Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
Tuesday, In what has become something of a trend in Washington of late, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) lit into Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas for the latter’s performance in handling the crisis at the southern border.
During a Homeland Security hearing, Hawley peppered Mayorkas with questions about the treatment of migrant children.
Citing a New York Times report from earlier this week which revealed that more than 250,000 unaccompanied children entered the U.S. over the past two years, Hawley accused Mayorkas, and by extension President Joe Biden, of facilitating the abuse of children.
Specifically, Hawley pointed to the Biden administration’s decision to not expel minors under Title 42, which was the policy of then-President Donald Trump.
“Under the last administration, children were reunited with their families in their home country,” Hawley said. “You changed that. And as soon as you changed it, the numbers exploded. That is your responsibility.”
Mayorkas accused the senator of making “false statements” and pointed to the Biden policy of passing unaccompanied minors along to the Department of Health and Human Services, which then attempts to find housing for the child either with a U.S.-based family member or sponsor.
“Senator, what we do is we enforce the law,” Mayorkas shot back. “But let me just say this. You’re not — it is stunning to me stunning to hear you say that the prior administration reunited children with their parents.”
In response, Hawley slammed Mayorkas for failing to take any responsibility for the policies that he said has forced children to work for human smugglers or other nefarious individuals in order to satisfy the debt they incurred while migrating to the United States. Hawley further said that it was “par for the course” for Mayorkas to deflect the problems of the Biden administration onto Trump’s tenure.
DHS Sec. Mayorkas: “It is stunning to me — stunning — to hear you say that the prior administration reunited children with their parents.”
Sen. Hawley (R-MO): “Tens of thousands of children… are forced to work as slaves… and you turn around and blame a prior administration.” pic.twitter.com/59esf4fDvN
— The Recount (@therecount) April 18, 2023
“You have, at every stage, facilitated this modern-day indentured servitude of minor children. Why should you not be impeached for this?” Hawley said.
Mayorkas replied, “ “I look forward to discussing this issue further because you are misstating the facts so terribly.”
The secretary, at a different point in the questioning, stated that efforts were being made to thwart the mistreatment of children.
“One of the significant policy decisions that we have made is to focus our worksite enforcement, investigative efforts, our criminal investigative efforts on unscrupulous employers that exploit individuals because of their vulnerabilities,” Mayorkas said. “And that includes underage workers.”
Hawley, who referred to the efforts of House Republicans to impeach Mayorkas, insisted that Mayorkas should lose his job.
“We find tens of thousands of children who are forced to work as slaves because of your policies..thousands of children are in physical danger because of what you are doing,” Hawley said. “You should’ve resigned long ago, and if you cannot change course, you should be removed from office.”
Tuesday was just the latest in a long line of migration-related headaches for the Biden administration.
Last week, conservative media outlet Fox News reported that a new app created by the Biden administration was, essentially, approving all migrants who sought an exemption to Title 42 removal.
According to Fox, the CBP One app, which the Biden administration touted in January as a potential solution to the bottleneck of humans amassed at the border awaiting a hearing, had approved 99% of all applications it received for a Title 42 exemption.
The thought process behind the app was that it would more quickly deny people who had no case for sanctuary, thereby freeing up processing agents to address those migrants whose cases have more merit.
But, the threshold for approval has been made so broad that virtually no one fails to clear it, meaning that CBP One has done virtually nothing to expedite the application process.
The people who clear CBP One, who number in the tens of thousands, are moved to Title 8 processing, which is the method by which the federal government approves or rejects undocumented migrants’ request for sanctuary.