An Act Before Congress


March 30, 2023

By Brian Lonergan

While running his minimalist presidential campaign in 2020, Joe Biden’s handlers sold him as the wise, responsible, inside-the-Beltway moderate the country desperately needed after his allegedly renegade predecessor. What we instead received was arguably the least transparent administration in the nation’s history, populated by a series of radical activists who are driven by an agenda most Americans would reject if it were stated openly.

That noxious combination of radicalism and lack of transparency was on display yet again this week when embattled Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made a scheduled visit to Capitol Hill for questioning by senators. It only served to reaffirm that we are a nation being led by unserious people who do not prioritize the best interests of America and its citizens.

Among the topics discussed in the hearing was Customs and Border Protection’s “CBP One” phone app, which allows would-be illegal aliens from four countries—Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua—to sign up to enter our country on an app, and then be processed through ports of entry and paroled into the United States at the rate of 30,000 per month.   

Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) cited a Texas Monthly article, which reported that migrants using the app are given no interviews and asked no questions about vulnerabilities they listed in the app, or about why they are seeking asylum in the United States. Instead, they are simply released into the country on official parole.

Mayorkas responded by accusing Hawley of misrepresenting the program and gave long-winded answers seemingly designed more to run out the clock than to address the questions. He also gave incoherent answers to questions about the cost of the app and whether outside consultants were hired to design it.

Mayorkas continued to play rope-a-dope with Republican senators on basic questions like whether there is a crisis at the southern border. He claimed not to know how many migrants have died at the border area since the start of the administration or how many Chinese nationals have been apprehended at the border this year.

Until Americans prioritize border integrity in greater numbers, we are all but guaranteed to have more smoke and mirrors performances hiding an extremist agenda that is poisonous to our future.

When Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) showed a photo of colored wristbands, Mayorkas claimed to not know what they were. This caused Cruz to explode in anger, as anyone who follows the border crisis knows that they are part of the human trafficking cartels’ system for classifying their cargo of people based on their payment status.

“You’ve turned these cartels into multi-billion-dollar criminal organizations, and these are modern-day leg irons,” Cruz thundered while holding up a wristband. “Because these are children being sold into sex slavery, and you don’t even know what they are. That is astonishing.”

Mayorkas only responded with a meek and highly dubious claim that “we are taking it to the cartels to an unprecedented degree.”

This is not the first rodeo for Mayorkas. He has been in this political ring before. Along with the perks of running a federal agency with an $82 billion budget, he must occasionally go to Congress and take his lumps from the likes of Cruz and Hawley. If anything could be said for his disastrous performance as DHS secretary, it is that he has shown a remarkable ability to withstand harsh questioning while maintaining a poker face and spewing non sequiturs.

Other than that, what else can be said about a man who has presided over 5.5 million illegal aliens entering the country on his watch, as well as over 800 migrants killed at the border and fentanyl becoming the number-one cause of death for Americans 18-45 years old? It is a disaster, but apparently one that Biden is happy to accept. Under any other president, including the anti-borders community organizer under whom Biden served, Mayorkas probably would not have lasted a full term. 

While seeing Mayorkas get treated like a piñata for a few hours may provide a temporary dopamine hit to Americans who still value law and order, the frustrating part is that nothing will come of it. Mayorkas richly deserves impeachment, but the Democrat’s razor-thin Senate majority will likely ensure that any such effort stops in the upper chamber.

Until Americans prioritize border integrity in greater numbers, we are all but guaranteed to have more smoke and mirrors performances hiding an extremist agenda that is poisonous to our future.

Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of illegal migration.

Also published at American Greatness, March 23, 2023.

Photo credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security

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