Posted on January 9, 2024

Mayorkas Tells Border Patrol Agents That ‘Above 85%’ of Illegal Immigrants Released Into US: Sources

Adam Shaw et al., Fox News, January 8, 2024

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday admitted to Border Patrol agents that the current rate of release for illegal immigrants apprehended at the southern border is “above 85%,” sources told Fox News.

Mayorkas made the remarks when meeting privately with agents in Eagle Pass, Texas, according to three Border Patrol sources who were in the room and heard the remarks themselves.

The conversation happened during the muster for agents in the busy border area. Fox is told Mayorkas was asked directly about comments he made on “Special Report” last week when he was asked by anchor Bret Baier about reporting that over 70% of migrants are released into the U.S. each day.

“It would not surprise me at all. I know the data,” Mayorkas said. “And I will tell you that when individuals are released, they are released into immigration enforcement proceedings. They are on alternatives to detention. And we have returned or removed a record number of individuals. We are enforcing the laws that Congress has passed. ”

Fox is told that on Monday agents pushed him on those remarks, saying that the number is even higher than 70%, and then Mayorkas acknowledged a release rate of “above 85%.”

Mayorkas had also said last week on “Special Report” that “well more than a million” migrants are released into the U.S. annually, and argued repeatedly that it is up to Congress to provide more funding and immigration reform to fix what he has called a “broken” system. He said that the agency is limited in detention capacity by funding provided by Congress.


The remarks come just two days before the House Homeland Security Committee holds its first impeachment hearing, featuring multiple state attorneys general who will testify about the impact the crisis has had on their states.

The hearing on Wednesday marks the first impeachment hearing after a year of investigations and reports by the House Homeland Security Committee which looked at the handling of the nearly three-year migrant crisis.