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Romney: Mayorkas needs to go

Senate Television via AP

I can point to several ongoing topics of debate where Mitt Romney seems to have lost the plot lately, but there’s one subject where he has remained consistent and correct. When the subject of illegal immigration and the Biden border crisis comes up, Romney has been unflinching. Last September he announced from the floor of the Senate that Joe Biden’s border policies have been “a monumental disaster” that could leave our country “hanging by a thread.” This week, during a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, he turned his attention to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. He once again did not mince words. He continued to blame the President’s policies but suggested that the lack of leadership on the issue from Mayorkas calls for “a change in leadership.” In other words, Mayorkas needs to go. (Deseret)

Sen. Mitt Romney lambasted Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — again — for failing to secure the U.S. border with Mexico and suggested it might be time for him to go.

The U.S. Border Patrol has reported more than 1 million encounters with migrants along the southwest border so far this year, putting it on pace to exceed last year’s record-high of 1.7 million. Another 60,000 cross the border undetected each month, Romney said.

“I’d say this is an extraordinary failure, and I don’t know where all the fault lies. I don’t know whether it’s the fault of the president not allowing you to have the policies you need to have a record that’s more like the prior administration or whether it’s your own failings as a leader,” the Utah Republican told Mayorkas in a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday.

Romney went on to say that what we’re seeing during the Biden border crisis is “a failed record and would cry for a change in leadership.”

Just to ensure that he wasn’t simply complaining without proposing any solutions, Romney set forth a fundamental three-step plan to get the border under control. First, finish building the wall. Second, support and continue Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy. And finally, don’t allow Title 42 to expire. He said that if you just do those three things, the situation “is going to come back to the way it was.”

Let’s give credit where it’s due. Romney wasn’t scurrying around and giving quotes to cable news talk shows. He stood up on the floor of the chamber and said all of this directly to Mayorkas’ face. The DHS secretary attempted a rebuttal, insisting that they knew Title 42 was going to end eventually and that’s why they have been planning for alternate resources to handle the situation when it does.

But what evidence is there that Biden and DHS have handled anything when it comes to illegal border crossings? The evidence suggests the exact opposite. The Border Patrol has reported more than 1 million encounters with migrants along the southwest border in just the first four months of 2022. And that’s before Title 42 has even expired. We are on track to shatter last year’s record of 1.7 million by a huge margin unless something more drastic is done. But Joe Biden has done the opposite, rolling out a welcome mat when he ordered a moratorium on deportations.

Romney explained to Mayorkas that his state of Utah is “desperate” for more workers in certain professions such as truck drivers and agricultural workers. He would like to be able to foster more legal immigration by increasing the number of work visas being offered to legal migrants from Mexico. But, he said, “we can’t make these kinds of reforms to our legal immigration system because the illegal immigration system is a disaster. So we can’t solve the problems of legal immigration until you secure our border, a job you’re not doing.”

Ouch. That’s going to leave a mark. But will it do any good? Sadly, I would wager that it probably won’t. Mayorkas won’t be doing any of that singlehandedly. He’s still essentially just rolling out the immigration policy that Joe Biden promised on the campaign trail and began to implement via executive orders on day one. He wanted open borders and that is what he delivered. Now everyone is paying the price for it. But I’ll toss a nod to Mitt Romney for at least getting all of this on the record so it will be available when we eventually try to tally up all of the damage that’s been done during the Biden administration thus far.