Press Release

Welch Raises Questions to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas on Northern Border

Mar 28, 2023

WASHINGTON – In a hearing held today by the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.)  addressed Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, on the surge of migrants at the northern border of the United States, in particular in the Swanton Sector, which spans portions of upstate New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire.   

“We’ve seen an undeniable surge in the number of migrants crossing at the northern border – both into and out of the United States. While many of my colleagues are focused on the southern border, I wanted to draw attention to a growing problem we’re seeing at home in Vermont. We need more support from DHS to help keep asylum seekers safe and maintain the integrity of our border,” said Senator Welch. “Secretary Mayorkas was forthcoming on DHS’s new initiatives to limit migration outside ports of entry and provide additional support for folks working on the ground to support asylum seekers and encourage orderly and legal migration. I look forward to working alongside Secretary Mayorkas to address this pressing issue.”  

To watch more on Senator Welch’s YouTube channel click here or click the image below.

An abbreviated transcript of the exchange with Secretary Mayorkas is below. In concluding his remarks, Senator Welch urged his colleagues to focus on carrying out their work on behalf of the American people and “do their job” as Senators. 

Senator Welch: In my final minute, let me ask you about the northern border. This is Vermont and New York as well. We are seeing a surge between October 1 and December 31, 2022. CPP apprehended 1,146 migrants crossing into the U.S. through the Swanton sector. That’s up in northwest Vermont. During that same period, in 2021, it was only 136 migrants. More are crossing from the United States into Canada at the northern border. What are we doing about the situation of migrants from the U.S. traveling to Canada and Canada to the U.S.? 

Secretary Mayorkas: So, we are very focused on that, Senator. As I mentioned earlier in my testimony what we did, what we announced last week is a perfect example of our focus. We finished; we promulgated the Safe Third Country agreement with Canada to bring greater enforcement authority to both our countries with respect to encounters in between the ports of entry. 

Senator Welch: Thank you, and just before I yield back I just would just say to all of my colleagues we can have whoever happens to be the Secretary of Homeland Security and bring them in and beat them up or we can do our job. And my hope is that we can do our job. I yield back.