President Joe Biden’s border chief is encouraging many Venezuelans to migrate illegally into the United States by dangling a partial amnesty with a September 2022 deadline.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas included the encouragement in a supposedly routine August 3 extension of the deadline for Venezuelans who are in the United States to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which allows migrants to stay and work in the United States. The invite said:
The Department of Homeland Security today published a Federal Register notice (FRN) announcing extensions of the registration periods from 180 days to 18 months for initial (new) applicants for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under the designations of Venezuela … The 18-month registration period for initial applications under the TPS designation of Venezuela now runs through Sept. 9, 2022.
But “the only reason that you do this is to reward as many people as possible with work permits and, basically, all but a guarantee that you’ll never be returned home,” responded Rob Law, a former top official at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency.
Since 2009, the migration flow has expanded as rational migrants have used coyotes — and U.S. immigration advocates — to zig-zag through a series of loopholes dubbed catch-and-release, Flores, and the 2008 TVPRA law.
Formally, the announcement extends the TPS-application deadline for Venezuelans who are now in the United States, said Law, who now works for the Center for Immigration Studies. In reality, the 13-month delay gives roughly six million Venezuala who are now living in South American countries the incentive and the time to walk across the Mexican border using fake identities, knowing they can file for the TPS asylum with their true name and valid documents by September 2022, he said.
Most of those migrants who arrive after this week will get TPS because Mayorkas and his deputies will pressure agency officials to approve the applications, said Law.
The decision comes a week after Mayorkas awarded TPS status to 100,000 additional Haitian migrants, including many thousands who recently walked through the southern border.
Mayorkas — a Cuban-born, pro-migration zealot — and his deputies are turning the TPS program into a political weapon, Law said. “They are exploiting the TPS statute to do what Congress is unable or unwilling to do, which is to provide fully loaded amnesty [to migrants], so they’re providing amnesty-lite in the form of TPS work permits,” he said.
Since Biden’s inauguration, the eligible population of TPS recipients has exploded from roughly 320,000 to 746,000, not counting the Venezuelans who will arrive by September 2022.
The majority became eligible this year: at the start of the Biden administration, there were about 319,000 TPS holders, and about 427,000 individuals newly became eligible for TPS since January. The TPS-holding population could more than double if everyone eligible applied. pic.twitter.com/ksa5GhxSNf
— Jessica Bolter (@jessicabolter) August 3, 2021
The Associated Press reported June 28:
7,484 Venezuelans were encountered by Border Patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexico border [in May]— more than all 14 years for which records exist.
The surprise increase has drawn comparisons to the midcentury influx of Cubans fleeing Fidel Castro’s communist rule. It’s also a harbinger of a new type of migration that has caught the Biden administration off guard: pandemic refugees.
Many of the nearly 17,306 Venezuelans who have crossed the southern border illegally since January had been living for years in other South American countries, part of an exodus of nearly 6 million Venezuelans since President Nicolás Maduro took power in 2013.
The Mayorkas announcement also extends the same encouragement to people from Myanmar and Syria. Young men in those two distant populations can get to the United States by flying to South America and then taking the arduous route through the dangerous Darien Gap to get their TPS application on Mayorkas’s desk 13 months from now.
The TPS program was created to shelter foreigners who were temporarily in the United States and who are unable to return home safely because their home country suffered a catastrophe, such as a war or a natural disaster.
But the program has gradually been widened by deputies for GOP and Democratic presidents. For example, it was used to aid illegal migrants working in the United States, and many grants to people from El Salvador, Honduras, and other counties have been “redesignated” long after their home country has recovered from disasters.
“This whole notion of rededication is a legal fallacy which just rewards the legal aliens who came to the United States after the original event, which is not at all how GPS statute is supposed to be constructed,” Law said.
Mayorkas and his aides are “are simply not adhering to the statute at all,” said Law:
The statute requires not only that the conditions exist — whether they’re extraordinary and temporary, or armed conflict — but also that those specific conditions prevent that alien from being returned to the home country in safety … They ignore the second part of the statute which requires that these conditions prevent a return in safety … What they do is they find any excuse — any bad news that exists in one of these countries is good enough for them to designate or to continue on the [re]designation.
“One of these state attorneys general needs to step up and just take a shot at it,” Law said, adding:
The more opportunities they get to violate our immigration laws, they will continue to push the bounds further, further, and further to the point where there is no longer immigration laws, there is no longer a border, and there’s certainly is no longer national sovereignty.
So far, Mayorkas has helped to bring 700,000 migrants over the Mexican border into the United States. That huge inflow is boosted by the TPS expansion and is lowering nationwide pressure on employers to raise Americans’ wages. Yahoo News reported July 30:
Job switchers saw their wages grow 5.8% year over year in June, while job holders experienced a 3.1% gain, according to a report by ADP derived from payroll data of 18 million workers. Overall, wage growth decelerated from the first quarter, while still growing 2.3% in June compared with a year earlier.
In contrast, wages grew much faster in Trump’s low-migration economy. In September 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau reported:
Median household income was $68,703 in 2019, an increase of 6.8 percent from the 2018 median of $64,324 … Real median household incomes increased for all regions in 2019; 6.8 percent in the Northeast, 4.8 percent in the Midwest, 6.1 percent in the South, and 7.0 percent in the West.
Overall, businesses want to import more migrants — even destitute migrants — because they spike consumer sales, boost rental rates, cut wages, minimize concessions to labor, and so raise profits and stock values. They also serve as clients for welfare agencies, and eventually, as voters for Democrat activists.
But migration damages ordinary Americans’ career opportunities, cuts their wages, raises their rents, curbs their productivity, shrinks their political clout, and fractures their open-minded, equality-promoting civic culture.
In general, legal and illegal migration moves wealth from employees to employers, from families to investors, from young to old, from children to their parents, from homebuyers to investors, from technology to stoop labor.
Biden’s decision to restart the economic extraction of valuable consumers, renters, and workers from poor countries also helps move wealth — and social status — from heartland red states to the coastal blue states. Within each state, the extraction policy also helps to move wealth and status from GOP rural districts to Democrat cities.