"We have plans," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said irritably when he was pressed about the border disaster. "We are executing on those plans." That's news to our teams on the U.S.-Mexico line. If you ask local border patrol, like reporter Carine Hajjar did, the president's strategy (if he has one) is a joke. One agent, who was loading up a group of migrants to process, actually laughed when he was asked if the administration had a plan to deal with the nightmare they're all living. "Not that they've told us," he said.
Most agents don't bother hiding their frustration anymore. "This is the worst I've ever seen it..." another told Hajjar. "This administration doesn't care." Even Barack Obama, they agreed, "had some idea that there's a law-enforcement element to this -- but these people just don't care at all." And the deadly fallout of that reality is everywhere -- from the teenage girls being sold into sex trafficking by the cartels to the bodies of our own national guardsmen being pulled from rivers they should have never had to cross.
When the body of Army Specialist Bishop Evans, a Texas national guardsman, was pulled from the Rio Grande after he drowned trying to pull two migrants to safety last week, the realities of Biden's policy hit home again. "The chaos that's been caused on this border impacts absolutely everybody," House Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) said somberly. "It's killing national guardsmen, it's killing migrants, it's killing everything it touches."
And yet the president, who refuses to visit the border -- let alone acknowledge the crisis created there, can't even muster the courage or compassion to confront the issue. Fortunately, conservatives (and a growing number of Democrats) have. Their latest attempt to force Biden's hand on the surge had a breakthrough moment Monday when a U.S. district judge put a temporary stop to the president's plans to lift Title 42, a COVID-era policy that's kept the border from being entirely overrun. At least for now, Judge Robert Summerhays ruled, our border agents can continue to use the pandemic as an excuse to turn people away at the border.
The 21 state attorneys general who challenged the move in court celebrated the decision, which keeps one of the only remaining obstacles to a completely open border in place. "I am so proud of the lawyers from our office who just got a temporary restraining order to keep Title 42 in place," Arizona's AG Mark Brnovich tweeted. "We will continue to fight the Biden administration's open border policies."
Another one of those fights played out this morning in the U.S. Supreme Court, where justices are being asked to decide if the president overstepped his bounds by killing the "Remain in Mexico" policy. And not a moment too soon, Republicans argue. House Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who just got back from another trek to the border, didn't think he could be surprised by the administration's incompetence anymore. He was wrong. Standing on a cliff overlooking the river, Roy told "Washington Watch" listeners that he saw 100 people "literally crossing the river" while House leaders were standing there. And it's not just the volume of illegal crossers that bothers Roy -- it's their character.
"Last Friday, we arrested a Mexican national who had been deported 15 times yet was still in the United States. And he was trafficking [and] sexually abusing a teenage girl, not even a woman, a teenage girl -- prostituting her, putting her to the sex trafficking trade. Now, he'd been deported supposedly 15 times. This is because we have no serious resolve in securing our border... There is no plan," he insisted.
He, like 100 other House Republicans thinks it's time to hold the White House's feet to the fire. In a letter to the DHS chief, they call out Mayorkas for "willingly endanger[ing] American citizens and undermin[ing] the rule of law and our nation's sovereignty." To them, his failure to secure the border and enforce our laws "raises grave questions about your suitability for office."
Roy, who's seen the situation up close for the last year and a half, said, "I just want everybody to understand what's actually happening... One million people have been released into the United States since Joe Biden has been president -- give or take. You could double the border patrol's budget, triple it, quadruple it... [But] as long as you're releasing people into the country, those numbers are going to keep going up... It doesn't matter how many people you hire or what you do... They will keep flooding our country. More bad drugs will come in, more bad actors, more gangs, more cartel members. And we continue to see Americans get hurt."
When the president doesn't enforce the law, it's a neon welcome sign to the whole world. And until the White House starts taking this emergency seriously, Biden's lawlessness won't just fuel the migrant surge -- it will also power the national crime wave, lethal fentanyl corridors, the MS-13 "homicide trail," the "biggest human trafficking event of our lifetime," and more senseless deaths like Army Specialist Bishop Evans. If the administration has a plan, let's see it. If not, voters will have their own this November.