Afghanistan is not the only crisis mortifying our country as Biden licks ice cream from the comfort of Camp David, orders children to wear masks, and now retreats to Delaware. America’s southern border is another catastrophe, and unlike Afghanistan, it isn’t thousands of miles away on the other side of the world. It’s a humanitarian crisis inside America that’s accelerating additional crises in drug and sex trafficking.
In July, U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered 212,672 migrants, which is the most encounters in the past 21 years. Compare this to the situation under the Trump administration. In July 2020, there were 40,929 encounters with migrants. This means that there were five times more encounters with migrants under Biden than under Trump in the same month, with just one year and a different administration separating the two.
Not enough blame for this situation has been placed on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Yes, Biden deserves some serious flack for this. But you can’t place too much blame on a man who struggles to find the front door to his own home. It’s Mayorkas who is presiding over and engineering this total disaster.
Last week, Mayorkas called the situation on the border “one of the toughest challenges we face.” And when speaking privately to Border Patrol agents, he called the situation “unsustainable.” This is honestly a step in the right direction for a man who has been more disastrous than any cabinet secretary in recent memory — besides perhaps Deb Haaland and Kathleen Sebelius. Any other official who had such atrocious numbers under his or her watch would be summarily fired. Alejandro Mayorkas isn’t just doing a bad job. He is absolutely, positively failing.
If you asked Secretary Mayorkas why migrants are flooding across the border, part of his answer would probably include a two-word phrase that has become the Biden administration’s go-to explanation for the border crisis. The phrase “root causes” has been used by both Mayorkas and “border czar” Vice President Kamala Harris. (In recent weeks, Harris has been trying to finagle her way out of dealing with the border crisis. It’s bad for her image.)
The “root causes” excuse is used to pretend the surge in migrants is due to poverty and violence in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico — and not the Biden administration’s rollback of border restrictions implemented under the Trump administration. Obviously, the “root causes” explanation is laughable. Poverty and violence in Central America has remained the same. What’s changed is America’s policies and leaders.
On January 21, before Mayorkas was appointed, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would pause all deportations for 100 days and temporarily end Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required migrants to return to Mexico while they awaited their court hearings in the U.S. The message was clear: the gates are open wide.
And then there was Kamala and Joe’s history of words of welcome to immigrants (“Say it loud, say it clear, everyone is welcome here. #NoBanNoWall”), their past promises of social services for illegal immigrants, and talk that Biden and his fellow Democrats would pass a massive amnesty bill which would give immigrants who get here in time the chance to stay here legally for the rest of their lives. Essentially, the Biden administration dangled a goodie bag and waved immigrants in.
Now Alejandro Mayorkas is leading the charge to undo the Trump administration’s restrictive policies, including the Remain in Mexico Policy. In June, he announced that the Department of Homeland Security would formally end the policy, as it would be a “poor use of the department’s resources.”
Last week, a federal judge ordered that Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy be reinstated, and ruled that Mayorkas’ decision to end the policy violated federal law. The judge noted that Mayorkas ignored warnings from DHS officials that repealing the policy would lead to a surge in illegal immigration. Mayorkas has appealed the decision.
Under Mayorkas, 55,000 migrants who crossed the border illegally since March have been released into the United States with no court date, according to Axios. The immigrants are told to show up to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, but so far only 13 percent have actually done so.
And as COVID spreads rapidly through overcrowded detention centers, immigration officials under Mayorkas have simply taken to releasing migrants from these facilities to solve the problem.
Mayorkas went on the defensive last week, and gave a speech in Brownsville, Texas where he discussed how he is leading efforts to “strengthen enforcement” at the border. Since Mayorkas has been leading enforcement efforts for the entirety of the border crisis, this isn’t too consoling.
“It is critical,” he said August 12, “that intending migrants understand clearly that they will be turned back if they enter the United States illegally and do not have a basis for relief under our laws.”
Well that’s good, but where has his “leadership” on this been for the past seven months? Border crossings are at a two-decade-high. Shouldn’t he have been delivering speeches on strategies to cut down on border crossings in say . . . February?
Of course Mayorkas hasn’t been strong on border enforcement. It’s intentional. Mayorkas got his start in the immigration realm by orchestrating the DACA program in 2012. That’s right: the man in charge of protecting our country from those who seek to illegally cross into our nation created a program that allows illegal immigrants to stay in the country. So you see where his priorities lie.
Mayorkas added another excuse besides “root causes” to explain away the border crisis. He said another reason could be “the end of the cruel policies of the past administration and the restoration of the rule of laws of this country that Congress has passed, including our asylum laws that provide humanitarian relief.” Well, it seems he’s getting closer to the truth.
Republicans are beginning to be infuriated with Mayorkas.
Last week, Sen. Tom Cotton called for Mayorkas to resign and Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona introduced articles of impeachment against Mayorkas.
And on Friday, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich wrote a letter to Biden asking him to replace Mayorkas. “Mr. President,” Brnovich wrote, “Secretary Mayorkas’ short tenure at DHS has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster for border security, and for American safety and sovereignty.” He continued, “For this reason, I am requesting you replace him with a Secretary who is committed to the rule of law and enforcement of border policies that protect American communities.”
Brnovich noted that Mayorkas has the “tools and laws” to stop the border crisis, but has failed to use them.
The border crisis is an absolute humanitarian crisis, unprecedented in size, and there is a man we should be placing responsibility on for this disaster: Alejandro Mayorkas.
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