Accountability for the Southern Border Crisis
Former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and immigration officials are demanding accountability from the Biden administration for the debacle on the U.S. southern border. And it all starts with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Chad Wolf, Chair of the Center for Homeland Security, testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security oversight hearing on June 14, stating, “In all candor, the Biden Administration is the first administration of either political party to actively take steps to diminish the security along our southern border.”
Wolf and other witnesses revealed that human trafficking, drug smuggling, and violence have spiraled out of control because law enforcement agents tasked with securing the border are overwhelmed with processing and caring for illegal immigrants.
On June 7, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) introduced a bill for articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, stating, “Secretary Mayorkas has long ago crossed that threshold. I prepared the foundational posit of these articles long ago, yet I’ve been prayerful that impeachment might not be required. I’ve given him fair warning to resign his position. Now, he shall reap what he hath sown.”
The Committee has initiated an investigation into Mayorkas.
Democrats argue that encounters at the border have decreased and claim that the real issue is partisan politics.
“It’s obvious this hearing isn’t about oversight. It’s about partisan politics,” said Ranking Member Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.)
Wolf testified on June 14 as the Committee began investigating Mayorkas for dereliction of duty. Wolf and other witnesses claimed that Mayorkas intentionally violated the law to implement an “open borders” policy favored by the Biden administration.
They alleged that Mayorkas used improper asylum policies and abused the parole process to release millions of illegal aliens into the United States, sending a message that the United States was no longer enforcing its immigration laws.
“This isn’t about politics or policy disagreements; it’s about law and order,” said Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.)
Republicans argue that Mayorkas and the Biden administration are exploiting broad language and vague policies to circumvent the law, resulting in a disastrous tenure for Mayorkas.
In his written testimony, Wolf listed policies he blamed for the situation at the border.
Wolf highlighted that the Biden administration ended Trump-era remain-in-Mexico and detention policies, which required asylum seekers to wait outside the country until their cases could be heard. Now, illegal immigrants can request asylum via the CBP One smartphone app, originally designed for promoting commerce with other countries.
Republicans argue that the policy has so many exceptions that the app is unnecessary. They claim that individuals who claim they don’t have a phone, couldn’t get cell service, or didn’t understand English can still apply for asylum upon reaching the United States, without the requirement to remain outside the country.
Illegal aliens seeking asylum are given a Notice to Report date and released, leading to a catch-and-release policy that only results in one thing: disappearance. “They are released and told to appear, then they disappear,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas).
McCaul stated that 85 percent of asylum claims are fraudulent, with Mexican drug cartels exploiting fraudulent asylum claims to facilitate border crossings.
“Political asylum is always the magnet, and it’s been abused by the cartels for years,” McCaul emphasized.
However, human rights activist Eleanor Acer, Director of Refugee Protection for Human Rights Now, testified that many illegal immigrants were victimized while waiting in Mexico for their asylum applications to be heard.
Acer stated that the crisis at the southern border is not unique to the United States and is a global humanitarian issue. In response to questions from Thompson, Acer clarified that Mayorkas did not cause these problems.
“The crisis we’re facing is a humanitarian one, and it’s global,” she explained.
Wolf strongly criticized the DHS parole policy, stating that it should be considered on a case-by-case basis and limited to specific circumstances such as medical emergencies or danger. However, Mayorkas has approved policies that allow parole for entire populations as a quick method of processing them, according to the witnesses.
Republicans argue that the liberal use of parole and the CBP One App allow the administration to manipulate the numbers and downplay the severity of the situation at the border.
According to Rep. Mark Green, Biden set the stage for this crisis on his first day in office by signing executive orders that eliminated several policies.
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