Amid record-breaking illegal migrant apprehensions at the Southwest border, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas faced two days of questioning last week at the House of Representatives. (He testified before the Senate this week.) His first day on Capitol Hill was focused on the FY2023 DHS budget, while his second appearance, the most contentious, was in front of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, which is charged with the oversight of DHS.
Despite a crisis at the border, this was the first opportunity members of the House Judiciary Committee had to question Mayorkas. His testimony revealed much about the Biden administration’s anti-enforcement policy agenda. This administration is unwilling to deport an illegal immigrant even after the individual has been ordered removed by an immigration judge and been given numerous opportunities to appeal. In the DHS budget request, Mayorkas reduces detention bed space while arguing he must release illegal migrants into the country because he does not have sufficient bed space. He argues DHS has operational control of the border, but Republicans point out that he is facilitating illegal immigration and the flow of drugs across the border.
Andrew Arthur and Robert Law help unpack the two days of testimony and predict what we can expect from oversight, if the Republicans take the U.S. House of Representatives in November.
- Andrew Arthur, the Center’s Resident Fellow in Law and Policy, former Staff Director of the National Security Subcommittee at House Oversight and Government Reform, and a former Immigration Judge.
- Robert Law, the Center’s Director of Regulatory Affairs and Policy and former Director of Policy, USCIS.
In his closing commentary, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, discusses the 1,254 miles of Texas-Mexico border, based his observations from a recent CIS border tour. The meandering path of the Rio Grande in Texas, unlike in other border states, greatly complicates border security.
Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Andrew Arthur is the Resident Fellow in Law and Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies.
Robert Law is the Director of Regulatory Affairs and Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies.
Voices in the opening montage:
- Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
- Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
- President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
- Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
- Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
- Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
- Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
- Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
- Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
- Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".