Fact Check: DHS Chief Mayorkas Falsely Claims the ‘Border Is Closed’

The White House

CLAIM: Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas claimed May 11, “The border is closed.”

VERDICT: FALSE. Data released by Mayorkas later on May 11 showed he and his deputies admitted more than almost 67,000 migrants at the border.

In a White House press event on May 11, Mayorkas was asked:

On a separate issue, Secretary Mayorkas, we have cameras today in Texas that are showing humongous groups of dozens or hundreds of migrants walking right into the country. So, I’m curious what you meant last week when you said, “The border is closed.”

Mayorkas answered:

What I meant is precisely that: The border is closed. We are expelling single adults and families under the Title 42 authority that rests with the Center for Disease Control. And we decided, as an administration, in furtherance of the President’s direction to administer our immigration laws of this country in an orderly and safe and humane way, that we will not expel unaccompanied children.

Later that day, Mayorkas released the May border numbers, which show he is allowing many migrants into the United States, regardless of the impact on Americans.

He allowed almost 67,000 people across in May, including almost 30,000 people from countries other than Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. He also allowed 91,000 people across in February and March, pushing Mayorkas’ total to 156,000 in three months.

In the four months since February, officials working for President Donald Trump admitted 32,000 people.

However, Mayorkas is a lawyer, and his definition of “open borders” in the nation’s complex immigration laws may allow him to find legal excuses for allowing the entry of economic migrants or to regard the admitted migrants as still under the control of border agencies. “We are enforcing the laws in a smart and effective way,” Mayorkas told a Senate hearing on May 13.

For example, advocates for migration say the current inflow of migrants is legal because their status in the United States is conditional and may be ended by courtroom judges who deny their requests for asylum.

Yet the immigration court process is hugely backlogged because of prior waves of migrants, including migrants who arrived while Mayorkas was working as a top immigration official for President Barack Obama. This years-long delay means migrants can expect to work and live in the United States for several years before their claims for asylum are rejected and for years longer as their rejections are appealed to more judges.

Also, roughly 19,000 migrants into the United States were released by Mayorkas without a “Notice to Appear” document that registers the migrants in the nation’s immigration-enforcement system.

Moreover, Mayorkas has sharply constricted deportation priorities by effectively barring the deportation of people unless they commit major crimes. His enforcement rules allow people to walk away from the immigration process with little fear of being deported. At least 11 million people are already living illegally in the United States.

Mayorkas is also encouraging illegal migration by not flying young people back to their distant homes after they are caught trying to sneak across the border. Instead, he returns them to the five-yard line in Mexico without punishment, so they can try again to sneak into the United States. Roughly 200,000 migrants have sneaked into the United States since October, including perhaps 45,000 in May, sources tell Breitbart News.

Mayorkas is declining to use a court decision that would allow him to stop the coyote-delivered entry of so-called “unaccompanied” youths and children into the United States. Most of the children are work-ready teenage boys, and many are the children of illegal aliens now living in the United States.

He has the legal option of telling his border officers to reject requests for asylum processing by migrants whom they judge to be economic migrants. Instead, Mayorkas has reduced the role of these “credible fear” interviews.

Mayorkas is also using the legal option of parole to bring thousands of legally deported migrants back into the United States. That is just one of several legal side-doors into the United States that Mayorkas is trying to open.

He is also changing agency rules to help migrants get free legal services from U.S. pro-migration legal groups.

More fundamentally, Mayorkas favors migration into the United States and frequently argues that the United States is a”Nation of Immigrants,” regardless of the damage to Americans’ wages, housing, schools, society, and political power.

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