Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to discuss the nation’s unprecedented border and humanitarian crises along our southwest border.
Rather than be honest with the American people and take ownership of the crisis his administration created, the secretary continued with the same spin, mis-direction, and blatant lies being pushed by the Biden administration. Mr. Mayorkas pleaded ignorance, dodged questions and blamed everyone and everything for the crises, including climate change. He sounded more like a politician than the secretary responsible for protecting our homeland security. His testimony was the final straw — Mr. Mayorkas must be removed immediately as he has lied to the America people again and again and has failed to honor his oath to “defend and secure our country.”
I have served this country for 35 years under six different administrations. But I have never seen someone mislead the American people like Mr. Mayorkas has done in the past few months.
Mr. Mayorkas claims that our borders are closed and secure. It’s not only absurd but also insulting to the front-line defenders on our nation’s borders who know that what he’s saying is a blatant lie. Right now, our country is seeing the largest levels of illegal immigration in nearly 20 years. Last month more than 178,000 illegal aliens were apprehended by the Border Patrol.
Within the first 120 days of the Biden administration the Border Patrol has apprehended more illegal aliens than during the entire 2020 fiscal year. There has been a 900 percent increase in apprehensions from this time last year. As a direct result of the Biden administration’s dismantling of almost every effective tool, authority and policy, 38 percent of the illegal aliens being apprehended are intentionally released into the U.S. In the month of April alone, under Mr. Mayorkas’ direction, almost 70,000 illegal aliens were released — never to be heard from again.
Title 42 — a public health order that should be applied to all unaccompanied minors, family units and single adults as an effective tool to reduce the further introduction of COVID-19 into our country — is not being fully and consistently enforced. The Biden administration immediately carved out an exemption for unaccompanied minors, which has directly resulted in an unprecedented spike in apprehensions with March seeing more than 19,000 unaccompanied minors — the highest mark ever on record.
What the secretary conveniently failed to mention during his hearing is that the majority of families are being released into the interior of the country are being flown to every town, city, and state in our country. The truth is on any given day 60-80 percent are released with some not even receiving a Notice to Appear (NTA)— court documents that require individuals to appear in immigration court.
Our borders are far from being secure because of this administration’s policies. Border Patrol is averaging almost 1,000 got-aways a day at the southern border. Cartels, along with human and drug traffickers, are proliferating, profiting and exploiting the administration’s open border policies. These criminal groups use children and families to distract Border Patrol agents, leaving large areas of the border unsecure and unmonitored, so that they can funnel criminal illegal aliens and drugs through the border and end up reaching every metropolitan city in the country. Conservatively, more than 170,000 got-aways have already made it past our borders this year.
Mr. Mayorkas continues to spew the false narrative that the Biden administration didn’t receive adequate help from the Trump administration during its transition period and weren’t prepared or informed enough to manage the southern border. This is reckless, irresponsible and another in a long series of lies being told by this secretary.
The truth is the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security alone provided the Biden administration with over 200 briefings during this transition period — with the vast majority of these briefings focusing on border security and illegal immigration. I know this because I was the still the acting commissioner of CBP during the transition.
We explained in great detail the tools, authorities and policies that we developed under the Trump administration, which resulted in significantly reducing the illegal immigration flow and producing the most secure border we’ve seen in our lifetime.
We warned them that if policies like Remain in Mexico and the agreements we had in Central America were ended, we’d see an unmitigated border crisis that would pale in comparison to what we experience in 2019. That we’d see detention facilities overwhelmed. And that we’d see illegal immigration reach historic levels. Mr. Mayorkas and his administration ignored our advice, dismissed the border security experts, and dismantled the entire network of border security tools.
The secretary has presided over a reckless abandonment of enforcing America’s immigration laws and securing our borders. Our country needs a secretary who enforces rule of law and secures our borders.
• Mark Morgan is a senior fellow at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
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