Joe Biden’s DHS Chief Says He Is Opening New Doors for Migrants

Migrants, most of whom are part of a recently arrived caravan, stand in line for breakfast at a migrant hostel as they wait to apply for asylum into the United States on February 08, 2019 in Piedras Negras, Mexico. The hostel is holding approximately 2,000 migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and …
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s border chief announced his plans Tuesday to expand economic migration into the United States, on top of the roughly one million people per year set by Congress.

“For years, the asylum system has been badly in need of reengineering,” said the March 16 statement by DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. He continued:

In addition to improving the process by which unaccompanied children are placed with family or sponsors, we will be issuing a new regulation shortly and taking other measures to implement the long-needed systemic reforms.  We will shorten from years to months the time it takes to adjudicate an asylum claim while ensuring procedural safeguards and enhancing access to counsel.

Mayorkas is a lawyer and also a strong supporter of the unpopular claim the United States is a “Nation of Immigrants,” not of Americans. So he can argue his immigration expansion plans complies with the nation’s complex and loopholed immigration law, major parts of which have been written by agency regulators and pro-migration judges. Mayorkas wrote:

We are keeping our borders secure, enforcing our laws, and staying true to our values and principles …

I came to this country as an infant, brought by parents who understood the hope and promise of America.  Today, young children are arriving at our border with that same hope.  We can do this.

Mayorkas is trying to widen various small doors on the border. For example, he is helping many more migrants win claims for asylum by allowing them to seek asylum from routine poverty, political corruption, and street crime commonplace in many countries outside the United States.

Mayorkas’ side-door immigration policy has been widely criticized, including by CNN commentator Fareed Zakaria. On March 14, he said:

The truth is the asylum system is out of control. The concept of asylum dates to the years after World War Two, when the United States created a separate path to legal status for those who feared religious, ethnic or political persecution, a noble idea born in the shadow of America’s refusal to take in Jews in the 1930s.

It was used sparingly for decades, mostly applying to cases of extreme discrimination.

But the vast majority of people entering the southern border are really traditional migrants fleeing poverty and violence. This is a sad situation, but it does not justify giving them special consideration above others around the world who seek to come to the United States for similar reasons, but go through the normal process.

Mayorkas is also trying to widen the small doorway created by the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Congress passed the bill to help minors who were smuggled into the United States for crimes, such as prostitution.  But Mayorkas is now converting the 2008 anti-trafficking law to help illegal immigrants import their left-behind children:

DHS and HHS terminated a 2018 agreement that had a chilling effect on potential sponsors – typically a parent or close relative – from coming forward to care for an unaccompanied child placed in an HHS shelter. In its place, DHS and HHS signed a new Memorandum of Agreement that promotes the safe and timely transfer of children. It keeps safeguards designed to ensure children are unified with properly vetted sponsors who can safely care for them while they await immigration proceedings.

Mayorkas is also using the 2008 law to expand the inflow of younger migrants, including many who take low-wage, high-abuse jobs in the United States to pay off their trafficking debts. For example, he has opened a Dallas facility to help provide legal paperwork to 3,000 young men every several weeks.

Mayorkas is also creating new ways to fly migrants in from other countries, regardless of national laws curbing chain migration, Mayorkas wrote:

We are restarting and expanding the Central American Minors program.  It creates a lawful pathway for children to come to the United States without having to take the dangerous journey. Under this expansion, children will be processed in their home countries and brought to the United States in a safe and orderly way.

The statement was focused on blue-collar migration from Central America — but Mayorkas is rolling back curbs on the inflow of foreign graduates into the white collar jobs needed by the sons and daughters of America’s professional class.

In his statement, Mayorkas showed he is also using Mexico’s reluctance to support deported poor migrants as an excuse to import the poor migrants:

Single adults from other countries are expelled by plane to their countries of origin if Mexico does not accept them … Families from Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries are expelled to Mexico unless Mexico does not have the capacity to receive the families … When Mexico’s capacity is reached, we process the families and place them in immigration proceedings here in the United States.

But Mayorkas and his allies have sharply reduced diplomatic pressure on Mayorkas to protect the migrants — nearly all of whom travel through Mexico without asking for asylum in Mexico’s large economy.

Mayorkas is also allying with pro-migration international groups and private groups to help them deliver more wage-cutting, rent-raising migrants into Americans’ blue-collar labor market. He wrote:

We are developing additional legal and safe pathways for children and others to reach the United States.  While we are building a formal refugee program throughout the region, we are working with Mexico, the Northern Triangle countries, and international organizations to establish processing centers in those countries so that individuals can be screened through them and brought to the United States if they qualify for relief under our humanitarian laws and other authorities.

Mayorkas wants to provide lawyers so unskilled and poor economic migrants get elite help as they try to migrate into Americans’ jobs, housing, and schools.

The offer of lawyers will lengthen legal disputes and make it difficult for them to be deported. The lawyers will help migrants to stay in the United States for years, even if the asylum claims are weak — and so encourage yet more wage-deflating migration into Americans’ jobs.

“This is the roadmap going forward for a system that is safe, orderly, and fair,” said Mayorkas, who emphasized fairness for would-be migrants, not for older, sicker, minority, or less-productive Americans who need decent jobs and higher wages.

Throughout his statement, Mayorkas argues that his welcome policy is needed to help migrants plagued by poverty and disasters: “Poverty, high levels of violence, and corruption in Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries have propelled migration to our southwest border for years.  The adverse conditions have continued to deteriorate.”

But the “extraction migration” policies pushed by Mayorkas and his progressives create poverty and disaster by extracting needed young men and women from Central America’s economies. Mayorkas’ political allies then use the extracted migrants as workers, consumers, and renters in the U.S. economy.

GOP officials are pushing back by spotlighting the chaos, suffering, and deaths caused by Mayorkas’s extraction-migration policies.

“We are a compassionate nation, but lawlessness is not compassion,” Rep. Micheal Cloud (R-TX) told reporters at a March 15 border press conference.

Aiding and abetting cartels is not compassion. Putting in policies that allow them to abuse women on the journey is not compassion. Allowing them to grow and be funded into a disabling force in these [Central American] nations that are trying to thrive and survive and create a thriving economy for their people is not compassion …

We have turned the people who’ve signed up to protect our border into the last mile delivery system of the cartel migrant human trafficking organization … We can fix this, we can secure our border, we can protect the lives of these people, and we can keep this nation strong and help push back the cartel influence in our nation and throughout Central and South America.

But Mayorkas is an immigration zealot who uses his powerful office to subordinate Americans’ needs and preferences to high pro-migration preferences, say his critics.

Attorney and child-refugee Mayorkas responds, “We will also not waver in our values and our principles as a Nation …  We are both a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. That is one of our proudest traditions.”

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