Mike Howell on May 1, 2022
On its very first page, President Joe Biden’s new border security plan admits that it will lead to increased illegal immigration “as smugglers will seek to take advantage of and profit from vulnerable migrants.”
In a sane world, plans that benefit human smugglers would be scrapped. Instead, amid the worst border crisis in U.S. history, the administration is plowing full steam ahead to remove the last remaining major line of border defense: Title 42, which is scheduled to expire on May 23.
Under Title 42 authority, single adults and families illegally crossing the border may be expelled immediately to protect citizens from the spread of COVID-19. In March, 221,303 illegal aliens crossed our southern border, the most in over two decades. About half were expelled under Title 42. You don’t need an advanced math degree to figure out what happens when Title 42 goes away.
Despite bipartisan calls to keep Title 42, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this week issued a vague 20-page document outlining how his department plans to deal the anticipated surge in border-crossings — expected to reach 18,000 per day. The plan boils down to this: process illegals into the interior as quickly as possible with the help of taxpayer funded, open-borders non-profits.
This did not sit well with Congress. Three House committees called in Mayorkas for a well-deserved drubbing. Things got off to a hot start at Wednesday’s hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, where Rep. Clay Higgins pressed Mayorkas about his failure to stem the tide of illegal immigration.
When Mayorkas demurred, Higgins cut to the chase saying, “Step away from your talking points, and speak to the American people, and own this thing. We’re losing our country down there and need you to resign. Save the country the pain of your impeachment.”
Mayorkas hit headwinds again Thursday at the House Judiciary Committee, the committee that plays the lead role in impeachment hearings. Rep. Jim Jordan charged that the border crisis was no accident — an argument that would play heavily in an effort to impeach Mayorkas, should conservatives take the majority next Congress.
“It’s intentional. It’s intentional. It has to be. The chaos on our southern border is… deliberate; it is on purpose; it is by design,” he said.
Jordan then listed a series of ruinous policy decisions made as soon as the Biden administration took office, including ending almost all deportations, ending “Remain in Mexico,” terminating agreements with Northern Triangle countries and halting construction of border wall. This onslaught of early actions (tracked here), combined with Biden’s rhetoric beginning on the campaign trail, have had their desired effect: encouraging and enabling more illegal border crossings.
Words matter, and when Biden repeatedly promised to extend amnesty, to shut down Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and most famously “immediately surge to the border all those people seeking asylum,” millions of soon-to-be illegal aliens heard him loud and clear.
They know well enough that all it takes is to show up and say the magic words of “asylum” and they will be let in and never removed. Under Biden, the famous Field of Dreams quote has morphed from “if you build it, they will come” to “if you destroy our border security, they will come.”
Implementation of Biden’s open-borders agenda has been the primary responsibility of Mayorkas. With such responsibility comes accountability. And judging by this week’s hearings, and the American public’s complete lack of confidence in this administration’s handling of the border, strict accountability is on the horizon.
Let’s see if Mayorkas stays around much longer to face it.
Mike Howell is a senior advisor for government relations at The Heritage Foundation.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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