When I first started seeing tweets and headlines about these comments, I wondered if they could possibly be real. Surely the new Secretary of Homeland Security didn't actually go out of his way, on national television no less, to practically invite parents in foreign countries to send their children to America's border -- in the midst of an already-disastrous crisis. But that's what he did. He muttered some admonitions to the contrary, but Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas finished his answer to a CBS News anchor's question by reassuring foreigners that if they chose to ship their kids on a perilous journey to enter the United States illegally, those kids would be accepted into the country and would be well cared for. Not a single person who sees or hears about this clip could be blamed for concluding that the underlying message, whatever other rhetoric was also employed, is that the light is flashing green. Watch to the end:
"I hope they don't undertake that perilous journey, but if they do, we will not expel that young child. We will care for that young child and unite that young child with a responsible parent."
He said this knowing that at least 13,000 unaccompanied minor children are already being detained by the US government (many unlawfully, under our insanely dysfunctional system), with thousands more expected to show up in the coming months, largely fueled by comments like this. DHS is telling these parents that if their children make it to America, they're getting in. That message is resonating and the crisis is exploding because of it. These parents are acting rationally, as are other illegal immigrants. It's the Biden administration's actions that are irrational, unless you believe their goal is to effectively open the borders to future Democratic voters, which may well be part of the motivation for some. They're sending the message above to parents, along with promises that their illegal immigrant children will be flown to relatives inside the US at taxpayer expense. They're telling adults that even if they violate our sovereignty and then are convicted of additional crimes like DUI or simple assault, the United States government still won't deport them. The directive from everyone from Mayorkas to President Biden himself ("we're in the process of getting set up") is not a simple, "do not come." It's "maybe do us a favor and wait a little bit."
The results speak for themselves. This all amounts to outright encouragement and rewarding of illegal immigration. It's a disgrace. And it's also important to remember -- despite Democratic and media efforts to frame this whole "challenge" or whatever word they prefer to "crisis" as overwhelmingly about genuine asylum claimants and vulnerable kids -- illegal immigration into America overwhelmingly entails people who just want to live and work here, but do not have an acceptable reason to skirt our legal process. Beyond that reality, another hard truth is that illegal immigration also involves some extremely dangerous people who traffic drugs and human beings. There are anti-crime, anti-gang, anti-trafficking, and anti-terrorism reasons to control the border, enforce our laws, and defend our sovereignty. When you invite mass lawbreaking and overwhelm our processes and personnel, criminal elements take full advantage of the chaos. What Biden has wrought is both 'kids in cages' and a bonanza for the cartels and others. All to signal that he's ending the 'inhumane and cruel' policies of President Trump, which were working remarkably well by the end of the last administration. I know I shared this piece earlier in the week, but I still can't get over how the new administration is trying to cover up the crisis they've created:
The Biden administration is restricting the information Border Patrol agents and sector chiefs can share with the media as a surge of migrants tests the agency's capacity at the southern border, according to four current and two former Customs and Border Protection officials. The officials say the restrictions are seen as an unofficial "gag order" and are often referred to that way among colleagues. The officials requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media about the topic. Border Patrol officials have been told to deny all media requests for "ride-alongs" with agents along the southern land border; local press officers are instructed to send all information queries, even from local media, to the press office in Washington for approval; and those responsible for cultivating data about the number of migrants in custody have been reminded not to share the information with anyone to prevent leaks, the officials said.
Multiple news organizations, including NBC News, have requested access to or photos from inside overcrowded border processing facilities holding unaccompanied migrant children; they have been denied. The DHS press office released one photo late Tuesday of a mother and child undergoing a health screening inside a border facility, but no wider shots to show conditions or sleeping arrangements. At the height of the Trump administration’s child separation policy in June 2018, it allowed media to tour facilities where separated children were held. The new restrictions have been passed down verbally, not through an official memo, the officials said. The unofficial policy has led some agents at the border to release videos that show mass arrests and surges of migrants without permission from Washington, two officials said. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security have not offered any media tours of the newly opened processing facility in Donna, Texas, which is reported to be over capacity with unaccompanied migrant children
There are bona fide safety concerns at play, as the Associated Press has covered, including more opacity from the administration. Trump's post-child separation policies and Trump's transparency were unambiguously superior to Biden's on this front. The media is starting to apply some real pressure here, but one wonders if they're capable of fully admitting that the previous sentence is accurate. I'll leave you with this:
No questions for Secretary Mayorkas, please. https://t.co/PgxH9IU9V6— Byron York (@ByronYork) March 19, 2021