Former Border Patrol Chief says Biden, Harris never spoke to him during his tenure

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The former Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol told 60 Minutes that President Biden never spoke to him during his two years on the job. Neither did Vice President Kamala Harris, tapped as the administration’s “border czar” by President Biden in May 2021.

Raul Ortiz served as the U.S. Chief of Border Patrol under President Biden and deputy chief under former President Trump before retiring in May 2023. 

Then-U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz listens during a news conference, Jan. 5, 2023, in Washington (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In an interview that aired Sunday, Ortiz excoriated politicians – Republicans and Democrats alike – who engage in media ops in a “two-mile stretch,” neglected hundreds of miles of open borders. 

But he expressed particular frustrations for the president, saying that in his two years in office, “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. 


Ortiz said the U.S. needs to send a clearer message to Central and South America that they will be sent back if they do not have a legitimate asylum claim. 

Asked if he believed the White House has sent mixed messages to migrants, he said: “most definitely.” 

Ortiz presided over Border Patrol during some of the most high-profile incidents, including 15,000 Haitian migrants under the bridge in Del Rio, agents being falsely accused of whipping, the end of Title 42 expulsions, and record-setting illegal crossings. 

Ortiz testified under oath in March 2023 during a House field hearing in McAllen, Texas that the border is not secure. He retired two months later. 


His interview comes after Biden and Trump made dueling trips to the southern border, underscoring how central the border is to the 2024 presidential election. 


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