DHS Secretary Mayorkas says the first order of business is ... ending the pandemic

AP Photo/Moises Castillo

DHS Secretary Mayorkas visited the San Ysidro Port of Entry Tuesday night, the largest land border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana. He told his audience that traffic through the border crossing is back to pre-pandemic levels. He came to celebrate the border reopening to nonessential travelers after a twenty-month closure. It was his first visit there since becoming the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

He addressed the re-establishment of the Migrant Protection Protocol program (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico,” and the use of Title 42 as open border advocates protested his appearance at the port. The Remain in Mexico policy is back in place due to a court order, not because the Biden administration supports it. It is one of the Trump-era programs that worked to keep order at the southern border and ease overcrowding from illegal migration. This administration wants nothing to do with border control policies used by the previous administration despite their success. Mayorkas said the Biden administration is appealing the decision by the court. “The MPP program indeed should be terminated, it does not reflect our values as our country nevertheless we are required to adhere to the court’s order under the rule of law.”

He also addressed the use of Title 42, another policy put in place by the Trump administration. Title 42 is a clause of the 1944 Public Health Services Law that allows the government to prevent entry into the United States during certain public health emergencies, like a pandemic. It has very rarely been used and the open borders crowd does not approve of its use to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus across the southern border. Title 42 calls for immediate expulsion of illegal migrants crossing the border. Mayorkas said it will remain in place until the CDC says it is no longer needed.

Mayorkas and other Democrats have to live with the fact that the policies of the previous administration worked and are legal. Most importantly, they work. The Biden administration continues to not prioritize border security and the rule of law at the southern border, allowing a humanitarian and public health crisis to develop. As further proof that border security is not a priority of this administration, Mayorkis said that the first order of business is to end the pandemic. He didn’t say close the border or stop the flood of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants entering the country, he said the top priority is to end the pandemic. And, of course, he repeated the lie that the border is closed.

Mayorkas stated the border is not open as some have indicated and that ending the pandemic remains the first order of business.

“We are not yet in position where we have put as a nation the pandemic entirely behind us,” said Mayorkas.

Here’s a thought – close the damn border. Not pretend to close the border or turn a blind eye to the wide-open parts where migrants wade across the Rio Grande River or run across the desert, but actually provide resources and personnel to close the border. Stop allowing illegal migrants into the country who may be carrying the coronavirus. Stop holding them briefly and then releasing them with vague or no specifics to show up at an ICE office for processing on asylum claims in other parts of the country.

The secretary should be constantly traveling to all parts of the border – in California, Arizona, and especially in Texas – and see firsthand the migrants brazenly crossing the border. The media ignores the story, except for the reporting of a few reporters, mostly from Fox News. There are no trips to the border by Democrats crying over the conditions at holding facilities, especially for unaccompanied minors. That only matters during a Republican president’s administration. The port of entry Mayorkas visited Tuesday is one of the busiest land crossings in the world, yet it was the first time Mayorkas had visited it and talked to the CBP officers there.

“Individuals should not put their life savings in the hands of smuggling organizations that exploit their vulnerability,” Mayorkas said. That is as feckless as Kamala’s message of “Just don’t come.” This is not a serious administration. He said that the MPP program doesn’t “reflect our values” but neither does ignoring the rule of law or putting the safety and security of Americans above the fever dream of open borders and no consequences for those who ignore U.S. laws with a sense of entitlement to do so. A sovereign country does not allow that to happen.

Protesters showed up to voice opposition to both MPP and Title 42.

The secretary’s visit was met by a small visit from protesters, among them immigration attorney Dulce Garcia.“

“We’re hoping Mayorkas will end Title 42 and stop MPP from being implemented,” said Garcia. “There’s no reason why asylum seekers are left in Tijuana, it’s very hypocritical to say they will be reopening MPP and allowing asylum seekers to come across for their immigration hearings and then return them to Tijuana knowing there’s still a pandemic ongoing.”

The border is not closed, as Mayorkas well knows. In order to end the crisis on the southern border, border enforcement is the first step. The Texas border is the largest and most porous. Perhaps if Texas was a blue state it would not be ignored by this hyper-partisan administration. Where are the visits to Texas or to Arizona, Secretary Mayorkas? Where is Kamala?