President Joe Biden’s decision to turn tail and start construction on a border wall was quickly overshadowed by the gruesome attack against Israel. But it’s worth revisiting because Biden’s Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas might have just admitted to repeatedly lying to Congress under oath.
On Aug. 5, Mayorkas announced that he planned to waive more than two dozen federal statutes so that construction could immediately begin on 20 miles of border wall in Texas.
Why was he taking this step? Mayorkas makes it perfectly clear:
“There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States …. In order to ensure the expeditious construction of the barriers and roads in the project areas, I have determined that it is necessary that I exercise the authority that is vested in me … I hereby waive in their entirety … all the following statutes.” (Read the entire statement here.)
Look that over again. “Presently,” “immediate need,” “to prevent unlawful entries,” “expeditious construction.” That sort of language would suggest an immediate crisis, wouldn’t it?
But anyone who has taken Mayorkas at his word over the past three years would be puzzled by this. Hasn’t he reassured the nation, over and over, that the border was secure?
Indeed he has. The Washington Examiner notes just a few instances:
‘The border is secure,’ Mayorkas told us in April of this year, a month that included nearly 212,000 crossings. ‘Our borders are not open,’ he said a few weeks later in May after another 206,000 crossings. He said it in January of this year (157,000 crossings), May of last year (241,000 crossings), and March 2021 (his third month on the job, when border crossings nearly doubled to 173,000).
As recently as this May, Mayorkas was bragging that there’d been “a 50% drop in the number of encounters versus what we were experiencing earlier in the week.”
Ok, so what? There’s no law against lying to the public, right?
But there is a law against lying under oath to Congress. And Mayorkas repeatedly testified – emphatically and unreservedly – that the border is secure. A sampling we’ve compiled:
- March 17, 2021: “The border is secure and the border is not open.”
- Sept. 22, 2021: “The border is secure. We’re executing our plan.”
- April 28, 2022: Rep. Chip Roy: “Will you testify under oath that we have operational control of the border?” Mayorkas: “We do.”
- May 2, 2022: Rep. Michael Guest: “Are you testifying as you sit here today that the Southwest border is secure?” Mayorkas: “Yes, I am.”
- Nov. 15, 2022: North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop: “Secretary Mayorkas, do you continue to maintain that the border is secure?” Mayorkas: “Yes, and we are working day in and day out to enhance security, congressman.”
- April 19, 2023: “It is my testimony that the border is secure.”
- July 26, 2023: “Our approach to managing the borders securely and humanely — even within our fundamentally broken immigration system — is working.”
By the way, in case you were wondering, federal law officially defines “operational control” of the border to mean: “The prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.” (Since Biden took office, more than 6 million people have been caught entering the country illegally – a number that doesn’t count more than a million “gotaways.”)
So why the sudden decision to resume building a wall that Biden says isn’t needed and on which he’d stopped construction as soon as he took office?
That’s simple. As we pointed out yesterday, our latest I&I/TIPP poll shows that Biden’s open border policies have become a serious political problem, not just for him but for Democrats around the country.
Even liberal media outlets, which have up until now studiously avoided the border crisis, are acknowledging this. CNN last week ran a story headlined: “The arrival of migrants in big cities is forcing Democrats to change their immigration politics.”
So, Biden has no choice but to make it look like he’s doing something to stem the flood of illegals, which continues to set monthly records.
But even now, the administration is trying to have it both ways.
Mayorkas himself is complaining that people misunderstood his directive.
“The language in the Federal Register notice is being taken out of context and it does not signify any change in policy whatsoever,” he said in a statement. “There is no new administration policy with respect to border walls. From day one, this administration has made clear that a border wall is not the answer.”
He goes on to say the administration had no choice because “The construction project reported today was appropriated during the prior administration in 2019 and the law requires the government to use these funds for this purpose … and we are compelled to follow the law.”
Really? If that’s the case, then why did Mayorkas, after doing nothing for three years, suddenly decide to waive 26 federal laws, including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Farmland Protection Policy Act, the Eagle Protection Act, and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, to throw up this section of the wall quickly?
After all, if there’s one thing the federal government knows how to do, it’s stall construction projects – using all those federal statutes – not rush them to completion.
So, we’re left with this question: With his latest order, did Mayorkas just confess to lying to Congress on multiple occasions? Maybe the FBI could look into it.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board