On Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that U.S. Border Patrol agents that had been falsely accused of using “whips” on Haitian illegal immigrants are no longer conducting law enforcement duties while the incident is investigated.
“Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who initially backed the agents before changing his stance amid outrage from the White House and left-wing Democrats, told a House Committee that the agents had been taken off the frontlines amid an investigation that he expected to take days, rather than weeks,” Fox News reported.
“We have ensured that the individuals during the pendency of the investigation are not conducting law enforcement duties to interact with migrants, but rather are conducting only administrative duties,” Mayorkas told the Committee.
“The facts will drive the actions that we take,” he said. “We ourselves will pull no punches and we need to conduct this investigation thoroughly, but very quickly. It will be completed in days, if not weeks.”
The announcement comes as U.S. Border Patrol is already being overwhelmed by the record-high levels of illegal immigration, which has passed 200,000 border encounters for the second consecutive month – the first time that number has been reached in 21 years.
In response to the illegal immigration surge, which began in March, a group of 26 governors sent a letter to President Biden urging him to take action to stop the flood of illegal immigrants across the southern border.
“The months-long surge in illegal crossings has instigated an international humanitarian crisis, spurred a spike in international criminal activity, and opened the floodgates to human traffickers and drug smugglers endangering public health and safety in our states,” the letter said, in part. “A crisis that began at our southern border now extends beyond to every state and requires immediate action before the situation worsens.”
However, reducing the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents able to perform law enforcement duties appears to be taking a step in the opposite direction.
Mayorkas, DHS Further Diminish ICE Powers by Limiting Worksite Raids; Blame ‘Exploitative Employers’
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has just taken even more responsibility off illegal immigrants and placed it on the shoulders of employers and ICE instead. In a memo to acting ICE Director Tae Johnson, “Mayorkas argued that enforcement operations could be more effective when directed at employers of illegal immigrants, instead of immigrants themselves” reports National Review.
“The deployment of mass worksite operations, sometimes resulting in the simultaneous arrest of hundreds of workers, was not focused on the most pernicious aspect of our country’s unauthorized employment challenge: exploitative employers. These highly visible operations misallocated enforcement resources while chilling, and even serving as a tool of retaliation for, worker cooperation in workplace standards investigations.”
A Department of Homeland Security press release was almost identical:
“Under the [Trump] administration, these resource-intensive operations resulted in the simultaneous arrest of hundreds of workers and were used as a tool by exploitative employers to suppress and retaliate against workers’ assertion of labor laws.”
Mayorkas has been making moves in this new direction for months. National Review writes:
Mayorkas previously directed Immigration, Customs and Enforcement to prioritize undocumented immigrants who are deemed to pose a threat to public safety for deportation, as opposed to migrants who are deemed “contributing” members of society.
“The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen therefore should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them,” Mayorkas wrote in new enforcement guidelines on September 30. “We will use our discretion and focus our enforcement resources in a more targeted way.”
Border Patrol agents encountered 212,672 migrants at the border in July, the first time in 21 years that monthly encounters breached 200,000. In August Border Patrol agents logged 208,887 migrant encounters, with over a million people entering the U.S. illegally since the start of this year.
DHS Announces New Rules To Cut Back On Deportations
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ordered authorities to prioritize deporting illegal immigrants who “pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security” because the government does not have enough resources to handle the record-breaking illegal immigration that has occurred under President Biden’s administration.
“The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen, therefore, should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas wrote in a memo. “We will use our discretion and focus our enforcement resources in a more targeted way. Justice and our country’s well-being require it.”
The memo further outlines “mitigating factors” that would prevent the deportation of an illegal immigrant who had committed a crime. Among the factors listed are: “advanced or tender age; lengthy presence in the United States; a mental condition that may have contributed to the criminal conduct, or a physical or mental condition requiring care or treatment.”
The New York Post reported, “The guidance, which is due to take effect Nov. 29, replaces interim rules issued in February that were initially blocked by a federal judge in August as part of a lawsuit brought by Texas and Louisiana. The judge ruled that the administration did not have discretion to choose which migrants to detain, but a federal appeals court allowed the guidelines to take effect while the lawsuit proceeds.”
The February rules are suspected to be a large factor in the surge in illegal immigration seen this year as migrants knew that their likelihood of being able to remain in the United States was much greater. The February Memorandum led to record low deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) while there was simultaneously record high illegal immigration.
The Washington Post reported in May, “Under new Biden administration rules curtailing immigration enforcement, ICE carried out fewer than 3,000 deportations last month, the lowest level on record. The agency’s 6,000 officers currently average one arrest every two months.”
“ICE under President Biden is an agency on probation,” the Washington Post continued. “The new administration has rejected calls from some Democrats to eliminate the agency entirely, but Biden has placed ICE deportation officers on a leash so tight that some say their work is being functionally abolished.”
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