WASHINGTON – James Carafano, Heritage Foundation vice president for national security and foreign policy, released the following statement Thursday in response to testimony by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee:
“Secretary Mayorkas continues to show that he is simply not the right person to lead the Department of Homeland Security, especially the men and women tasked with enforcing America’s immigration laws and securing our borders.
“Mayorkas repeatedly pleaded ignorance or dodged legitimate questions about the state of the border crisis. The reason why is obvious: the crisis has gotten so bad, those responsible for it are working overtime to avoid accountability and embarrassment for their failure to secure our borders and enforce our laws.
“The secretary repeatedly misled the public about the border crisis, falsely blaming the Trump administration for the crisis President Biden’s policies created. He refused to acknowledge the Biden administration’s policies as a major factor in the massive increase in illegal immigration since Biden took office. He all but shed tears over the plight of unaccompanied minors (UACs) making the trek to the southern border, while failing to acknowledge the Biden administration’s role in driving a historic number of UACs to the border in the first place.
“Indeed, Mayorkas has repeatedly promised that UACs will not be returned to their home countries. This combination of policy and messaging has encouraged more parents to endanger their children and pay cartels and smugglers to transport them to the border, because they know these minors will be guaranteed release into the U.S. The numbers are undeniable—in March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered 18,960 UACs, the highest number in the Border Patrol’s 96-year history. April saw the second highest number, with 17,171 UACs. The solution is simple—end the policies and the messaging that encourage this illegal activity.
“Mayorkas had a chance to be open and honest with the American people today. He had a chance to acknowledge the failure of this administration’s policies. He chose to make excuses and hide from accountability. We deserve better.
“To hold this administration accountable, the Senate should stand firm against the recent spate of nominees for critical leadership positions at CBP, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). These individuals should be rejected in favor of public servants who will restore our security and sovereignty at the border.”