Welcome to the United States of Mayorkas
From the moment Alejandro Mayorkas was confirmed as Secretary of Homeland Security in February 2021, the humanitarian emergency now rocking America’s southern border was inevitable.
This isn’t one of those heart-wrenching cases of the “law of unintended consequences” where well-meaning officials are brought down by the unforeseen repercussions of their best efforts. On the contrary: Minister Mayorkas is a zealot for open borders. What the rest of the country is calling a disaster, Mayorkas regards as a job well done.
In 2020, under President Trump’s comparatively restrictive immigration and border policies, the United States had its fewest illegal border crossings in four decades, down 53 percent from the year before. But Mayorkas and President Biden began reversing that policy as soon as they took office.
In less than a year, Mayorka’s DHS repealed the “Public Charge Rule” that allowed DHS agents to refuse entry to foreigners likely to become dependent on government welfare; quadrupling the number of refugees the US will take in; announced an end to Trump’s policy of deporting unaccompanied minors attempting to cross the border; halted construction of border wall; repealed the “remain in Mexico” policy negotiated between the Trump administration and the Mexican government, which required asylum seekers attempting to enter the US from Mexico to remain there until their cases were resolved; sent US arrests at the Mexican border to an eight-month low in October; and announced a halt to crackdowns on companies that employ illegal aliens and gave them carte blanche to ignore US labor laws.
These actions, combined with President Biden’s open borders rhetoric, encouraged would-be illegal immigrants to try their luck in 2021. Surely that’s the message drug cartels and migrant smuggling “coyotes” got across to the people of Central America: Trump is gone, and Biden will let you in.
The results have proven disastrous.
In February — the first-ever full month in office of President Biden and Secretary of State Mayorkas — arrests of illegal border commuters rose 28 percent to 100,000. Numbers continued to rise month after month, even in the summer when crossings traditionally collapse due to the sweltering heat. By the end of the federal fiscal year in September, agents had arrested 1.7 million illegal aliens, an all-time record. Many have been released inland and await trials, which few will bother to attend.
Minister Mayorkas’ decisions have enriched Mexican cartels and smugglers who have turned the effectively open border into a cash cow. Traveling north illegally can cost migrants an average of $11,000 or more. Overall, officials estimate that cartels rake in hundreds of millions of dollars annually, effectively blackmailing these smuggling operations and forcing migrants and coyotes to pay for safe passage.
In fact, these extortionate fees have prompted some migrants to band together in caravans, believing that the cartels will not attack such a large group even if its members do not pay for protection.
It’s a risky game. Those who lag behind their caravans are often abandoned and left to die. Many drown trying to cross the Rio Grande. Women and children are regularly sexually abused.
On our side of the border, the humanitarian emergency continues to worsen. Processing centers designed for hundreds of people are crammed with thousands of environments ripe for abuse and Covid outbreaks. Ironically, officials have temporarily held unaccompanied children in pens while they manage aid logistics – the very same practice that sparked allegations of “children in cages” under the previous administration.
The strategy that Mayorkas is pursuing, with President Biden’s blessing, is very simple: the more Trump repeals border policy, the more migrants will come, the more the system will be overrun, and the more illegal immigrants the Border Patrol will have to release.
That, in turn, means more cheap labor for big corporations, which have increasingly favored Democrats in recent years. It’s no coincidence that real wages — which have seen their sharpest rise in decades during the four years of President Trump’s immigration restrictions — fell 2.4 percent year-on-year in December 2021, according to the latest available data.
And when a Democratic congress eventually pardons these migrants, it will no doubt mean more reliable voters for the party. Some are asking what the Biden administration’s plan is to fix the border crisis. You miss the point. The border crisis is the plan.
James Berger is the owner and manager of Histo Techniques, LTD and is based in Powell, Ohio.