The Biden administration has shown reluctance to combat the border crisis, and the confusion and misinformation only continue under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. During a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 21, the secretary was asked some basic questions that he couldn’t answer, such as how many migrants are currently being detained.
During the meeting, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) asked the secretary: “You have repeatedly stated that our borders are not open, they’re closed. Do you honestly believe that our borders are closed?” Although Mayorkas said he believes the borders are closed, he couldn’t give a “ballpark” figure on how many of the 1.3 million illegal immigrants taken into custody during the last year have been detained, how many have been deported, and how many have been released inside the United States. The exchange went like this, as reported by Fox News:
“‘Senator, I would be pleased to provide you with that data —’ Mayorkas replied before being cut off again.
“‘I want them now,’ Johnson said. ‘Why don’t you have that information now?’
“‘Senator, I do not have that data before me,’ Mayorkas responded.
“‘Why not? Why don’t you have that basic information?’ the senator asked.
“‘Senator, I want to be accurate,’ Mayorkas said.”
The senator then cited a letter to the Senate sent Sept. 11 by former U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott. The missive warned the agency was losing the ability to properly police the southern border and that he was “sickened by the avoidable and rapid disintegration of what was arguably the most effective border security in our nation’s history.” Johnson admonished Mayorkas:
“We were serious about border security until your administration took office. You stood before this committee and said you would enforce the laws. You have not done that.”
Mayorkas has repeatedly claimed that the Biden administration has control over the southern border. The number of illegal immigrants and refugees flooding in, more than 200,000 in August alone, contradicts that. Former acting ICE Director Tom Homan told Fox & Friends that the idea of control on the border is not real, and that the DHS secretary wasn’t speaking truthfully:
“I watched that news conference. I wanted to throw something at the TV. I don’t know what the color of the sky is in his [Mayorkas’] world is, but he cannot say two things: Number one, he’s saying the Haitians are being deported. When this first happened, about three-quarters of them were released. It wasn’t until they were called on it that he decided, okay, we have got to deport some. But many are being released to ICE and ICE will release them.”
Homan continued, contradicting Mayorkas’ claim that the DHS has control of the border:
“They have lost operational control. When there are 350,000 got-aways, there is no operation control. When you surge sources from Rio Grande Valley into Del Rio, that leaves 224 miles of border unguarded, I have seen the assignment sheets, 224 miles of southern border were unguarded because they had a surge of resources to these other areas. That’s not operational security. When the Haitians are moving back and forth to Mexico for supplies and freely coming into the illegal camp on U.S. property, that is not operational control.”
What’s That About Control, Mayorkas?
Saying something doesn’t make it so and declaring control over the immigration crisis is just wishful thinking. With more than 400,000 migrant encounters in 60 days, can any kind of adequate management be happening? So where are all these illegal aliens and refugees going? As Liberty Nation has reported before, many have just been shipped off to other parts of the country.
Former President Donald Trump ended the catch-and-release policy and installed the Remain in Mexico program. This caused a significant decline in the number of illegal immigrants trying to gain access to the United States. Biden scrapped that with an executive order. Government-contracted planes are transporting migrants to places such as Chicago, Denver, New York City, Harrisburg, PA, and Yakima, WA. Although the migrants are turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field offices, they are usually released after that.
These offices were not designed to handle the vast number of illegals entering the country. With thousands coming across the border every day, what choice do agents have but to let them out of custody? Former ICE Buffalo Field Office Director Tom Feeley said the agency’s headquarters puts pressure on local offices to release large numbers of migrants so that they can bring in even more aliens from the border. “It’s happening on a grand scale,” Feeley said. “They’re getting pounded every day fielding calls from headquarters about who they can release to make room for more people on the border.” He continued:
“So basically all we’re doing is we’re catching them at the border, shipping them into the interior, releasing them and getting more and then releasing them and then getting more and releasing them.”
Feeley also claimed that many migrants, after being released, are told to check in with ICE via telephone once a month until they get a hearing, which could take several months and even years. That’s a lot of time for situations to change, he noted, such as migrants having children, making it much more difficult to deport them later. The former field office director also alleged that many of those being released into communities are COVID-19-positive at the time. Between March and August, nearly 23,000 immigrants were released in this way, he pointed out.
What About the Children?
According to the HHS website, more than 75,000 children have been released across the nation during this fiscal year. However, Axios reported the government has lost contact with nearly one-third of them. Care providers made 14,600 required calls during the first five months of the year, and in 4,890 of those instances, workers could not reach the migrant or sponsor: “The percentage of unsuccessful calls grew, from 26% in January to 37% in May.”
In 2018, the left was frothing in fury over what they said was the Trump administration’s inability to account for 1,500 children that had been released from HHS during a three-month timeframe. In contrast, by the end of May this year, under the Biden administration, there were around 4,500 missing minors. The welfare calls are not being made, either. Between January and the end of May, HHS “discharged 32,000 children and teens – but the government placed fewer than 15,000 follow-up calls.”
Does that sound like a border situation under control?
Read more from Kelli Ballard.