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GOP lawmaker says DHS chief tried to 'bulls***' him on call about border crisis

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

A Republican lawmaker whose district is on the southern border and includes the town of Del Rio, Texas, said Wednesday that Biden administration's homeland security chief tried to "bulls***" him on a conference call about the border crisis.

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) told the Washington Examiner in an interview that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was "dismissive" of the congressman's concerns about crime and potential terrorist activity at the southern border on a call discussing how thousands of migrants crossed illegally and overwhelmed the town of Del Rio days ago.

"We discussed a wide variety of things, but one of the things that I mentioned in particular, I was like, 'Look, the migrant situation's absolutely chaotic and terrible, but what keeps me up at night is another 9/11-type of event,'" Gonzales said.

"And when you have all of your Border Patrol agents — it's not only in the Del Rio sector, it's the surrounding sectors as well — that all kind of come to Del Rio to handle this situation, that literally leaves our border wide open," he explained. "There's hundreds of miles that aren't being patrolled at all. Checkpoints are closed down."

Gonzales represents Texas's 23rd Congressional District, which stretches from San Antonio to El Paso and covers 800 miles of the border with Mexico. He told the Examiner that this Monday evening call with Mayorkas was the first time he spoke to a member of President Joe Biden's Cabinet about the border crisis, and that his concerns were ignored.

"'No. No. No. Everything is under control,'" said Gonzales, paraphrasing what Mayorkas told him. "No, don't tell me, 'Everything's under control.' It's not under control. Because like, I know it's not under control. You can bulls*** somebody else, but you can't bulls*** me."

"It was kind of like, dismissive a little bit, and that's a problem, especially when you're talking about national security. Like, there are no second chances. You have to get it right every single time, or it's game over," he added.

The Biden administration on Sunday began expelling some of the more than 12,000 Haitian migrants who had gathered under a bridge in Del Rio back to their home country. Under Gov. Greg Abbott's direction, Texas state troopers deployed to the area have created a miles-long "steel wall" of patrol vehicles to deter more migrants from crossing the Rio Grande to the encampment under the Del Rio International Bridge.

Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez told the Texas Tribune that there are an estimated 6,200 migrants still camped under the bridge as of Wednesday. Some migrants who were permitted to enter the U.S. to make asylum claims included families with small children and pregnant women.

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