Secretary Mayorkas issued the DHS Plan for Southwest Border Security and Preparedness, a 20 page memo outlining his plan to manage the southern border. Spoiler alert: everyone is going to be disappointed with it. There are no plans to complete the border wall or provide new financial resources for border personnel to handle the coming surge of migrants when Title 42 ends. Most eye-opening is that Mayorkas admits that DHS can do little to stop the surge of migrants until Congress acts on immigration law reform. There is no chance that Congress will act in an election year now after kicking the can down the road for years.
Punchbowl has a copy of the memo and it can be found here. As noted in Punchbowl’s reporting, Mayorkas goes before the House Homeland Security Committee today. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra will be questioned today by the House Energy and Commerce and there are sure to be questions about the southern border for him, too.
It is striking that the memo provides no new ideas or plans that are not already being done. The plan does ramp up distribution of federal funds to non-government organizations (NGOs) for them to provide services to the migrants, such as transportation and basic needs. The NGOs will be in charge of doing the job that DHS refuses to do. In recent months, DHS has been busy closing detention centers and moving detainees around the country. Now Mayorkas claims that his plan will push resources to the border and personnel will be ready to handle the 18,000 illegal migrants predicted to be apprehended per day next month when Title 42 ends.
“By May 23, we will be prepared to hold approximately 18,000 noncitizens in CBP custody at any given time, up from 13,000 at the beginning of 2021, and we have doubled our ability to transport noncitizens on a daily basis, with flexibility to increase further.”
I think Senator Rubio summed up Mayorkas’ plan best this morning on FNC’s Fox and Friends when he said, “It’s a joke. The border has been overrun.” Rubio also questioned why anyone would want to work as a Border Patrol agent during the Biden administration, which is a fair point. Personnel on the ground has been denied enough resources to cope with the Biden border crisis and they have been overwhelmed since Joe Biden took office. Migrants from around the world began flooding the border as soon as word got out that Biden is not interested in protecting the southern border (or American citizens) and put a stop to many of the successful policies and agreements employed by previous administration – quite successfully. Biden has essentially delivered an open invitation to every person who has ever thought about coming to the United States for employment or whatever and it doesn’t matter if it is done legally or illegally. They know that once here, they will likely be allowed to stay and then travel to whatever destination they desire.
Other bullet points from the DHS memo reference talking points we have heard before, including addressing root causes in the Northern Triangle countries and speeding up the process of dealing with migrants who are apprehended illegally entering the country.
→ DHS and other federal agencies will “continue to strictly enforce our immigration laws” using Title 8 and other existing authorities.
→ CPB will speed up its ability to process migrants, either for release inside the United States to await adjudication of their asylum claims, further detention, or eventual expulsion.
→ DHS is “bolstering the capacity of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to receive noncitizens after they have been processed by CBP and are awaiting the results of their immigration removal proceedings.”
→ DHS is “targeting and disrupting the transnational criminal organizations and smugglers” who try to bring migrants – and drugs – into the country illegally.
→ The Biden administration says it is working with other Western Hemisphere nations to deter illegal immigration..
This memo will not satisfy anyone and that is likely the intention. The Biden administration does not consider border security a priority. The open borders progressives that Biden is placating demand that anyone who is able to get to the United States be allowed to stay and live their best life. Never mind the people going through the immigration process legally, illegals get top priority. The United States was once known as a country that believes in the rule of law but that is no longer true while this administration is in power.
Needless to say, it is a joke for Mayorkas to claim that DHS will “continue to strictly enforce our immigration laws.” That’s just some premium gaslighting going on there by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Most migrants coming to the southern border do not have a legitimate claim to apply for asylum. They’ve been coached by activists to repeat phrases that will allow them to make asylum claims, though, and they are allowed to remain while their claims are processed. It will take years for that to happen, given the numbers of illegal migrants in the system now. Under current immigration laws, a desire for a good job is not reason enough to apply for asylum.
Earlier this week a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against Biden’s decision to end Title 42 on May 23. We’ll see what happens with that. The TRO expires in fourteen days.
Biden is being criticized from all sides over his bone-headed decision to end Title 42 right now. Even Speaker Nancy Pelosi is jumping on the bandwagon. However, she is not criticizing the decision to end it, she is trying to provide cover for Mayorkas. She is critical of how the administration is handling the end of Title 42. The last thing Pelosi wants is for the decision to end Title 42 to be tied to more COVID-19 relief funding as it currently is in the Senate. Republican senators came together to demand that Mayorkas provide a real plan for the border before more money is spent for COVID relief. If COVID is alive and well and in need of more financial support, why is Title 42 going away at the border? It is a perfectly logical question.
So, now that Mayorkas’ back is up against the wall, he is finally releasing his plan. As I mentioned above, it’s more of the same but with increased spending. That is how this administration works. There are no real policy decisions to fix problems, but there is always the suggestion that more money be thrown at the problem.
This is a dereliction of duty. Republican lawmakers are beginning to call for Mayorkas to step down. The problem with that is, who would replace him? There is no reason to think that Biden would replace him with someone competent and committed to border security. Biden and progressives have no intention of fixing the problem. They don’t see the Biden border crisis as a problem in the first place.