". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


McCarthy: ‘Bracing for a Tsunami’ at Southern Border as Title 42 Deadline Looms

November 25, 2022

There have been more than four million illegal crossings at America’s southern border since President Joe Biden took office last year. And with the end drawing near for the Trump-era Title 42 rule that allowed the U.S. to quickly expel migrants for public health reasons, concerns are being raised of even larger number of incoming border crossers.

“We’re bracing for a tsunami,” Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) told the press Tuesday during a visit to the southern border with Republican colleagues. “People talk about 18,000 crossings in a day; that would mean 13 million more illegal crossings for the rest of the term of Joe Biden if nothing changes.”

While the Biden administration has been spinning the border crisis as a natural disaster — after months of refusing to even acknowledge the existence of a crisis — House Republicans have argued otherwise, calling the crisis a man-made disaster that is the result of the Biden administration rescinding proven border security measures and implementing catch-and-release policies.

They assert that President Biden, after taking office, hastily threw out policies of the Trump administration without a backup plan — terminating the Migrant Protection Protocols (better known as “Remain in Mexico”), three “Safe Third Country” agreements, and the return of unaccompanied alien minors to their home nations under Title 42. And in choosing to reinstate catch-and-release policies, Republicans say the Biden administration has not only ignored the statutory requirement that illegal aliens be detained while their asylum claims are pending; it has been incentivizing historic levels of illegal immigration and stretching Border Patrol resources thin.

“Had President Trump’s policies simply been left in place, and had CBP and ICE simply been allowed to do their jobs according to their own expertise in judgement, there would be no crisis, no overcrowding, no catch-and-release, and no breach in the security of the U.S. border,” noted Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, in a memo back in April 2021, as it was becoming clear that the Biden administration had ignited a “rapidly worsening disaster.”

And Republicans have noted that the crisis is not only in the record number of migrants who are pouring in, but what and who are coming in with them.

“We know and have caught 98 individuals who are on the terrorist watch list,” Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) highlighted during an interview Monday on “Washington Watch.” “And there are hundreds of thousands of individuals who have not been caught — that the Border Patrol did not encounter, but yet they know that they have crossed over into our country, and we do not know how many terrorists are in that group of people.”

“So, we have a very serious situation — a very dangerous situation, not only because of the terrorists, but the record amount of drugs that are coming in across the border,” she added.

Despite the reports, the Biden administration continues to downplay the situation at the border. During a House Homeland Security Committee hearing last week, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) asked Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas if he maintained that the southern border is secure.

“Yes, and we are working day in and day out to enhance its security, congressman,” Mayorkas responded.

But not all Democrats are trying to sweep under the rug the situation at the southern border.

Arizona Secretary of State and Gov.-Elect Katie Hobbs (D) acknowledged Tuesday during an interview with CNN that the Biden administration isn’t doing enough on the border and said Biden officials should “visit and see firsthand the kind of support and relief that folks in these communities need from the federal government.”

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), when asked recently by The Washington Post if he thinks Democrats nationally have recognized the complexity of the issue and the frustrations that people have, responded, “Absolutely not. Not even close.”

“When I first got to Washington, it didn’t take me long to realize that there are a lot of Democrats who don’t understand our southern border,” he said.

And Kelly claimed Republicans “just want to talk about it.”

“Don’t necessarily want to do anything about it, just want to use it politically,” he added.

During Tuesday’s White House press briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made a similar remark when asked to respond to criticism from Republicans that the Biden administration has lost control of the border.

“[W]e have a plan. We’ve been putting that forward. McCarthy has no plan. The Republican Party has no plan. They do nothing except do political stunts,” she said.

However, McCarthy on Tuesday noted that Republicans “have put out long ago an all-the-above approach” that includes physical infrastructure, advanced technology along the border, bolstering the border patrol rather than the IRS, enforcing policies like the “Remain in Mexico” policy, requiring legal status to get a job, and eliminating welfare incentives.

“That would be just the beginning,” he said.

Regarding the Biden administration’s plan, Republicans on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform called on Democrats several times this session of Congress to hold hearings on the border crisis and sought information on the Biden Administration’s plan to address it. On Monday, Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) sent letters to senior leadership at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), renewing requests for information about the Biden administration’s policies that have fueled the ongoing border and fentanyl crises and mismanagement of taxpayer dollars. Comer previously sent similar requests, but the Biden administration reportedly failed to provide the requested information in many cases.

“Oversight Republicans will be relentless in our pursuit to hold Biden administration officials accountable for this ongoing humanitarian, national security, and public health crisis,” Comer said in a statement released Monday. “The Biden administration must cooperate with congressional oversight in order to provide the American people with transparency and accountability.”

On Tuesday, McCarthy expressed support for investigations by a Republican-led Oversight Committee and Judiciary Committee to investigate the collapse of the border and the shutdown of nationwide enforcement by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“Republicans will work to stop Joe Biden’s assault on our laws, our borders, and our border agents,” McCarthy said. “We will use the power of the purse and the power of a subpoena.”

Comer, who is expected to chair the House Oversight Committee come January, has said that Biden administration officials will be held accountable for having “ignited the worst border crisis in American history.”

And Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, announced Tuesday that Republicans would hold DHS Secretary Mayorkas “accountable for his failure to enforce immigration law and secure the border through all means necessary.”

Jordan, who is expected to chair the committee next year, has already taken steps to open an investigation into Mayorkas once the GOP officially takes the House majority in January.

In the meantime, 15 state attorneys general are hoping to delay the order issued last week by a U.S. district court judge that would lift Title 42 and pave the way for migrants to claim asylum in the U.S. for the first time since March 2020. In a legal motion filed Monday, the states, led by Arizona and Louisiana, argued that ending the policy would increase the flow of migrants into the U.S. and impose financial burdens on the states that are forced to host them.

And McCarthy is calling on Mayorkas to resign from his post, noting Tuesday, “If Secretary Mayorkas was in charge of any company, he would have been fired by now for the failures of what he has caused.”

“The American public deserve more, deserve better, and expect more within their government,” McCarthy said. “Enough is enough. We will do whatever it takes. This is my commitment to the men and women of the Border Patrol and to the citizens of the United States of America.”

Kenneth Chan is Director of Communications at Family Research Council and serves as an editor at The Washington Stand.