DHS Sec Alejandro Mayorkas Dodges, Ducks Questions on Rising Migrant Wave

by NEIL MUNRO 27 Sep 2021

President Joe Biden’s border security chief, Alejandro Mayorkas, is ducking and dodging questions about his responsibility for spiking the migrant flow into the United States.

“Hasn’t this administration created a magnet?” asked Fox News host Chris Wallace. “Haven’t you given them a reason to believe there’s a reasonable chance if they come into this country, they’ll end up being released into the country and have months, or perhaps years, to stay [and work] here?”

“Chris, this is nothing new,” responded Mayorkas, who is the head of the Department of Homeland Security. “We’ve seen this type of irregular migration, many, many times throughout the years.”

“Are you at all concerned the [release of more than 12,000 Haitian migrants into the United States] will serve as a magnet for more migrants to come?” Chuck Todd asked Mayorkas on NBC’s Meet the Press.

Haitian migrants, part of a group of over 10,000 people staying in an encampment on the U.S. side of the border, cross the Rio Grande river to get food and water in Mexico, after another crossing point was closed near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021. (Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images)

“Oh, I don’t think that is the case at all,” Mayorkas replied. “In fact, 8000 Haitians returned to Mexico over the past week.”

“Do you think that’s because we’re sending people back to Haiti” Todd responded quickly.

“I can’t speak for them,” said Mayorkas, and he then tried he shift the blame to supposed foolishness of the migrants.

But I do think they made that journey — which we admonished them not to make, to not put their lives, their funds in the hands of smugglers who exploit them.

Mayorkas has repeatedly tried to blame foolish migrants for the migration spike. But the migrants diligently use their cellphones to identify and exploit Mayorkas’ border loopholes as they successfully migrate into U.S. jobs and homes.

With backup from White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, Mayorkas also dodged questions from ill-prepared reporters at a Friday, September 24, press conference at the White House.

One reporter asked:

If this administration were to take a more permissive stance toward that [wider] definition [of asylum], could this be — what we’ve just experienced in the last several weeks — just the first of many similar instances to occur in this country on the border?

Mayorkas responded with bafflegab that hinted that he will accept even more migrants:

So, we determine the standards to apply in a [asylum] claim of persecution according to the principles that a government should have both domestically and in the international architecture with the treatment of individuals who are fleeing persecution by reason of their membership in a particular social group. It is not a tool of deterrence to define what a “particular social group” means.

Jen Psaki then blocked any follow–up questions by calling on another reporter to ask a question.

Several minutes later, another reporter asked: “How much responsibility do you, does the administration take for these situations continuing to, kind of, pop up in various places?”

Haitian migrants use a dam to cross to and from the United States from Mexico, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The White House transcript reads:

SECRETARY MAYORKAS: So if you’re — if you’re addressing the situation in Del Rio, I will tell you that it is unprecedented for us to see that number of people arrive in one discrete point along the border in such a compacted period of time. That is unprecedented.

We have the Chief of the Border Patrol, Raul Ortiz, is, I think, a 30-year veteran and he has not seen that before. And what we do when we see something that is unprecedented is we respond, and respond we did.

MS. PSAKI: Steve [a different report, please ask a question]

When dealing with the media, Mayorkas adopts a calm and passive demeanor, smiles frequently, and uses his familiarity with the very complex immigration law to dodge questions from ill-prepared journalists and half-hearted GOP legislators.

But Mayorkas’ off-camera behavior is far more aggressive, according to testimony in a November 2010 letter to DHS from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA):

Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that Director Mayorkas is fostering an environment that pressures employees to approve as many applications as possible and condones retaliation against those who dissent.

According to the USCIS employees:

During a recent visit to the CSC, Director Mayorkas became “visibly agitated” when advised that the employees were interested in learning more about fraud detection efforts. Mayorkas asked, “Why would you be focusing on that instead of approvals.” One witness stated that “his message was offensive to a lot of officers who are trained to detect fraud.”

On CNN’s Sunday show, Mayorkas did not even have to dodge questions about his mostly-open border. Instead, host Jake Tapper cooperated with Mayorkas by spotlighting the claim that border agents abuse migrants at the Del Rio landing:

Mayorkas: Jake, I think it’s quite clear that what the images suggest. horrified the American public … What those images suggest, what they appeared to portray, was horrifying …

Tapper: That’s the thing. Some of the initial descriptions of those images were just patently false. There is now video out there that provides more context. Having seen the video, are you certain that there was actually wrongdoing?

Mayorkas: I am going to let those investigators make that determination. And then that determination will drive the outcome of the investigation.

Mayorkas repeatedly brought up the claims that his horse-mounted deputies abused migrants to help him deflect questions about this role in encouraging migration.

On Friday’s press conference, for example, Mayorkas said:

But first, I want to make one important point. In the midst of meeting these challenges, we — our entire nation — saw horrifying images that do not reflect who we are, who we aspire to be, or the integrity and values of our truly heroic personnel in the Department of Homeland Security.

On Sunday, he was eager to talk about the issue with Todd at NBC, saying: “I think the entire American public correctly and necessarily were horrified by what the images suggested … They conjured up such a dark past that we have not entirely put behind us.”

On Fox, however, Wallace minimized mention of the horse claim, and tried to keep the focus on the administration’s welcome for migrants.
Mayorkas is a pro-migration zealot.

“It is identity that has to serve as the foundation of our approach to the difficult immigration issues we confront,” Mayorkas said in a 2016 speech to the Migration Policy Institute:

We have to give thought to the fundamental and foundational question of who we are as a country, and who we should be, and how we answer that question on the subject of immigration should be our guidepost in traveling through and managing the very, very difficult and sensitive and too often divisive challenges that we face.

Americans’ homeland is “a nation that always has been and forever will remain a Nation of Immigrants,” Mayorkas declared in 2013, echoing a 2018 video by Joe Biden.

A September poll showed that most Americans give failing grades to the media’s immigration coverage.