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Dispatch From Eagle Pass: Biden Officials Won’t Enforce Laws But ‘Don’t Want Anyone Else To’ Either

Earlier this month, Mehlman saw the illegal immigration crisis firsthand at Eagle Pass, a south Texas city of about 28,000 people.


In his appearance Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” embattled U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas did what any failed political leader possessing little integrity and less self-awareness would do: He blamed others for his mistakes. 

Asked whether he bears any responsibility for the nightmare the Biden administration has wrought at the U.S. southern border and beyond, Mayorkas effectively said, don’t look at us

“It certainly is a crisis and we don’t bear responsibility for a broken system, and we’re dealing a tremendous amount within that broken system,” he told moderator Kristen Welker. 

Maybe the secretary should talk to the people living in and around the border towns, local law enforcement, and his own U.S. Border Patrol agents. 

Ira Mehlman and the folks from FAIR — the Federation for American Immigration Reform — did just that earlier this month. 

“Ask the people at the border in Texas. They think the blame belongs squarely with [the Biden administration],” the FAIR media director told me Monday morning on “Need to Know With Jeff Angelo” on NewsRadio 1040 in Des Moines. 

Earlier this month, Mehlman and his traveling companions saw the illegal immigration crisis firsthand at Eagle Pass, a south Texas city of about 28,000 people bordering Piedras Negras, Mexico, across the Rio Grande. 

As the Dallas Morning News explained, “Eagle Pass, with two small international bridges, features relatively gentle Rio Grande currents that invite migrant crossings. It became a focal point of Texas action in December when the arrival of tens of thousands of migrants over multiple weeks overwhelmed Border Patrol agents and city resources.”

The border town has become a hive of humanity, as its population swells from a wave of illegal aliens pouring over the border on promises of easy entry from President Joe Biden and his nearly impeached Homeland Security chief. U.S. Customs and Border Protection still has yet to post numbers for January apprehensions at the Southwest border, but December saw a new all-time monthly record with more than 300,000 migrant apprehensions. Eagle Pass and its Del Rio sector alone have recorded a whopping 152,252 encounters in the first three months of the federal fiscal year, beginning in October, according to the agency.  

Eagle Pass is now ground zero in a standoff between the state of Texas and the Biden administration, just as it is Exhibit A in the administration’s chaotic immigration policy. Gov. Greg Abbott, backed by several states, ordered state National Guard troops to stand guard at Eagle Pass’s gates and erect razor wire to check the invasion. A divided 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court order gave the administration the go-ahead to cut the wire, but Abbott is holding firm, arguing his state is under attack and the president is doing nothing to stop it. Abbott stands on his constitutional obligation to defend and protect his state, and the United States at large, from invasion.  

“The message from the Biden administration is: Not only don’t we want to enforce immigration laws, we don’t want anyone else to do it,” Mehlman said. 

The immigration reform activist says, from what he saw on his latest trip to Eagle Pass, Abbott’s strategy is working. And, from what’s he’s heard from law enforcement officials, there have been few attempts from federal authorities to remove the deterrents Texas has put in place. 

Abbott has said his Operation Lone Star has reduced illegal immigration numbers, a claim backed by a new Washington Examiner analysis. 

“The numbers show how the percentage of arrests in Texas versus other border states has shifted. In 2021, 69% of illegal immigrant arrests across the southern border occurred in Texas,” the publication reported on Monday.

“As Abbott stepped up security at the start of the Biden administration in 2021, arrests of illegal crossers began to fall and dropped to just 34% last month.”

“This is a manageable problem, as Gov. Abbott has now demonstrated. If you deter people from coming across you will see the results almost immediately,” Mehlman said. 

Mehlman does acknowledge, however, that the migrants are simply rerouting to Arizona and California, border states led by leftist governors committed to Biden’s open border policies. 

Shifting blame, Mayorkas insists Congress is the “only one who can fix” the five-alarm border fire that he and Biden have dumped gasoline on. The secretary conveniently omits the many Trump-era policies the president has reversed and the orders he could sign to turn the tide of the illegal immigration flood. My colleague Tristan Justice last week detailed the dozens of times Biden has gutted border security since he took the oath of office. 

The U.S. Senate’s bad joke of a border deal that died an ignominious death last week would have essentially codified the Biden administration’s awful policy to date. Mehlman and other critics say it would have exacerbated the crisis. He said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his top negotiator, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., “sold out” the House’s “good” version of the bill, creating a “lose-lose situation” for lawmakers serious about border security. 

Meanwhile, last week’s failed effort by House Republicans to impeach Mayorkas is regrouping. Speaker Mike Johnson appears to believe his fellow Republicans will have the numbers —narrowly — this time around as Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., is back to political business after undergoing cancer treatment during last week’s vote. 

Mehlman said Mayorkas deserves to be impeached. 

“He has undermined the enforcement of our immigration laws, he has violated his oath of office and he’s been derelict in his duty as secretary of Homeland Security,” the Federation for American Immigration Reform official said. 

Listen to part of the interview with FAIR’s Ira Mehlman:

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