DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made a rare appearance in the Rio Grande Valley Tuesday. The message coming from Mayorkas was that if Title 42 ends next week, it “does not mean that the border is open beginning May 23.” This guy really does think you are just stupid enough to believe him.
DHS Sec. Mayorkas in the Rio Grande Valley: We are preparing for the end of Title 42…that does not mean that the border is open beginning on May 23. We continue to enforce the laws of this country… pic.twitter.com/8mtt6OAiL2
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) May 17, 2022
Mayorkas brought along Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, who used to be in charge of the Rio Grande Valley Sector. He called it a “robust day” of visits as they made four stops along the border near McAllen.
“Secretary Mayorkas and I had an opportunity to meet with our frontline officers, agents and our workforce to ensure that we’re prepared for May 23rd and beyond,” Ortiz said.
While Ortiz spoke of making sure the Border Patrol agents and others on the ground at the border will be prepared for what happens on May 23, Mayorkas was delivering the message that DHS is prepared and working with regional and local partners. He said expulsions will continue, though he admitted it might take longer and require more workers. Mayorkas put on a dog and pony show for reporters, too. They were allowed to see an expulsion flight happening with 132 illegal migrants from Guatemala.
“The border, the laws of the border will be enforced. If one does not qualify for relief, one will be removed.” Mayorkas told reporters during an afternoon news conference Tuesday at an airport hangar in McAllen.
The day began with the media being given rare access to a pre-dawn expulsion flight in which 132 migrants were sent back to Guatemala under Title 42.
“This is what we are doing to address the challenge of the Southwest border. We’re bringing all our resources, talent and extraordinary commitment of the personnel of the Department of Homeland Security to bear,” Mayorkas said.
The timing of a rare visit from Mayorkas is suspect. It happened as news broke about the record number of apprehensions of illegal migrants by Border Patrol agents in April. The number is an all-time high for DHS. The agency has never recorded such numbers in its 22 year history. If border agents and other law enforcement are overwhelmed now, imagine how it will be on the ground when next week rolls around. The numbers are expected to triple.
Mayorkas may pretend that everything is fine and under control but that is not the case. For the past week or so, Fox News has shown a regular stream of migrants wading across the Rio Grande River every morning at the same time. Groups of more than one hundred appear to be coordinated by cartels to cross every day. What is the message from Mayorkas to people thinking about coming to the border? He told them not to trust the traffickers. That advice is as feckless as what Kamala said to those contemplating heading to the southern border when she said, “Don’t come.”
Mayorkas said it was his tenth trip to the border. Even if that is accurate, it is woefully unacceptable. With the historic numbers of migrant apprehensions, the large numbers of ‘got aways’, and Border Patrol agents so overwhelmed that morale is at all time lows, Mayorkas should be making trips to border states every week until the situation gets under control, at least to the point it was when Biden took office. The Biden border crisis was preventable so, clearly, it is intentional.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector is the busiest of the sectors. It is the epicenter of the Biden border crisis. Mayorkas made four stops.
The first was at the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector, which is the agency’s busiest section of border, and the McAllen Station, which includes about 49 miles of the Rio Grande, is the area’s busiest.
Mayorkas was briefed just after 6 a.m. by local Border Patrol officials, who asked for more manpower and technology to help battle the increasing border security crisis. They also said that traffic has shifted in recent months from family units to single adults.
His second stop was down the river near La Joya where he was briefed on technology, including aerostat balloons, which are the eyes in the sky for border patrol, as it has radar installed to detect border crossing activity.
Another stop was Anzalduas Park, which is a launching point for Border Patrol and Texas Game Warden boats to patrol up and down the river.
The last stop was at Guerra Gap, not far from Hidalgo Port of Entry. Mayorkas was briefed on security camera and surveillance systems, including a small drone that can be launched by agents on the ground.
This part is the single busiest stretch of the entire Southwest border. Agents said they’ve made 90,000 arrests since October.
Last month Mayorkas presented a plan for handling the border when Title 42 ends. It is called the DHS Plan for Southwest Border Security and Preparedness and no one is satisfied with it. The 20 page memo even admits there is little DHS can do until Congress acts on immigration reform. Mayorkas refers to the rule of law yet we know that DHS isn’t abiding by the laws as they are written. Migrants are being released into communities across the country and many are being trusted to show up at an ICE office to continue processing their asylum claims. Most migrants are coming for a better life, for jobs and better housing, which is understandable but it is not sufficient reason for asylum.
Mayorkas told border agents that DHS will provide more personnel and resources for controlling the border. Where was this promise all along? Border Patrol agents have asked for more support and resources since the Biden border crisis began. The same requests have come from border governors, including Texas Governor Abbott and Arizona Governor Ducey. States have been left on their own throughout this humanitarian crisis.
We wait to see if a judge will stop the end of Title 42. If that happens, it is unclear if the Biden administration will pursue an appeal. This administration has never had a plan to secure the southern border. For Mayorkas to go to the Rio Grande Valley now, just days before May 23, and blow smoke about laws being enforced and claim the border will not be open when Title 42 ends takes cojones. The border is open now.