Let me be clear: Our border is not open and will not be open after May 11th.
We are building lawful pathways for people to come.
Last week, DHS released a “Fact Sheet: U.S. Government Announces Sweeping New Actions to Manage Regional Migration”, and DHS Secretary Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a joint press availability to tout the Biden administration’s “sweeping new actions”. In trying to make sense of the fact sheet and the availability’s transcript, it occurred to me that Mayorkas and Blinken may very well have been holding a joint.
Michael Mehaffy writes that the esteemed scholar of urban planning Jane Jacobs was “famous for excoriating the backward-looking ‘pseudo-science’ of [mid-20th century urban] planning and architecture, which she said seemed ‘almost neurotic in its determination to imitate empiric failure and ignore empiric success.’” The same may be said of Secretary Mayorkas’ “pseudo-enforcement” of our nation’s immigration laws and his ever-morphing thoughts on what to do upon next week’s expiration of DHS’s Covid-era Title 42 expulsion authority. Mayorkas seems a modern day Moses; well, at least a modern day Robert Moses (Jacobs’ nemesis), almost neurotic in his determination to imitate the empiric immigration enforcement failures of past administrations (both Democrat and Republican) and ignore the empiric successes of the Trump administration.
DHS’s “sweeping new actions” are a blueprint for failure – if their goal is to actually secure the border. However, they are a blueprint for success if their goal is to empty Latin America of its peoples and bring them here.
Ignoring the Successes of the Trump Administration
What President Biden inherited was priceless — the Trump administration put in place mechanisms that had actually brought the border under control (even before Title 42), such as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). DHS found the MPP to be “an indispensable tool in addressing the ongoing crisis at the southern border and restoring integrity to the immigration system”, noting “a rapid and substantial decline in apprehensions in those areas where the most amenable aliens have been processed and returned to Mexico pursuant to MPP”.
All President Biden had to do was keep things on autopilot. Instead, he handed the controls to anti-border zealots and sought to terminate the MPP and other key enforcement tools. As my colleague Andrew Arthur has written:
Joe Biden inherited what his first Border Patrol chief, Rodney Scott, described in a September 2021 letter to Senate leadership as “arguably the most effective border security in” U.S. history. Scott complained, however, that Biden quickly allowed things at the border to “disintegrate” as “inexperienced political appointees” ignored “common sense border security recommendations from experienced career professionals”.
It may be unfair, though, to wholly blame the Biden administration’s inexperienced political appointees. In the “Biden Plan for Securing Our Values as a Nation of Immigrants”, the Biden-Harris campaign wrote that:
[T]he Trump Administration has ... drastically restrict[ed] access to asylum in the U.S. ... Biden will end these policies, starting with Trump’s [MPP], and restore our asylum laws so that they do what they should be designed to do — protect people fleeing persecution and who cannot return home safely.
Mayorkas’s Six-Pillared Plan Turns into Pillars of Salt
Almost exactly a year ago, Secretary Mayorkas testified that “We started our planning last September , and we are leading the execution of a whole-of-government strategy, which stands on six pillars, to prepare for and manage the rise in noncitizen encounters [after Title 42 is lifted].” On Thursday, DHS proclaimed that “[i]n April 2022, Secretary Mayorkas issued the DHS Plan for Southwest Border Security and Preparedness, laying out a six-pillar plan to manage an increase in encounters once Title 42 is no longer in effect, and updated the plan in December 2022”. Mayorkas himself touted “[t]he comprehensive plan we have developed and are executing”, saying that “[t]he work we have been performing to prepare for post Title 42 continues, as I have previously outlined in our six-pillar plan.”
Wait one second. First, as a euphemism for a total border apocalypse, “rise in noncitizen encounters” really cushions the blow. Second, are Secretary Mayorkas and the DHS press office referring to the same six-pillared plan that Mayorkas himself (along with Attorney General Merrick Garland) lambasted just two months ago as woefully deficient? Indeed they are! On February 23, Mayorkas and Garland issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in which they admitted that:
[T]he Departments considered maintaining the status quo, consistent with the [Mayorkas] plan [for Southwest Border Security and Preparedness] ... . That plan ... has been continually refined since it was introduced and continues to be in place.
[T]he Departments have concluded that th[e Mayorkas] plan alone would not be sufficient to shift incentives, and thus migratory flows, in a way that would ensure the safe, humane, and orderly processing of migrants. ... Absent material changes in policy, the United States would likely see a significant and challenging increase in migrants taking a dangerous journey towards the border.
For these reasons, DHS has concluded that maintaining the [Mayorkas plan] status quo is not a reasonable option and that a policy shift ... is needed to serve key foreign policy goals and address the expected flows.
I can only conclude that Secretary Mayorkas (and the press office) never actually read the notice of proposed rulemaking that he signed in February, or that what it said had simply failed to sink in.
Meet the New Plan, Same as the Old Plan
Let me now discuss some of the key aspects of the “Sweeping New Actions”.
According to Gallup World Poll survey results, more than 750 million people around the world desire to move permanently to another country if they had the opportunity, including 27 percent of Latin American adults (and an eye-popping 63 percent of Haitians, 52 percent of Salvadorans, and 47 percent of Hondurans). Secretary Mayorkas seems intent on facilitating the entry into the U.S. of all who want to come. He stated on Thursday that “[w]e are building lawful pathways for people to come ... without resorting to the smugglers.” Translation: foreigners who don’t qualify under our generous-to-a-fault immigration laws (over a million green cards served most every non-pandemic year) no longer need to break our laws to come to the U.S.
In pursuit of this goal, DHS’s fact sheet proudly proclaims that:
In a historic move, the United States alongside other countries ... today announced they will establish Regional Processing Centers (RPCs) in key locations throughout the Western Hemisphere to reduce irregular migration and facilitate safe, orderly, humane, and lawful pathways from the Americas. The first centers will be established in several countries, including Colombia and Guatemala, in the region. Individuals from the region will be able to make an appointment on their phone to visit the nearest RPC before traveling, receive an interview with immigration specialists, and if eligible, be processed rapidly for lawful pathways to the United States, Canada, and Spain.
At their joint press availability, Mayorkas and Blinken seemed like giddy fathers of newborns handing out cigars. Secretary Blinken mused that “[a]s to why this hasn’t been done before, well, I mean, it’s like any good idea. You can say, ‘Gee, why didn’t we think of this before?’” Secretary Mayorkas crowed that the RPCs “will be a critical addition to the programs and processes DHS has in place for qualifying individuals to obtain authorization to enter the United States before arriving at our borders.” Mayorkas also expanded on the RPCs and their future prospects:
[T]his is a process that will scale up over time. We are going to begin in collaboration, of course, with the State Department and our partner countries to begin several thousand each month, 5-6,000 plus each month individuals processed, a material impact on the decision-making of people who are seeking relief in a country. The whole model is to reach the people where they are, to cut the smugglers out, and to have them avoid the perilous journey that too many do not make. But we are beginning in Guatemala and Colombia. We are beginning at the level that I described and we will scale up. [Emphasis added throughout.]
We are indeed in discussions with other countries to expand the [RPCs], and they will have a significant impact on the migratory decisions of individuals in the region.
As to the nature of the ever-expanding “lawful pathways”, Secretary Blinken stated that “people can come to the [RPCs] and explore whether they are eligible for one of the various legal pathways to come to this country, whether it’s as a refugee, whether it’s for family reunification, whether it’s for a labor pathway”, and Secretary Mayorkas stated that “migrants may be screened at these centers and referred to pursue additional pathways to the United States or to other countries for which they may be eligible.” And the fact sheet states that “The United States will also continue to utilize available authorities to continue to strengthen and expand additional lawful pathways.”
These sure sound like great ideas, assuming that the American people and their representatives in Congress have signed off on unlimited immigration, truly open borders. But neither has.
The 2021 General Social Survey (GSS), a project of the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago (with principal funding from the National Science Foundation), is, “[e]xcept for the U.S. Census, ... the most frequently analyzed source of information in the social sciences”. It revealed that less than a quarter of native-born respondents (and less than a third even of foreign-born respondents) believe that immigration levels should be increased.
And the Congressional Research Service has emphasized that:
It was not the intent of the 1965 legislation[, the “Immigration Act of 1965”, which laid the foundation for our modern legal immigration system,] to significantly increase the number of immigrants ... . Throughout the 1965 debates, it was emphasized that the repeal of the national origins quota system as the basis for numerical restriction, not the elimination of numerical restriction itself, was the primary object ... . Senator Edward M. Kennedy [stated that “t]his bill is not concerned with increasing immigration to this country.”
The “lawful pathways” bandied about by Mayorkas and Blinken boil down to the Biden administration’s unlawful appropriation of the parole power to achieve goals the administration could never get the American people or Congress to agree to. While Secretary Blinken didn’t mention the “lawful pathway” of parole, Secretary Mayorkas stated that “If [people] have a lawful, safe, and orderly pathway ... they will avail themselves of those lawful pathways. That has proven true through our parole processes and other lawful pathways that we have implemented to date.”
What is parole? The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 granted the attorney general the power to “in his discretion parole into the United States temporarily under such conditions as he may prescribe for emergent reasons or for reasons deemed strictly in the public interest any alien applying for admission to the United States.” The House Judiciary Committee at the time made clear that:
[The parole] authority should be surrounded with strict limitations ... to permit the Attorney General to parole inadmissible aliens into the United States in emergency cases, such as the case of an alien who requires immediate medical attention before there has been an opportunity for an immigration officer to inspect him, and in cases where it is strictly in the public interest to have an inadmissible alien present in the United States, such as, for instance, a witness or for purposes of prosecution.
Over 40 years later, however, the House Judiciary Committee bemoaned the fact that “In recent years ... parole has been used increasingly to admit entire categories of aliens who do not qualify for admission under any other category in immigration law, with the intent that they will remain permanently in the United States. This contravenes the intent of [the parole statute].” The committee urged that parole “not be used to circumvent Congressionally-established immigration policy” or “to create an ad hoc immigration policy or to supplement current immigration categories without Congressional approval”.
I have written extensively about the executive branch’s abuse of parole. But such abuse has only gotten worse during the Biden years, with the administration notoriously using the parole power to release into American communities hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens apprehended at the border, as my colleague Andrew Arthur has reported. As to turning parole into a “lawful pathway”, the administration operated under a veil of relative secrecy for Mexican and Central American beneficiaries before the 2022 elections (as my colleague Todd Bensman uncovered). Post-election, DHS publicly announced “additional safe and orderly processes” that “will provide a lawful and streamlined way for qualifying nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela ... to seek advance authorization to travel to the United States and be considered, on a case-by-case basis, for a temporary grant of parole.” Further, “these processes will allow up to 30,000 qualifying nationals per month from all four of these countries to reside legally in the United States for up to two years and to receive permission to work here, during that period.” This represents the arrival of up to 360,000 aliens a year. And the administration can up the number with the stroke of a pen. This sure sounds like a categorical parole program intended to flout the immigration laws passed by Congress. As the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has concluded:
[T]he executive branch on multiple occasions purported to use the parole power to bring in large groups of immigrants. ... In response, Congress twice amended [the parole statute] to limit the scope of the parole power and prevent the executive branch from using it as a programmatic policy tool.
DHS cannot ... parole aliens en masse; that was the whole point of the “case-by-case” requirement that Congress added in .
DHS’s pretended power to parole aliens while ignoring the limitations Congress imposed on the parole power [is] not nonenforcement; it’s misenforcement, suspension of the INA, or both.
In total, the Biden administration has at the very least granted parole to 1,075,664 aliens in a little over two years.
The fact sheet discusses another use of the parole power to circumvent the will of Congress:
DHS is creating new family reunification parole processes for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia [and] modernizing existing family reunification parole processes for Cuba and Haiti [to] allow vetted individuals with already approved family-based petitions to be paroled into the United States, on a case-by-case basis. ... Individuals paroled into the U.S. under these processes would be eligible to apply for work authorization. [Emphasis added.]
According to the State Department, 3,915,501 aliens with “already approved family-based” immigrant visa petitions are on waiting lists for green cards. These waiting lists have developed because there is an overwhelming demand for these numerically limited visas — the siblings of U.S. citizens preference category waiting list alone encompasses 2,220,476 persons. Those on the waiting lists have to wait abroad — sometimes for decades — for green cards. The State Department is now making green cards available to siblings from Mexico whose petitions were filed 23 years ago. Millions of alien relatives have to wait far longer than do relatives from Cuba, Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Colombia. Allowing the latter aliens to come to the U.S. and live and work here indefinitely until their green cards become available defeats the entire purpose of the numerical limitations for immigrant visas that Congress established. It is also profoundly unfair to all those on the waiting list from non-privileged countries.
DHS’s fact sheet asserts that “[i]ndividuals who cross into the United States at the southwest border without authorization or having used a lawful pathway, and without having scheduled a time to arrive at a port of entry, would be presumed ineligible for asylum under a new proposed regulation, absent an applicable exception.” The fact sheet is referring to the “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways” (CLAP) regulation that Secretary Mayorkas and Attorney General Garland have proposed, which Mayorkas states he “aim[s] to have … finalized by May 11 and will swiftly implement”.
Why did the Biden administration give us the CLAP? In theory, the principle involved makes eminent sense. As DHS and DOJ argued during the Trump administration:
An alien’s decision not to apply for protection at the first available opportunity, and instead wait for the more preferred destination of the United States, raises questions about the validity and urgency of the alien’s claim.
[I]t is reasonable to question whether the aliens genuinely fear persecution or torture, or are simply economic migrants seeking to exploit our overburdened immigration system by filing a meritless asylum claim as a way of entering, remaining, and legally obtaining employment in the United States.
But, as I have explained, the CLAP converts the Trump administration’s bar to asylum eligibility for aliens who travel through one or more third countries en route to the U.S. without applying for asylum in at least one of those counties first into a “rebuttable presumption” of ineligibility, thereby allowing the administration to exempt from its consequences huge segments of the population of aliens who would choose to enter the U.S. illegally. The regulation seems deliberately written to make the CLAP impotent, a Potemkin village of feigned immigration enforcement.
Consequences or Con Job?
The fact sheet states that consequent to the return to Title 8, “decades-old authorities carry steep consequences for unlawful entry, including at least a five-year ban on reentry and potential criminal prosecution for repeated attempts to enter unlawfully” and that “migrants who cross the U.S. border without authorization and who fail to qualify for protection should expect to be swiftly returned”. (Emphasis added.) Secretary Mayorkas likewise trumpeted during his availability that Title 8 “carries stiff consequences for irregular migration, including at least a five-year ban on reentry and potential criminal prosecution for repeated attempts to cross unlawfully.” With a good deal of bluster, he proclaimed that “the border is not open”, aliens seeking to enter illegally “are subject to removal”, and, in fact, “removal will occur in the expedited removal context swiftly, in a matter of days or just a few weeks”. (Emphasis added.)
These promises of enforcement turn out to be entirely specious. First, the vast majority of aliens who unlawfully enter will qualify for protection under Title 8, regardless of how meritless their claimed fear of return turns out to be. As DHS and DOJ explained during the Trump administration:
When the expedited [removal] procedures were first implemented ... relatively few aliens [apprehended at the border] ... asserted an intent to apply for asylum or a fear of persecution. Rather, most aliens ... were single [Mexican] adults who were immediately repatriated. ... [A]liens could be processed and removed more quickly, without requiring detention or lengthy court proceedings.
In recent years, the United States has seen a large increase in the number and proportion of inadmissible aliens subject to expedited removal who assert an intent to apply for asylum or a fear of persecution ... and are subsequently placed into removal proceedings in immigration court. Most of those aliens unlawfully enter the country between ports of entry along the southern border. Over the past decade, the overall percentage of aliens subject to expedited removal and [who assert a fear and receive a] credible-fear interview jumped from approximately 5% to above 40%, and the total number of credible-fear referrals for interviews increased from about 5,000 a year in ... 2008 to about 97,000 in ... 2018. ... In FY 2018 ... positive credible-fear determinations [by asylum officers, preventing the expedited removal of the aliens and sending them to immigration court] climbed to about 89% of all cases. [Yet] significant proportions of aliens who receive a positive credible fear determination never file an application for asylum or [abscond and must be] ordered removed in absentia. In FY 2018, a total of [only] about 6,000 aliens who passed through credible-fear screening ([only] 17% of all completed cases ...) established that they should be granted asylum.
Lest you think these contentions are “just by the Trump administration”, they are now shared by Secretary Mayorkas himself (along with Attorney General Garland)! They concluded just two months ago that:
[M]any individuals who avail themselves of the credible fear [of persecution] process do not have meritorious claims [for asylum]. [Emphasis added throughout.]
[M]ost people processed for expedited removal [ER] ... will likely establish credible fear and remain in the United States for the foreseeable future despite the fact that many of them will not ultimately be granted asylum.
[T]he current asylum system — in which most migrants who are initially deemed eligible to pursue their claims ultimately are not granted asylum in the subsequent ... removal proceedings — has contributed to a growing backlog of cases awaiting review by asylum officers and immigration judges.
[T]hose who have a valid claim to asylum in the United States often have to wait years for a final protection decision. Conversely, noncitizens ultimately found ineligible for asylum or another form of protection are likely to spend many years in the United States prior to being ordered removed.
The fact that large numbers of migrants pass the credible fear screening, only to be denied relief or protection on the merits after a lengthy adjudicatory process, has high costs to the system in terms of resources and time.
Mayorkas and Garland also now realize that this state of affairs creates an incentive for aliens to come illegally to the U.S.:
[T]he fact that migrants can wait in the United States for years before being issued a final order denying relief, and that many such individuals are never actually removed, likely incentivizes migrants to make the journey north. [Emphasis added throughout].
This framework, pursuant to which migrants know that they will likely be in the United States for years before any order of removal, also risks providing an increased incentive for individuals to come to the United States.
[T]he vast majority of the migrants expected to surge to the border and make a fear claim following the lifting of the Title 42 public health Order would be screened in and permitted to wait in the United States for years before their asylum or other protection claim could be adjudicated. [T]his circumstance would ... likely be self-reinforcing: the expectation of a lengthy stay in the United States, regardless of the merit of an individual’s case, risks driving even more migration.
So, Secretary Mayorkas must know that his claim that “removal will occur in the expedited removal context swiftly” will, even if turns out to be true, only occur in those rare instance that aliens flunk their credible fear interviews. Or, he would have known so had he had bothered to read the proposed regulation that he signed.
Second, as a general rule, aliens are only going to be removed if they are continuously detained prior to removal. And there is nothing that the Biden administration hates doing more than detaining aliens — it is even begging Congress to reduce the money it receives for detention. As Andrew Arthur has reported:
The Biden administration complains that — despite the detention mandate — it is forced to release illegal migrants on parole because Congress has failed to give it adequate detention space to hold them. A series of court-ordered disclosures in ongoing litigation, however, reveals that ICE detention beds are going empty while the Biden administration is releasing tens of thousands of aliens monthly on parole.
[M]ore than 31.5 percent of ICE detention beds (9,118) ... went empty. ... The Biden administration is not even attempting to use its authorized bed space for detaining illegal migrants. No wonder that the president is asking Congress to cut funding for detention beds by more than a quarter — from the current level of 34,000 beds to just 25,000 — in FY 2023.
As to the necessity for detention, Biden’s DHS itself reveals in its FY 2021 Enforcement Lifecycle Report Appendix Tables that:
- Of aliens encountered at the southern border in fiscal year 2013, 98.4 percent of those who were continuously detained have been repatriated (mostly removed or returned) as of December 31, 2021, as have only 6.9 percent of those who were sometimes detained and 15.1 percent of those who were never detained. Of those continuously detained, only 0.7 percent have an unexecuted removal order, while 23.2 percent of those sometimes detained and 12.6 percent of those never detained have unexecuted orders.
- For 2014, the comparable repatriation percentages are 98.5 percent as compared to 9.2 percent and 8.1 percent, and the comparable unexecuted removal order percentages are 0.2 percent as compared to 25.3 percent and 26.3 percent.
- For 2015, the comparable repatriation percentages are 98.2 percent as compared to 11.1 percent and 10.3 percent, and the comparable unexecuted removal order percentages are 0.3 percent as compared to 24.2 percent and 21.6 percent.
- For 2016, the comparable repatriation percentages are 97.4 percent as compared to 4.0 percent and 10.1 percent, and the comparable unexecuted removal order percentages are 1.1 percent as compared to 22.8 percent and 24.4 percent.
- For 2017, the comparable repatriation percentages are 97.3 percent as compared to 2.8 percent and 6.0 percent, and the comparable unexecuted removal order percentages are 1.1 percent as compared to 20.5 percent and 25.8 percent.
- For 2018, the comparable repatriation percentages are 97.0 percent as compared to 2.1 percent and 5.4 percent, and the comparable unexecuted removal order percentages are 1.8 percent as compared to 18.0 percent and 25.2 percent.
- For 2019, the comparable repatriation percentages are 94.7 percent as compared to 2.2 percent and 7.9 percent, and the comparable unexecuted removal order percentages are 4.8 percent as compared to 11.4 percent and 15.1 percent.
Third, as Biden’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement itself reports, the number of its criminal arrests and DOJ’s criminal indictments and criminal prosecutions for immigration offenses has plummeted during the Biden administration:
It is thus hard to take seriously DHS’ promises of vigorous criminal enforcement. Interestingly, Mayorkas and the press office “forgot” to mention the possibility of criminal prosecutions for the federal crime of a first illegal entry/attempt to enter.
The Darien Credibility Gap
The fact sheet proudly states that:
Panama, Colombia and the United States reached an historic agreement to launch a 60-day surge campaign to address the unprecedented migration through the dangerous Darien corridor [in Panama]. The campaign officially launched on April 20 and is focused on disrupting criminal networks that facilitate the illicit movement of people and increasing state presence in the jungle.
And Secretary Mayorkas adds that the agreement is designed “to attack the smugglers who falsely coax people into the treacherous terrain of the Darien ... [and] prevent the incredibly dangerous humanitarian situation of migrants traversing the Darien jungle.
This is all well and good if taken at face value. However, it rings hollow to me. My colleague Todd Bensman reported last August that:
Following months of Biden administration shuttle diplomacy, multi-national U.S.-bound immigrants from more than 150 countries are now finding international routes to the southern border faster, easier, and less obstructed than ever before. Panama has dramatically shortened the notorious Darien Gap route from South America for the first time and Mexico has amended a years-old policy of using a national guard road blockade to slow U.S.-bound immigrants on its Guatemala border for one that now immediately hands out fast-pass visas straight to the American border.
Taken altogether, the relative new ease, convenience, safety, and swiftness of global journeys to the southern border — the new Darien Gap bypass route undoubtedly safer — should induce even greater numbers of foreign nationals to try the journey.
The Biden government has not taken specific credit for th[is]consequential change. But [it] come[s] after months of American diplomacy with Panama ... and fall[s] in line with the administration’s overarching policy idea for border management that illegal immigration not be stopped so much as rendered “safe, humane, and orderly”. The administration has certainly lodged no objections to the creation of what amounts to a free-flow corridor from Panama through Mexico.
Is this another instance of the Biden administration trying to clean up its own mess?
Whose Misinformation Campaign?
The fact sheet indignantly states that:
Smugglers are already ramping up misinformation campaigns to profit off of vulnerable migrants ahead of the return to Title 8 processing. To combat this misinformation, State’s diplomatic missions across the hemisphere are broadcasting accurate information about U.S. migration laws and engaging with a wide spectrum of regional audiences to counter smuggler narratives. It will be incumbent upon all elected leaders and stakeholders — regardless of political affiliation — to work to counter smuggler misinformation and propaganda, not contribute to it.
Secretary Mayorkas adds that “smugglers are seeking to take advantage of this change and already are hard at work spreading disinformation that the border will be open after that. The smuggler’s propaganda is false.”
This ire is clearly directed as much at Republicans as at smugglers. And I guess it should be directed at me, as I have said that “Around the world, word got out that a claim of fear of persecution upon apprehension at the border represented a virtual free pass into the U.S. — often trumpeted by alien smugglers seeking new business. And the smugglers weren’t engaging in puffery — they were accurately describing the situation.”
It is sadly the case that the smugglers have by and large been more truthful about the state of the border than has been the Biden administration. Look, the smugglers are in this to make money (regardless of the human misery they cause), and if word filters back to potential customers that they can’t fulfill their promises, that is bad for business. The border truly is open for business.
And, speaking of the border being open for business, who has been the smugglers’ biggest enabler? President Biden has created boom times for the industry. As the New York Times reported last July, smugglers’ “revenues have soared to an estimated $13 billion today from $500 million in 2018”.
Show Me the Money
The fact sheet notes that “[t]he Administration requested $4.9 billion ... but received only $2.7 billion in the Omnibus passed in December, which is not an adequate level to address both the anticipated short-term surge following the end of Title 42 on May 11 and the longer-term constraints of operating within a broken immigration system ... . Secretary Mayorkas added that: “[W]e cannot do everything that we need to do until Congress provides the needed resources and reforms. We call on Congress to provide the resources we need to continue our work.”
Of course, much if not most of this multi-billion-dollar request is for funds to provide “services” to all the apprehended aliens that Biden’s DHS has released (and will release) into the U.S. and to all the migrants that Biden’s DHS has unlawfully invited (and will invite) into the U.S. The Biden administration is insisting that American taxpayers fund the Biden Travel Agency’s parole-cation for all.
I noted months ago that President Biden’s immigration agenda is essentially to convert the millions of unwanted guests arriving at our nation’s doors into guests with engraved invitations from the U.S. government. I predicted that the administration would happily take advantage of a rhetorical side benefit — aliens entering the U.S. on parole come legally, won’t be apprehended, and won’t be counted in border apprehension statistics. In fact, it would be able to crow about dramatically reducing the number of apprehensions at the border, and bringing the border under “control”, simply by obviating the need for any aliens to enter illegally.
In the fact sheet, DHS is in fact crowing, stating that the sweeping new actions “draw on the success of recent processes that have significantly reduced unlawful border crossings through a combination of expanded lawful pathways and swift removal of those who fail to use those lawful pathways.”
Our Broken Immigration System
Well, there is at least something that DHS and Secretary Mayorkas said last week with which I wholeheartedly agree. The fact sheet stated that “[T]hese measures do not supplant the need for congressional action. Only Congress can provide the reforms ... necessary to fully manage the regional migration challenge.” And Mayorkas said that “[w]e stand ready to work with Congress to pass desperately needed reform to our immigration and asylum system.” I couldn’t agree more, and suggest that President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas give serious consideration to provisions contained in H.R. 2, “the Secure the Border Act”. I have written that:
[The Judiciary Committee’s provisions in the bill are] an audacious attempt to bring to a close the current border mega-crisis, which is the all-too-predictable result of the Biden-Mayorkas malpractice (bordering on malfeasance) at the border.
The McClintock-Biggs bill ... would provide the Department of Homeland Security with the industrial-strength cleaning supplies it needs to mop up the Biden administration’s mess at the border. It would also ... force the administration to clean up its own mess.
As I said, DHS’s “sweeping new actions” are a blueprint for failure. In fact, it is the Biden administration’s border policies that need a clean sweep. But it will take truly Herculean legislation to clean out Biden’s stables in a day.