Mayorkas Leaves the Light on for Migrants



While the Biden administration tells migrants the border is closed, officials continue to roll out welcome mats.

Last week, the government approved $86.9 million for hotel lodging and services for immigrant families, prompting Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., to tweet: “How is it right to give illegal aliens hotel rooms while homeless veterans are on the streets?”

It’s a reasonable question. According to FAIR research conducted before this ongoing debacle, per capita public outlays on behalf of illegal aliens were approaching the spending levels on American veterans, who are experiencing a veritable epidemic of homelessness.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, facing a chaotic and deteriorating situation at the border, claims that Customs and Border Protection agents are expelling families and single adults (an odd assertion in light of the aforementioned hotel reservations, and also a counterfactual one given that according to his own department’s data, only 13 percent of families are being turned back at the border). Unaccompanied minors, who apparently are deemed “essential” travelers, are still welcome. So, naturally, the ranks of untended youth are swelling.

As CBS News pegged the total of unaccompanied minors at 15,500, with another record-setting influx arriving this month, photos from a holding facility in Donna, Texas, revealed crude and crowded conditions that are nowhere close to complying with COVID distancing guidelines.

An internal DHS memo leaked to Axios News this week shows nearly 1,000 unaccompanied children have been in custody for over 10 days, a more than fourfold increase over the previous week. The maximum time a child is legally supposed to be held in Border Patrol custody is 72 hours.

Mayorkas’s extended-stay headaches and the burgeoning costs to taxpayers could have been avoided, or at least alleviated, had President Joe Biden retained the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico policy (formally titled Migrant Protection Protocols).

Instead, Team Biden sent up mixed signals, telling migrants not to come, while letting them into the country. Mayorkas is now pulling more migrants across the border via a “phased entry” program. More hotel rooms, along with suites of social services, will surely be required.

Undeterred by the crisis he has invited, the secretary predicted on Sunday that Americans will “look back on this and say that we secured the border and we upheld our values.”

Values? Security? We don’t see them.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.