The nation’s Department of Homeland Security will put the dignity of foreign migrants “foremost in our efforts,” agency chief Alejandro Mayorkas told an audience of left-wing lawyers on Tuesday.
Mayorkas described his “identity” as a champion for migrants in his speech to the 2021 American Constitutional Society (ACS) national convention:
The element of dignity [and] the rule of law. Those are two foundational guideposts as I seek to lead an agency, as we, as servants of the law, seek to bring justice in whatever we do. And here in the Department of Homeland Security, I think that must guide everything that we do.
Mayorkas portrayed himself as the guardian angel for an unknown number of non-Americans who might want to migrate into the United States, saying:
I want to read to you, as my final words, a note that we received at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to speak of the impact on an individual to communicate what we can do to ensure that throughout our actions, we recognize and respect the dignity of every individual, and what it means to administer the rule of law in the best traditions of our country, and in adherence to the principles of our Constitution.
“Dear Mrs. Officer, I want to inform you that I received a letter of approval in regards for my application in this great humanitarian country. Madam, I want to thank you, and thank this great nation, for giving me a chance to find a refuge for my life … May God bless you for being my guardian angel. And may God bless America for saving me.”
The benefit given to the migrant represents “the fundamental principle of dignity and the rule of law as an instrument deliberate,” said Mayorkas in his final sentence.
He did not reveal any plans to use that “instrument deliberate” to raise the dignity of Americans. But many millions of Americans face a loss of dignity as he extracts an endless flood of business-backed economic migrants — at their great risk — to compete for the Americans’ jobs, homes, and opportunities.
Mayorkas’ 2,100-word speech did not mention the lost dignity of the many millions of Americans who have lost income and wealth amid the inrush of poor migrants waived in by lax enforcement. He did not mention the Americans victimized by undeported migrant criminals or by the addictive drugs being loosed in communities by Mayorkas’ lax rules. He did not mention the Americans cast aside by companies eager to exploit the cheap visa workers delivered by Mayorkas’ agency. And he did not suggest any debt of gratitude towards the Americans who accepted him as a child migrant in 1960.
In April, Mayorkas allowed roughly 90,000 additional economic migrants into the United States, atop the annual inflow of roughly one million legal immigrants and the churning population of roughly two million visa workers.
The New York Times reported on June 5 how a worker shortage and President Donald Trump’s “tight labor market” of 2019 is forcing companies to provide better pay and conditions to Americans. “The relationship between American businesses and their employees is undergoing a profound shift: For the first time in a generation, workers are gaining the upper hand,” the report said, adding “In effect, an entire generation of managers that came of age in an era of abundant workers is being forced to learn how to operate amid labor scarcity.”
So far, GOP legislators have chosen not to question Mayorkas about the economic impact of his policies on American voters and their families.
But Mayorkas suggested he identifies himself with migrants, not with Americans.
In his speech, he described the shock he felt when visiting a migrant camp in Kenya around 2010 that was filled with many thousands of destitute migrants from the chaotically diverse country of Somalia. He continued:
And I returned to the States asking a lot of fundamental questions, certainly about whether we could define ourselves as a civilized world or not, but also asking questions about myself … and the question of identity became much more profoundly important to me as an individual, as a son, as a brother, and as a father, and husband. But it also became very important to me, as a leader of an organization. And the issue of identity became the central question when we were wrestling with policy issues.
When we consider a particular policy question before us, doesn’t the answer help define our identity? Who we are, and more importantly, who we want to be?
Yet in February 2021, Mayorkas took office after swearing:
I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
Mayorkas does not see himself as an American, responded Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies:
He just does not consider himself to have any greater responsibility to his own country [than to other countries] … It’s fundamentally contrary to the Constitution and to the idea of democratic governance, but it’s a consistent worldview. It is just not one that the people running a Republic have any business having.
In contrast, he added:
Most people see themselves as having a variety of obligations that spread out from their family. They have a greater obligation to their own family members than to their neighbors, a greater obligation to their neighbors than to strangers in their own country, a greater obligation to their countrymen — whether they know them personally or not — then to foreigners. That kind of hierarchy of obligations is just taken for granted by most people because it’s common sense.
The post-American perspective that Mayorkas exemplifies — but that really dominates this administration and most of the left at this point, and some of the right — is that there is no special obligation to your own country. They may even accept the idea that you have more responsibility to your own family members than to people who are strangers, but not that we as Americans have a responsibility to each other that is in any way different from the responsibility we have to people in Uruguay or Yemen.
Open borders is the Left’s version of an American empire, he said. “On the right, you’ve got Neocons who see the United States as the world’s policeman. On the left, they see the United States as the world’s social worker.”
Mayorkas is not an academic. He has a budget of more than $50 billion and is using his bureaucratic and regulatory powers to pull very many economic migrants through several small side doors in immigration law — even though Congress created those side doors for use by small numbers of persecuted asylum-seekers, stranded travelers, victimized children, and injured voyagers.
Mayorkas used his speech to list the ways in which his offer of dignity to foreign migrants has changed the enforcement of the migration rules that exist to protect Americans’ right to their own society and their own national labor market.
President Donald Trump’s courts lawfully deported many economic migrants, but Mayorkas is using his parole power to nullify those courtroom decisions by helping some of them return to the United States: “We are reuniting the families with the sense of urgency that that mission deserves,” he said.
Undetained migrants may dodge enforcement rules to become illegal migrants. But Mayorkas has decided to shut down two detention centers because “I felt did not respect the dignity of the individuals who were in custody.”
Federal law describes illegal migrants as “illegal aliens.” But Mayorkas issued a directive saying, “we should refer to those individuals as ‘non-citizens’ to reflect that their lawful presence, or their unlawful presence in the United States does not define their dignity as individuals.”
Mayaorkas also cited “dignity” as a reason to provide migrant youths and children with legal aid that Congress has never funded.
The Trump administration’s “Public Charge” regulation fleshed out a long-standing law barring the award of green cards to migrants who would rely on taxpayer aid. Mayorkas has stopped enforcing the rule: “I felt, and we collectively in the Department felt, that the rescission of that rule would not only restore dignity to the process, but adhere to the rule of law.”
Mayorkas is providing work permits to at least 600,000 people who were brought to the United States as children by illegal migrants, despite the uncertain status of that claimed power. “We reinstituted and are strengthening the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program,” he said.
Border guards and immigration enforcement officers may injure the dignity of migrants if the “articulation of ideologies of hate” is directed at migrants, he said. “We have a responsibility to make sure that that integrity is unencroached and has the confidence of the public,” he added.
“Even in the battle against COVID, issues of dignity are foremost in our efforts,” he said, as he sketched his determination to provide taxpayer-funded aid to migrants without regard to their legal right to be in the United States. Federal agencies “have gone into those communities and ensured our accessibility to those communities to ensure that not only our efforts but their needs receive the dignity they deserve,” he said.
Mayorkas made little or no distinction between Americans and foreigners throughout his speech or between legal immigrants and illegal migrants. He even suggested that the agency is intended to serve migrants — not the 330 million Americans who need secure borders and protect labor rights:
In the government, we have the privilege of seeking to make systemic change, to bring dignity, or I should say, to reflect in what we do, reflect the dignity of the people we serve on a very impactful and systemic basis. But we cannot forget that the rule of law, that the law as an instrument of delivering dignity, can bring that to the single individual. And we cannot understate the importance of doing so. And I think that sometimes the impact on one individual can reverberate throughout an entire institution and bring systemic change.
The emphasis on “people we serve” was added by the DHS transcript of the speech.
Government progressives on the left, Krikorian said:
See American immigration policy as social welfare [for the world] and they see their customers as the foreigners want to move here — instead of the American people whom they actually work for.
Mayorkas may not see any conflict between his identity as a champion for migrants dignity and his official duties in a U.S. administration, Krikorian said, adding:
He doesn’t dwell on what the effect [his pro-migrant policy] has on Americans, and if he were pressed, he would say, “Well, it’s good for everybody, you know, a rising tide raises all boats and we all benefit from this.” That’s more of a psychological coping mechanism … He kind of thinks that his goal of vindicating the dignity of foreigners around the world is also good for Americans. That’s empirically untrue, but besides that, from his perspective, it’s an afterthought.
But that conflict is made clear by President Joe Biden’s poor polling on immigration and Biden’s own desire for a Trump-like tight labor market.
Rising wages aren’t a bug; they’re a feature. We want to get — we want to get something economists call “full employment.” Instead of workers competing with each other for jobs that are scarce, we want employees to compete with each other to attract wrk. We want the — the companies to compete to attract workers.
Well, wait until you see what happens when employers have to compete for workers. Companies like McDonald’s, Home Depot, Bank of America, and others — what do they have to do? They have to raise wages to attract workers. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.
DHS chief Mayorkas leaks his max-migration plan to the NYTimes just a few days after his boss – President Joe Biden – promises a high-wage "tight labor market" to Americans. https://t.co/ld0qP9HKKo
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) May 31, 2021
Mayorkas is an avid proponent of the Cold War claim that Americans’ homeland is a “Nation of Immigrants.”
This claim is contradicted by many years of polling by a wide variety of pollsters, which show deep, non-partisan, and broad opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates.
Migration moves money 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, from red states to blue states, and from the central states to the coastal states such as New York.
The voter opposition to elite-backed economic migration coexists with support for legal immigrants and some sympathy for illegal migrants. But only a minority of Americans — mostly leftists — embrace the many skewed polls pushing the 1950’s corporate “Nation of Immigrants” claim.
Cato's survey shows that Americans who want more migration also want to live w/ non-diverse neighbors.
Yet 66-70 % eagerly throw the 'racist' hate at Americans who want less migration.
Maybe they don't want more migrants, but just display their attitudes?https://t.co/6cr1u5RqLr
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) May 5, 2021