“Why not enforce the laws that you have now instead of sit there and ask for new ones?” Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) asked Alejandro Mayorkas, the pro-migration secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. “The six-point plan that you put forward is simply a plan to have more people come through faster and the process them quicker — it was not a plan to deter people from coming across illegally.”
“I’ll give you a chance here,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said after he described how Mayorkas is allowing roughly one million migrants with judge-director deportation orders to remain in the United States. “Would you like to change your assertion that asylum seekers who do not prevail are promptly removed from the United States?” asked Portman, who is the leading Republican on the Senate’s homeland security committee.
“People around my state, they don’t believe at all the border is under control,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL). “I don’t believe you’re doing anything to make the border secure … I don’t think there’s any question you’re not enforcing the law,” he added.
“When you say that we have operational control of the border, is that actually disinformation?” asked Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the GOP leader of the Senate’s homeland defense appropriations committee. “We don’t believe that is true,” she added.
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The contentious hearings mark a visual shift from prior hearings, during which credulous GOP Senators expressed puzzlement and confusion about Mayorkas’ masked hostility to the pro-American border laws that protect Americans from wage-cutting labor and unscrupulous employees.
But GOP politicians are still behind the curve, said Rob Law, a former official at President Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security.
Republicans at the hearings portrayed Mayorkas’s migration inflow as illegal, but he is using his legal loopholes, gaps, and federal funds to carefully smuggle the growing tide of migrants into Americans’ cities, said Law.
Moreover, he is using federal funds and obscure laws to quietly and carefully create a progressive-run migration pipeline that can deliver myriad migrants into the U.S. economy, he said. The Progressive Migration Pipeline will operate alongside the legal immigration system created by Congress in 1990, said Law.
In his public events, Mayorkas hides his growing pipeline behind border chaos, vague language, arcane legal arguments, and dangled hints of immigration grand-bargains, Law said. “Mayorkas is a great magician … he’s capturing the Republicans’ attention while the pipeline is being built.”
For example, Hoeven asked Mayorkas: “Are you the least bit concerned that people are coming in here illegally from 100 different countries? You don’t think that’s the problem? You don’t think that creates drug issues, human trafficking, risks of terrorists? Is that what you’re telling us”
“This is a global challenge,” Mayorkas smoothly told Hoeven, adding:
We have seen an unprecedented number of displaced persons around the world … This world is experiencing conflict, this world is experiencing economic downturns, violence in particular countries, and authoritarian regimes.
Mayorkas then put Hoeven on the spot by re-characterizing the immigration laws that benefit Americans as a global rescue program to benefit foreign people in chaotic or authoritarian countries:
Senator, I am confident that you would not have me propose that we return Ukrainians encountered at the [U.S.] border to Ukraine. I am confident that — or perhaps I shouldn’t be — that at least some colleagues [of yours] would not want us to return every Cuban that we encountered at the border because of their claims of fear of persecution, by reason of the [Cuban] authoritarian regime there. Quite frankly, it is that flight from that authoritarian regime that lands me in this country serving our country for more than 20 years.
Similarly, Mayorkas fobbed off questions about his refusal to comply with the laws that require migrants to be detained until their asylum hearings so they do not have a financial incentive to try to get into the United States:
We enforce the law. Individuals who are subjected to detention are detained to the fullest extent of our capacity to detain them … There’s never been enough detention … [and] that will not solve the challenge.
“There isn’t exactly a deep bench of elected federal Republican officials who really get it,” Law said. “There’s a growing number that are paying attention to the border … and a few, especially on the House side, are starting to recognize that immigration is an across-the-board issue.”
On Wednesday, Portman showed that he is learning to confront Mayorkas:
Portman: …. should [we] be removing more people who did not qualify [for asylum]?”
Secretary Mayorkas: “We should be able to remove individuals who have made a claim for relief, who have had that claim heard by an immigration court and the immigration court denied that claim. Those individuals do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States and therefore should not be permitted to do so.”
Portman: “But you and the administration have a policy not to do that, that’s the point.”
Secretary Mayorkas: “Ranking Member Portman, that is precisely why we promulgated the asylum officer rule to more expeditiously be able to remove individuals.”
Portman: “Well, we can talk about that later but the asylum officer rule says that you are at the border get a quick adjudication. But if the adjudication is that you do not qualify because you’re an economic refugee, which we understand a lot of people want to come here for economic reasons. I probably would too if I was one of those fathers. But those people are then allowed to appeal that decision to the regular immigration court judge. So we’re right back into the backlog.
But Mayorkas knows the Republicans do not want to argue with him over the economic unfairness of migration to ordinary Americans, he said.
Most GOP legislators are zig-zagging between their pro-American voters and pro-migration donors, he said. Those GOP senators will vote for a wealth-shifting, migration-expanding law, but only if it converts illegal migration into legal migration, he said, adding:
The [GOP] prerequisite is that there needs to be the appearance [of order] so they can go back to constituents to say “You know, we’ve solved the problem at the border and that’s the only immigration problem.” But that is not true. There is a very real economic problem of high-skilled immigration to the inside of the country that affects the day-to-day well-being of every American. But the donor class Republicans don’t care about those [American] people. They don’t care about that because more people means lower wages, which means higher profits.
“These Republicans are taking their orders from the donor class so it’s okay to rough up Mayorkas a little bit, but there are certain aspects [of migration] that are just off-limits — the economic aspects of the high level of immigration,” said Law. “They’re fighting with kid gloves, they’re landing a few punches, but the damage is minimal, at best.”
The zig-zag treatment was displayed by several Senators who spent much of their time complaining about Mayorkas’s cartel-disinformation deputy and other non-economic issues.
For example, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) slammed Mayorkas over the disinformation issue, and then ended with a brief mention of the migration wave: “I would just say over a quarter million people that crossed the border illegally in one month is not operational control. We’re going to disagree on that pretty strongly.”
Similarly, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) told Mayorkas: “It’s like you’re adopting policies which have caused that to happen … You’re the person responsible for this record — [and] this record is devastating to our country.” But Romney continued with a plea that would convert the supply of illegal workers into a supply of legal workers:
My state is desperate for more workers. More truck drivers. More healthcare workers. We need more nurses. Our agriculture community needs more workers to harvest the crops. Our dairy farmers need people to work on the dairy farms.
[Employers] want to get visas, more visas, to bring people in who are available to work in our country … But we can’t make these kinds of reforms to our legal immigration system … We can’t solve the problems of legal immigration until you secure our border.
Since at least 1990, the D.C. establishment has extracted tens of millions of migrants and visa workers from poor countries to serve as legal or illegal workers, temporary workers, consumers, and renters for various U.S. investors and CEOs.
This economic strategy of Extraction Migration has no stopping point. It is brutal to ordinary Americans because it cuts their career opportunities, shrinks their salaries and wages, raises their housing costs, and has shoved at least ten million American men out of the labor force.
Extraction migration also distorts the economy and curbs Americans’ productivity, partly because it allows employers to use stoop labor instead of machines. Migration also reduces voters’ political clout, undermines employees’ workplace rights, and widens the regional wealth gaps between the Democrats’ coastal states and the Republicans’ Heartland and southern states.
An economy built on extraction migration also alienates young people and radicalizes Americans’ democratic, compromise-promoting civic culture because it allows wealthy elites to ignore despairing Americans at the bottom of society.
The policy is hidden behind a wide variety of excuses and explanations, such as the claim that the U.S. is a “Nation of Immigrants” or that Americans have a duty to accept foreign refugees. But the economic strategy also kills many migrants, exploits poor people, splits foreign families, and extracts wealth from the poor home countries.
The economic policy is backed by progressives who wish to transform the U.S. from a society governed by European-origin civic culture into a progressive-led empire of competing identity groups. “We’re trying to become the first multiracial, multi-ethnic superpower in the world,” Rep. Rohit Khanna (D-CA), told the New York Times on March 21. “It will be an extraordinary achievement … we will ultimately triumph,” he insisted.
Not surprisingly, the wealth-shifting extraction migration policy is very unpopular, according to a wide variety of polls. The polls show deep and broad public opposition to labor migration and the inflow of foreign contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates.