Mayorkas Defies GOP Legislators: ‘The Border Is Closed’

In this July 25, 2013 file photo, Alejandro Mayorkas, President Obama's nominee to become U.S. deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on his nomination. U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Deputy Director Alejandro Mayorkas …
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Homeland defense secretary Alejandro Mayorkas faced two Hill hearings May 26, yet GOP legislators failed to extract any information that would help recognize his campaign to open Americans’ national borders to myriad migrants from all over the world.

In both hearings, Mayorkas easily distracted GOP legislators with promises of subsequent information and with strings of poll-tested adjectives that obscured his policy of letting many economic migrants flood into Americans’ workplaces and housing markets.

“Our commitment is a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system,” he said, without stating how many people — perhaps millions — he may admit through the legal side-doors in current U.S. immigration law.

He is welcoming the uncapped numbers of economic migrants via the side doors for asylum seekers, paroled individuals, Temporary Protected Status migrants, and people who meet his novel “acute vulnerabilities” exception to the Title 42 healthcare barrier.

Both hearings started well, with the top GOP members declaring concern about the Biden migration.

“I’m deeply troubled,” said Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) as he started his morning statement. He then asked:

The Washington Post states the agency’s 6,000 officers currently average one arrest every two months. One arrest every two months! My first question, sir. Is that an accurate statistic? And is that the intended outcome of the various orders and directives, a near stop of all immigration violation arrests?

“That is a data point with which I am completely unfamiliar,” Mayorkas responded to the question about the widely-read Washington Post article.

Mayorkas’ continued his evasive answer by changing the subject, saying,  “Law enforcement effectiveness is not a quantitative issue. It is a qualitative one. The question is … what will deliver the greatest public safety results for the American public? And that is what I am focused on.”

“The border is closed,” he told Fleischmann.

“The administration continues to insist that the border is secure,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) in her afternoon statement, adding:

The facts on the ground that I just described apparently are not viewed [by the administration] as a security or law enforcement challenge, but a mere logistical challenge in processing migrants who arrive with no legal claim to enter the United States. Additionally, ICE apprehensions and deportations have plummeted, and more criminal aliens are on the streets.

Mayorkas stuck to his see-no-migration, say-nothing-useful, and hear-no-difficult-question script throughout the hearings.

“We will be smart and effective, and we will also be humane” to migrants, he said., without acknowledging the huge economic redistribution and civic cost imposed by President Joe Biden’s policy of extracting consumers and cheap labor from poor countries.

“We are working tirelessly to rebuild our immigration system and into one that upholds our nation’s laws, and is fair, equitable, and reflects our values,” he said, without mentioning his legal and civic duty to protect Americans’ right to their national labor market.

“We are apprehending more serious criminals, more serious public safety threats than previously was the case, okay, that is what smart and effective [immigration] enforcement is all about,” he said. But his message implied that he regards the deportation of economic migrants who threaten Americans’ wages as not “smart or effective.”

Mayorkas downplayed the stealthy migration of working adults and the approved migration of their families as he tried to shift the focus to younger migrants. “We continue to see the migration, the irregular migration, of unaccompanied children, but we continue in our success of managing that flow … So we continue with our success.” he told one Democrat.

“The only use that this administration is willing to make of immigration law is in support of criminal law,” countered Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “What that means is they reject the very idea of enforcing immigration law … to protect American workers, to protect American sovereignty –.all the purposes that immigration law on its own exists for they reject,” he added.

At every stage in the two hearings, GOP legislators let Mayorkas evade and dodge.

“That data item in the article is something with which I’m completely unfamiliar,” he told Capito when she repeated Fleischmann’s morning question about the Washington Post article.

“I’m not familiar with the data … I don’t have the data at my fingertips,” Mayorkas told Republicans, as though his aides could not summon the data from the department’s computers. He promised other Republicans that he would deliver the data after the hearing — when it can remain hidden from curious media outlets.

“Most certainly, Senator, you have a right to that data, and we will provide it to you,” he said after dodging an easy-to-answer question about how many migrants were sent home after being stopped at the border.

When asked about the flood of migrants seeking asylum status, Mayorkas shifted the focus by promising to “bring greater efficiency to the process, and shrink considerably that time between apprehension and final adjudication.” But he said nothing about how many migrants could use the more efficient process to get into the United States to ask for asylum, or if an efficient system would grant asylum to people because of commonplace poverty and ethnic discrimination, or because of unprovable claims of domestic abuse or criminal violence.

Mayorkas also was helped because some GOP legislators showed little knowledge of the issue, despite their job on the Homeland Security panel of the appropriations committee.

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) asked about the migrants, saying, “Where are those individuals while they’re awaiting adjudication? .. Are they released into the public at large?”

GOP Senators frequently also let him slip away from questions. One senator asked how the border would be protected once President Biden lifts the Title 42 healthcare barrier. Mayorkas answered, “It is our responsibility to plan ahead. That’s what we do every single day, and every single year that I have been privileged to serve in the department.”

The GOP legislators even treated Mayorkas as a good-faith actor.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) asked, “Mr. Secretary, what commitments will you give us that any funding allocated to your department for border security and immigration enforcement will be used on proven and logical solutions to re-secure our borders and discourage this dangerous influx of migrants?”

He replied, “Senator, you have 100 percent commitment from me that the funding we will receive and are privileged to receive will be used in the smartest and most effective way securing our border and enforcing the immigration laws of this country.”

But Mayorkas had already claimed to Rep. Fleischmann the “border is closed” and that he was unfamiliar with the Washington Post data.

In reality, Mayorkas’s “closed” border was crossed by roughly 40,000 “got-aways” in April, plus at least 40,000 migrants that Mayorkas allowed into the U.S. Mayorkas enforced immigration law in May by admitting up to 7,000 “vulnerable” people per month through the Title 42 barrier and approving Temporary Protected Status (TPS) work permits for 150,000 Haitian migrants.

The labor migration is deeply unpopular, in part, because it moves wealth from Americans’ pay packets to investors, and from heartland states to coastal states.

“Asylum exists in our law, and TPS exists,” said Krikorian. But Mayorkas and the administration, he said, are:

abusing his authority and misusing these programs as a way of making an end-run around congressionally passed limits on immigration. The whole point is to render the [1965] Immigration and Nationality Act moot so that the President essentially decides on his own who gets to enter and stay in the United States.

In both of their hearings with Mayorkas, “Republicans could have highlighted contradictions and … highlighted issues so that voters understand what the stakes are next time they go to the polls,” Krikorian said.

“In a sense, that’s the most important job when you’re in the minority: So why Republicans are so bad at it?” he said:

Republican members of Congress don’t have nearly the depth of expertise on immigration that exists on the Democratic side. There are some staff members on the Republican side who really know what’s going on, but there’s not that many. [Also] Republican members probably don’t consider it that important, it’s just easier to say, “Okay, we’re for a wall and now move on to the next thing.”

As far as the staff itself, the [immigration] expansionist side has literally tens of thousands of people whose full-time job is to weaken America’s border. Legislators who agree with that perspective have a huge pool of people to select from … [and] Democrats can get a lot of their expertise for free from lobbyists, corporations, from immigration law groups, and from the various activist groups.

There’s probably 50 people in the whole country whose full-time job it is to highlight the [economic and civic] costs of immigration.

Some GOP legislators simply asked Mayorkas for favors. “We’ve got a lot of fish, but we don’t have a lot of workers,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). “You kept your promise and delivered [H-2B visa workers] in advance of a significant date which I appreciate.”

“Thank you very much, Senator,” Mayorkas replied. “Since you and I last spoke, I have delved into the concerns that you express on the behalf of employers in the Alaskan fisheries industry. It is my plan to engage with those employers next week, to hear directly from them with respect to their concerns.”

In contrast, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) used single and direct questions to press Mayorkas for answers in a May 13 Senate hearing.

The GOP members of the House panel include Fleischmann, Steven Palazzo (R-MS), John Rutherford (R-FL),  and Ashley Hinson (R-IA).

The GOP members of the Senate panel include Capito, Murkowski, Hoeven, Hyde-Smith, and John Kennedy (R-LA).


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