DHS Mayorkas Vows to Curb Coyotes, yet Aids Coyotes’ Clients

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 1: Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House on March 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. Mayorkas discussed the Biden administration's plans for overhauling immigration policy. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s homeland security chief is promising to disrupt the coyotes’ and cartels’ migrant-delivery business, even though he is also relaying their migrant customers from the border into U.S. jobs.

“We know all too well that these [criminal] organizations put profit over human life with devastating consequences,” Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden’s secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, told reporters on April 27. He added:

With the help of our federal and foreign partners, we aim to cut off access to that [migration] profit by denying these [transnational] criminal organizations [TCOs] the ability to engage in travel, trade and finance in the United States. We intend to disrupt every facet of the logistical network that these organizations use to succeed. Operation Sentinel will focus on disrupting the transnational criminal organizations that smuggle migrants into the United States.

“Mayorkas and the Biden administration have no credibility,” responded Rob Law, a former DHS policy official who now works at the Center for Immigration Studies. Law added:

He is wagging his finger but at the end of the day, [he and his deputies] are complicit in a very dangerous criminal enterprise that induces and seduces poor foreign nationals, primarily from Central America, to leverage everything they have — and oftentimes, what they don’t have — to interact with coyotes and the cartels, be subjected to horrific conditions, just to come into the United States where, under the law, they have no basis to be here [or get jobs]. It is absolutely criminal that Secretary Mayorkas and the Biden administration are failing to enforce our immigration laws.

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA), the top Republican on the House’s panel on border security, told a House hearing on April 27:

[Mayorkas’s] Border Patrol agents on the ground told us that the federal government has become the largest facilitator of human smuggling at the border. That’s the perception of the boots on the ground … When you talk to those guys, [they say] their law enforcement mission has been transformed into facilitators of illegal crossings. That should be a wake-up call for Congress.

GOP politicians, immigration experts, and coyotes have told many reporters Mayorkas’s DHS is a critical relay in helping the coyotes and cartels deliver migrants — and the children of illegal migrants — from Central America to cities and towns around the United States.

“We deliver children to immigration (agents), and immigration (agents) are responsible for delivering them to their family members in the United States,” Daniel, a Guatemalan coyote, told Reuters for a March 23 article. “It’s good to take advantage of the moment because [separated] children are able to pass quickly,” he said.

“We’re complicit as a nation in human trafficking,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said at a March 26 press conference in Texas with 17 other GOP senators.

In contrast, Mayorkas’s agents try to disrupt the flow of drug profits back to the cartels in Mexico — but they also try to prevent the cartels’ drugs from being delivered into the United States.

Law said the coyotes’ lucrative conveyor belt of northward migrants and southward cash would halt if Mayorkas prevented the coyote-delivered migrants from getting U.S. jobs to pay their smuggling debts. The belt “delivers a supply of Central Americans [into U.S. jobs] and extracts money from the U.S. economy,” he said.

But Mayorkas’s pro-migration policies allow the conveyor belt to generate billions in profits by giving entry to job-seeking youths, work permits to adult migrants, and get-out-of-jail cards to migrants caught sneaking over the border, Law said, adding:

DHS is completing the [coyote-migrant] transactions. But if aliens get stopped at the border, and don’t get [the U.S. jobs] they paid for … and eventually that business model fails because the cartels and the coyotes can’t deliver [the jobs] they’re selling.

The reporters at the press conference did not quiz Mayorkas about how his multi-layered support for migration can be untangled from his opposition to the coyotes and cartels that deliver the migrants to his agency.

But Mayorkas’s actions are part of a bigger story: The cartels’ conveyor belt implements the U.S. policy of extraction-migration which deliberately pulls valuable resources from Central American countries for use in the U.S. economy — even though the extraction stalls their economies and blocks the emergence of middle-class democracies in Latin America.

“This is all made possible by the active engagement of the Biden administration to complete the criminal enterprise from the border to the interior,” said Law.

Instead of asking about this national policy, the selected reporters asked Mayorkas to remove even more barriers to migration and to provide more aid to the economic migrants who nudge down Americans’ wages and nudge up Americans’ housing costs.

Molly O’Toole at the Los Angeles Times, for example, argued that the Title 42 healthcare exclusion of some migrants helps Mexican criminals kidnap and ransom would-be migrants:

Title 42 policy is actually leading to the kidnappings of migrants … leading to profits for these organizations [that] you’re talking about combating. So how will those two things work together so long as Title 42 policy is in place?

Mayorkas dodged the question, saying, “We have a responsibility to both elements of this, to ensure public safety through public health … and also to address criminals who seek to take advantage of that situation.”

Rafael Bernal, a reporter at TheHill.com, asked Mayorkas why he is pushing the criminal crackdown instead of helping more migrants get jobs in the United States. “There’s not so much of a priority on opening legal migration,” he said.

“We are very much prioritizing the legal pathways so that once again, irregular migration is not viewed as the only avenue or an avenue to reach the United States,” Mayorkas responded, citing his award of 22,000 extra H-2B work permits and jobs to migrants.

Cristina Londono, at the Telemundo Spanish-language TV network, asked Mayorkas if migrants would be allowed to get green cards in exchange for testifying against their coyotes.

“We have the U Visas for those individuals who cooperate with law enforcement,” Mayorkas responded, adding:

I am very focused on the situation with respect to the U Visas, the backlog that currently exists, and we will be providing relief [to migrants who want U Visas] so we can best ensure that victims and witnesses who assist law enforcement, or who suffer at the hands of human traffickers, [so] their needs are addressed.

The U Visa program provides green cards and work permits to many illegal migrants. The program was curbed by officials working for President Donald Trump.

Any Mayorkas expansion of the U Visa program would widen another side door in the U.S. immigration rules. The expansion would echo Mayorkas’s overall strategy of widening many side doors for asylum seekers, migrants’ children, temporary workers, and illegal migrants.

The small side doors exist within the complex immigration laws, which now allow roughly one million legal immigrants per year. The legal inflow is very large and is roughly equivalent to one new legal migrant for every four Americans who turn 18.

Mayorkas’s focus on the welfare of migrants — not of working Americans — was echoed by Troy Miller, who is Mayorkas’s acting commissioner of the Customs and Border Protection agency. He told reporters:

Let me be direct: To those of you who are smuggling people into the United States, we know who you are and we’re coming for you. We will take everything we can from you.

As I speak today, we are revoking your visas to enter the United States, and those who are associated with you. We are suspending your ability to engage in trade with the United States government, and we will be freezing money you are using to smuggle people into our country. This is only the beginning. The actions we will take over the coming months will enhance the security of the US border and help save the lives of vulnerable migrants who would otherwise place their lives in the hands of these unscrupulous [smugglers].  Operational Sentinel will work to put an end to human smugglers continuing to put profits over human life.

The same Mayorkas focus on migrants, not on Americans, was pushed by Tae Johnson, Mayorkas’s acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Johnson told reporters:

What may begin as a case of migrant smuggling may then transform into one of trafficking in persons, since smuggled migrants are particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of trafficking. The victims face a number of inhumane situations, including prostitution, domestic servitude and child exploitation. Victims may be subjected to physical and emotional abuse, restricted moovement and contact with their loved ones, excessive financial debts, and withholding of their identification document … We need to stop these TCOs from placing the most vulnerable individuals.

In fiscal year 2019, ICE initiated over 1,000 human trafficking, and forced labor related cases, which led to 2,197 criminal arrests. These effective actions resulted in nearly 700 conviction, and the rescue of more than 400 victims. But our work is not done. With the help of our federal foreign partners, [DHS] aims to cut off access to TCOs profits by denying these criminals the ability to engage in travel, trade, and finance.

For many years, a wide variety of pollsters have shown deep and broad opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates.

This opposition is multiracialcross-sexnon-racistclass-basedintra-Democraticrational, and recognizes the solidarity that Americans owe to each other.

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 and articles pushing the 1950’s corporate “Nation of Immigrants” claim.

The deep public opposition to labor migration is built on the widespread recognition that migration moves money away from most Americans’ pocketbooks and families.

It moves money from employees to employers, from families to investors, from young to old, from children to their parents, from homebuyers to real estate investors, from red states to blue states, and from the central states to the coastal states such as New York.

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