DHS Secretary Mayorkas attended the Immigration Law and Policy Conference virtually on Monday. He said that not only did the surge in Delta COVID-19 variant at the southern border take him by surprise but that one in five migrants has “an illness”. He admits there is now a 20% rate of illness at the border now.
It’s kind of hard to put a positive spin on that little nugget of truth, isn’t it? In just the past two weeks, some 30,000 migrants flooded into Del Rio Sector. Most of them have been released into the interior of the United States. Mayorkas says that about 5,000 migrants are still being processed. That last flow of migrants alone brought a serious surge of exposure of “illness”.
‘What I didn’t expect was the tragic rise of the delta variant,’ the secretary said at the virtual Immigration Law and Policy Conference Monday afternoon. ‘And we took a step back by reason of that. I did not expect to be in late September where we are.’
‘We are confronted with a population of people that, as a general matter, that have a rate of illness of approximately 20%.’
‘When one is speaking of 7,000 or 7,500 people encountered at the border every day, if one takes a look at that the system, it is not built for that in a Covid environment where isolation is required,’ Mayorkas said.
That’s right. The system at the southern border is not built for the outrageous number of illegal migrants crossing over into the United States as has been experienced since Joe Biden took office. What is inexcusable is the incompetence of Mayorkas and his intentional neglect of security at the southern border. The Biden administration is in favor of open borders. The result is a constant flow of migrants coming to the border expecting to be let in. Why wouldn’t they? So far a large number of them have been allowed to stay, most have been released with little more than an order to show up at an ICE office or a courthouse for further processing. Catch and Release is back. This is all by design. There is no other logical explanation.
Mayorkas likely didn’t expect the public health problem on the border. He’s been busy living in denial, declaring that the border is closed and everything is fine. The problem is that everything is far from fine and DHS doesn’t even have an accurate number of how many illegal migrants have been encountered by Border Patrol. DHS certainly doesn’t have a number of how many illegal migrants crossed the border and simply vanished. They didn’t turn themselves in to Border Patrol or local law enforcement in order to claim asylum. They ran and avoided apprehension by Border Patrol.
Of those apprehended, there is no way to know how many migrants were infected with COVID-19. Migrants crossing the border are not tested.
It is not clear how the secretary came to the 20% figure, as he has long said DHS does not have the capacity to test every individual arriving at the southern border and relies on local governments and communities for help.
On Friday, Mayorkas had told reporters that he did not know how many of the nearly 17,000 once camped out under the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas had contracted Covid-19 as DHS was not testing the migrants.
‘We did not test that population of individuals,’ Mayorkas said. ‘We do not know, I do not know, I should say if I may be perfectly accurate, I do not know if anyone was sick with COVID. We certainly had some people get sick, not with COVID to my knowledge and we addressed their illnesses.’
Monday Senators Cornyn and Cruz sent a letter in support of Governor Abbott’s request for a federal emergency declaration as a result of the crisis on the southern border. Last week, Governor Abbott requested federal assistance to help state authorities deal with the influx of illegal immigrants at the Del Rio International Bridge. We know that Texas has pretty much been on its own to handle the flood of migrants since Biden was inaugurated. Abbott already issued a state emergency disaster declaration.
“It is our understanding that the State of Texas, through the Office of the Governor, has formally requested an emergency declaration as a result of the ongoing crisis at the border, consistent with Title V of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act. Governor Abbott previously issued a state disaster declaration for a number of Texas counties along the state’s southern border due to the increase in illegal border crossings and the ongoing humanitarian crisis for most of 2021.”
“We strongly support the Governor’s request and urge you to provide any and all emergency measures afforded by the approval of an emergency declaration. We stand ready and willing to assist in any way possible to ensure prompt evaluation of this request.”
Border security and protecting the sovereignty of the United States is the job of the federal government. Biden should have immediately provided the emergency declaration, especially after the horrendous situation Del Rio, a city of 35,000, found itself in as recently as last week. More migrants are coming. They may not go to Del Rio but they will go somewhere where they think they’ll be able to cross and remain in the United States. They are coming from Colombia, and go through Panama or are waiting in Mexico. Most of the migrants are Haitian but some are also from Cuba and Venezuela.
Up to 4,000 Haitian migrants have already crossed the Darien Gap in Panama along the Colombian border, a roadless, 66-mile stretch of treacherous jungle, Panamanian government sources tell Reuters. Some of them wait in camps in Mexico before continuing their journey.
Meanwhile, another 16,000 wait at a northern Colombian border town, Necocli, waiting for their shot to jump on a boat to take them to the Darien Gap, where smugglers will guide them north through one of the most inhospitable regions in Latin America.
At this point, no one should believe a thing coming out of Mayorkas’ mouth. He has consistently lied about the number of migrants, how they are being processed, how many are being returned to their home country, and the biggest whopper he tells is when he says the border is closed. There is no reason to think he will handle the flow of migrants arriving at the border any differently next time large numbers begin to overwhelm the law enforcement on the ground. Del Rio will not be the last community to suffer the burden of Biden’s border crisis. Mayorkas had to have known that a highly contagious variant of a highly contagious coronavirus would spread at the southern border like wildfire by infected migrants. He chose to ignore it and leave the border open without adequate personnel and resources to handle the flood of humanity. The goal was open borders and that is one goal in which the Biden administration has had much success.