Mayorkas Opens the Border Again, Now to Ecuadorians

The DHS secretary recently added Ecuadorians to the list of those nationalities to be rewarded for their propensity to enter the United States illegally.

By Phillip Linderman on December 6, 2023

The American Conservative, December 6, 2023

Congress continues to do nothing to restrict the main tool enabling Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’s unlawful overreach: his abuse of the “humanitarian parole” authority to admit foreigners under a narrow exception in the Immigration and Nationality Act. The INA allows the president to admit selected foreigners who cannot obtain a visa but have a pressing need to enter the U.S., such as to receive medical treatment or take part in a court matter. Mayorkas has seized this authority as dynamite to blast open our national borders.

Earlier this year, Mayorkas used humanitarian parole as the pretext to invent immigration programs for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans (called “CHNV”) that permit 30,000 “legal” monthly admissions from those countries. Under the sketchy CHNV rules that Mayorkas created by diktat, the parolees from these four countries can self-select themselves; basically the sole requirements are having a sponsor and not being on a U.S. watchlist.

Mayorkas’s sleight of hand has also invented something he calls “Family Reunification Parole” (FRP), yet another scheme for speeding up the entry of those favored nationals he wants to let in now.

Under FRP, foreigners on the processing list for family-reunification immigrant visas (commonly called “chain migrants”) are no longer required to await their legal turn to be interviewed, medically examined, and vetted in their home countries. FRP will now permit Ecuadorians, who will join the special club of Colombians, El Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Hondurans (plus Haitians and Cubans, who are covered by both programs) to simply ignore the waiting times required by American law and come directly into the U.S. as “parolees.”

Mayorkas’s improvisation again throws out the INA’s worldwide immigrant quota and vetting system, which in many cases would require these foreigners to wait years for their lawful chance to be processed as visa applicants. The fact that they are facing waiting periods, as is the case with some 4 million would-be chain migrants around the globe, does not mean the INA is treating them “unfairly,” nor is it a “broken” immigration system. Confronted by millions who want to come here, the law is working exactly as it was designed, restricting the number of immigrants each year to the quotas Congress approved.

Yet the current system, which is already overly generous in admitting annually more than a million legal immigrants, is not good enough for the Biden administration. In its announcement on Ecuadorians, DHS posted this paragraph:

The Family Reunification Parole process promotes family unity consistent with our laws and our values,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Establishing this process for certain Ecuadorian nationals will ensure more families can access lawful pathways rather than placing themselves at the mercy of smugglers to make the dangerous journey. Those who do not avail themselves of family reunification parole or other lawful, safe, and orderly pathways and attempt to enter the United States unlawfully will continue to face tough consequences.

Note that the announcement does not even threaten those Ecuadorians who “refuse to avail themselves of FRP” with deportation. When Mayorkas makes reference to “our values,” he is blatantly ignoring that those values are already clearly anchored in existing U.S. law. It is in fact fundamentally un-American to replace the rule of law by diktat; it is an incredible power grab and a national outrage even by modern Washington standards.

In favoring certain nationalities, Mayorkas is ignoring INA language that directly forbids it. The law asserts: “... no person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person's race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence” (emphasis added) §1152(a)(1)(A).

While the parolees are technically entering the U.S. without a visa, they are still being clearly favored in immigration because of who they are and where they come from. By any fair reading of the law, this action is a direct violation of the non-favoritism standard established in the INA.

What is going on with the DHS General Counsel’s office? Is there a DHS Inspector General’s investigation underway on Mayorkas’s abuses? Most importantly, was this unlawful conduct not worthy of a House impeachment vote against Mayorkas?

Reckless with his unchecked power, Mayorkas is likely to announce next that Ecuadorians already illegally in the United States will be granted “Temporary Protected Status.” TPS was first enacted by a gullible Congress as a measure to allow foreign nationals to remain in the U.S. if their country was beset by armed conflict or national catastrophe. Democrat administrations have wildly stretched TPS into a backdoor to allow illegal migrants to remain indefinitely in the United States.

As with parole, Congress desperately needs to take back this abused TPS authority, which currently allows nationals from 16 countries, most with dubious claims of being in crisis, to remain in the United States. Despite a history of Democrat presidents expanding this backdoor open-border measure, Ecuador, so far, has been denied TPS. Even the Barack Obama administration refused in 2016 to cave to Ecuadorian pressure for TPS.

Of course, the government of Ecuador continues to lobby for its illegals to stay in the U.S., and it is probably only a matter of time before President Biden, urged on by Antony Blinken’s State Department, placates Quito by granting TPS.

Here is the classic example of Mayorkas enabling migrants from another continent to enter the U.S.: not because they are fleeing tyranny, but because they are seeking to better their economic circumstances. Ecuador is not a dictatorship, but simply a corrupt country with high crime rates that struggles economically. It is not unlike scores of other countries on the planet.

Illegal Ecuadorian migrants continue to come, and very few are deported. In the past year, American border authorities encountered some 100,000 trying to cross the southern frontier from Mexico. There are now over 480,000 Ecuadorians in the U.S., with at least half of those illegally present. It is estimated that the Ecuadorian diaspora, since arriving in the U.S., has birthed another 270,000 children, who are now dual nationals. They are already organizing politically. As one Ecuadorian who was caught explained, “It is my dream to enter the United States to improve my work situation, because in Ecuador there are no such opportunities or jobs. The government does nothing. That is not the case with the open-border Biden administration. “Ali” Mayorkas is riding to the rescue of all would-be economic migrants, hundreds of millions of whom are clamoring to come to the U.S.

Congress must stop him.