (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

“This failure illustrates the Biden Administration’s lack of respect for our border patrol heroes and an unserious attitude about the national security risk at the southern border,” Pfluger told Fox News Digital.

House Small Business Committee Chairman Roger Williams, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital, “This is just another example of the Biden administration ignoring the deadly invasion at our southern border and lying to the public. Instead of working with those on the frontlines, Biden continues to push open border amnesty policies that put America last.”

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Fox News Digital reached out to the White House for comment on Ortiz’s claims and the resulting House GOP criticism.

Source: Fox News

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